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J D Haas
J D Haas, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2998
Experience:  21 years as a serious injury/wrongful death trial lawyer; nationally board certified; 43 jury trials
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Im re-framing an earlier question I didnt write

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I'm re-framing an earlier question I didn't write very well. (1) I hired a plumber a month ago to put in a faucet. He said it would cost $75. It took 1.15 hours to put the faucet in. He gave me a written estimate. I paid $75. (2) Yesterday, I hired a second plumber to put in an identical faucet to the first one plus two additional ones. This new plumber gave me a quote of $85 to put in a faucet. So I anticipated I would be paying 3 x $85 plus additional cost of 15 minutes of time to remove spa equipment.
There is no quick answer to your question. Here is what will happen: 1) you and the plumber will negotiate and reach a solution; 2) if negotiation fails, then the plumber will sue you, probably in small claims court. The plumber has the burden of proof as to the contract because the plumber is suing you. Also, the plumber has the burden of showing a contract since the plumber did the work. It is obvious that there was confusion in the contract terms. That problem falls upon the party that should have formed the contract--the plumber. Since you already had experience with a comparable price ($75.00 per faucet) there is evidence that $85.00 per faucet is reasonable. The court will decide the case on the evidence before it. Make sure you make all your claims--such as shoddy workmanship in installation, etc. Best wishes for the new year.

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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thanks. Yes, I thought the burden of proving contract should be on the plumber. In fact I believe the plumber intended to overcharge me by bringing along someone else without explaining that person was a plumber, not an apprentice. That would mean he was expecting me to pay double. The job took 5 hours and should have taken 4 hours and two alleged plumbers did the work. Yet he was going to charge me for 11 hours!

Can I countersue for constructive fraud or some other bad business practice?
Yes you can countersue. I cannot guarantee your success but if this plumber took 4 times as long as the other plumber, that certainly raises questions about the plumber's abilities and trustworthiness. Good luck.
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