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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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How can I sue someone for Work performed and not paid I

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How can I sue someone for Work performed and not paid?

I was hired to install data wiring at a Nursing home. The Owner hired an IT company to install it. The IT company hired me to do the actual installation. I installed the wiring and had the IT company verify placement. I was told I would be paid $700.00 for the work, and whatever else I spent on materials to get the job done. (Cost + Materials)

I've provided the IT company with detailed reports / billings for the job. The total is only $1017.27

Now I'm told by the IT company that the work was not done correctly, and that they have to refund the money to the owner. (i've spoken with the owner, the IT company has not refunded a dime.)
So the IT company says that they don't have to pay me now.

My argument is this. I OK'd the installation and locations with the IT company. I was never told that the work was wrong or incomplete until just now (6 weeks later,) and I was obviously never given the chance to correct what they thought was wrong.

Do I have a case here? It seems wrong to me to get someone to do work, get paid for it, and never pay that person for something you never told them was wrong.


Good Afternoon,


Not only is what they are doing very wrong, it is also illegal; it is also obvious that the IT company wants to defraud you out of your money.


The relationship the IT company had with the Nursing home is somewhat of a "General Contractor" and your relationship with the IT company was somewhat that of a "subcontractor" . You were in constant communication with the IT company, informing them where you were placing the wires and they approved. Verbal or written approval was not necessary because if you were informing the IT company every step of the way and the placement of the wires was incorrect, they had a duty to tell you so that they could be placed elsewhere.


If the IT company did not have you sign a Waiver of Mechanics' Lien before you did any work, then you should immediately file a Mechanic's Lien against the property of the Nursing home facility on which you did the work; that would be filed in the county in which the Nursing home facility is located.


Mechanics' Liens can only be filed within 4 months after the last work was completed so file it relatiely quickly, just to be on the safe side and you do not lose your right to do so.


It is not necessary to tell the IT company you are filing a Mechanics Lien, let them be surprised when the Nursing home facility finds out and tells the IT company.


Simultaneously with filing the Mechanics' Lien, write a "Demand Letter" to the IT company for payment, because when you sue someone for money owed, you must allege in your Complaint that "formal demands for payment were made, all of which demands have been refused". Make a couple of copies of the letter for yourself.


Allow 3-4 days to go by, then file a Complaint with Small Claims Court and at the time of the hearing you will show the Judge copies of the invoices you periodically submitted to th IT company for payment and your demand letter. You will also tell the Judge that each step of the way, you were informing the IT company of your installations and their locations and that they never voiced any objection, that they got paid by the Nursing home and that they claim they never got paid.


Good Luck! You'll be fine and you'll do fine.





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ANDREA, JD, LL.M., Taxation

Member, NY & PA Bar


DISCLAIMER: The facts stated herein are information only and are not intended, nor should be construed as legal advice or legal opinion and No Attorney-Client relationship is formed by asking questions and receiving information; laws vary from state to state and to protect your interests, you should seek local counsel






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