Hello, I am a member of the State Bar of California, and the Bar of the U.S. District Court
for the Central District of California. You asked: in California, contractor hired by calif state board of contractors wrote a report on my mobile home. the other contractor that is involved doesn't do work to the standards of the board. Do I have to let him fix the problem? A: The general rule of contract
law is that a party that has suffered an injury must attempt to mitigate damages. In order to mitigate your damages, you must permit the contractor to try to cure the defects in workmanship -- unless to do so would be futile. You suggest that the contractor's work is substandard. The issue is whether or not the contractor is capable of actually performing the work originally agreed upon. You have evidence that the work is substandard, so you could argue that the contractor misrepresented his competency as an inducement to enter into the original contract. That is grounds for rescission, or damages for negligent or intentional misrepresentation. Thus, you have a very good argument to simply find a new contractor to complete the work. However, from a litigation
/arbitiration viewpoint, it is nearly always preferable to permit the breaching party an opportunity to cure the defect. That way, it is no longer possible to claim that you failed to mitigate your damages. If you do not do this, then you add another risk to your prevailing in arbitration. You must weigh the benefit of getting the job done immediately and correctly, with the risk of not recovering your entire $10,000 claim. You will undoubtedly recover some of that claim, but if you want to improve your chances, then you will make reasonable efforts to mitigate damages. I am meeting in a arbitration hearing on a 10K repair to my mobile. Should I hire a lawyer to represent me, so I can make sure if the contractor double talks that I am fairly represented.?A: I'm a lawyer, so it's difficult for me to suggest that you not have legal representation
. However, I doubt that you will get any competent attorney to represent you for less than $2,500. And, while you may be able to recover your attorney's fees, assuming you prevail, the contractor's bond is probably only $12,500, so you are close to the maximum recovery, assuming that the contractor cannot or will not pay from his own resources. I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.Thanks again for using justanswer.com!