PDA

View Full Version : Need Help ASAP.. Client called said Conservation authority had just contacted her


Emerscape
10-31-2005, 11:53 AM
One of my clients just called leaving a voicemail on my phone saying that the conservaiton authorities had contacted her regarding some work that I had done for her this past August. She had contracted me to install a crushed stone driveway on her property where one had already existed. As I was removing the old driveway the customer came out and asked if I could dump the material on the property on an old pathway opr driveway. I proceeded to dump the material. The customer then asked if since I had the machine on site if I could open up the old pathway which had since grown over. I asked if there was any wetlands on the site in which her husband said there were some old cranberry bogs that were on the rear of the property away from where I would be working. I opened up the pathway and proceeded to connect it to another side where a gate opened up onto a main road. The customer then asked if I would have any other fill material availible and that he would pay for it to be delivered. I delivered approximately 50 yds of material.

Im very nervous about the situation. I have liability insurance but am wondering if I am going to be dragged into this. Please any help would be great

Thanks

Tvov
10-31-2005, 12:03 PM
I have not had a similar situation, but I don't suppose you have any kind of written contract or something stating that the customer told you to put the material there? Keep any paperwork involving the job(s). Ask around if anyone knows a lawyer who has dealt with similar cases, see if you can just talk to him/her to get an idea of what may be involved. In small towns, these things sometimes just sort of "fade away" after a few meetings to make it look like the town hall is doing something.

Emerscape
10-31-2005, 12:10 PM
no I didnt have a contract since I was on site but do have a check they paid for material.

AGLA
10-31-2005, 12:19 PM
Didn't you post about this job asking whether it was OK to do this? I think there was a picture and everything. Or am I confusing this with something else?

Emerscape
10-31-2005, 12:39 PM
yeah i did post about whether it as ok to do this.. but ihad already done the initial dumping of material. I spoke with my lawyer and he said that the burden should rest on the homeowner as he instructed me to dump there. If he hadnt asked I would have removed the material off site.. I looked on the town website and is says a $300 fine per violation.

AGLA
10-31-2005, 09:11 PM
I can't speak to what Abington's Con-Com will have you do, but on the Cape most hold the proprty owner accountable to restore things to a natural condition. It sounds pretty simple, but the process usually gets expensive by having to hire a land surveyor and often environmental consultants. Typically they will want to make the area a little more, or a lot more, of a native woody habitat than was there before anything was done. Usually a Notice of Intent has to be filed with the DEP and hearings held. That is the homeowner's problem. You may get fined.

I think I warned you about this the first time around, didn't I?

Emerscape
10-31-2005, 09:49 PM
I agree that you warned me abou it the first time around.. But at that point I had left the material that I removed from his "old" stone driveway and nothing more. If he hadn't asked for it to be left there instead of allowing me to dump it at the location I had planned to I wouldnt be in this situation. However, you are right.. I didnt listen to you the second time around but I would like to thank you for your help. Ill keep you guys updated as things move forward. Just out of interest.. do you think the fine will be huge? I know you cant see it but they said $300 per violation.

start2finish
11-01-2005, 05:59 PM
if the fine is only $300.00 I would forget about the liability insurance. It would be a waste of a claim even if your deductible is less than that.

But logic would state that if I hired you to for instance tear down a building that turned out to not belong to me, why would you be liable for rebuilding the building? With these environmental types simple logic doesn't always get results, they can be narrow minded and hard headed about things. Best of luck and let us know how this turns out. Sounds like the homeowners are going to try and place the blame on you. If they don't have those intentions I couldn't see why they would even call.

start2finish
11-01-2005, 05:59 PM
if the fine is only $300.00 I would forget about the liability insurance. It would be a waste of a claim even if your deductible is less than that.

But logic would state that if I hired you to for instance tear down a building that turned out to not belong to me, why would you be liable for rebuilding the building? With these environmental types simple logic doesn't always get results, they can be narrow minded and hard headed about things. Best of luck and let us know how this turns out. Sounds like the homeowners are going to try and place the blame on you. If they don't have those intentions I couldn't see why they would even call.

start2finish
11-01-2005, 05:59 PM
if the fine is only $300.00 I would forget about the liability insurance. It would be a waste of a claim even if your deductible is less than that.

But logic would state that if I hired you to for instance tear down a building that turned out to not belong to me, why would you be liable for rebuilding the building? With these environmental types simple logic doesn't always get results, they can be narrow minded and hard headed about things. Best of luck and let us know how this turns out. Sounds like the homeowners are going to try and place the blame on you. If they don't have those intentions I couldn't see why they would even call.

start2finish
11-01-2005, 06:00 PM
sorry I'm not sure how I got that post echo there.

Emerscape
11-01-2005, 07:29 PM
eh its ok... I looked online on the town home page and it looks like the wetlands are on the back of the property so I think the homeowner will be ok. I guess I kinda freaked out about it. Im happy to be getting myself out of the landscape industry. I now am working as a forensic accountant. Im having more fun chasing people comitting fraud than i did planting trees. I appreciate everyones help and I will keep you updated as things move forward