I was reminded of this thread on Friday when speaking with a client:
(the pool sinking thread)
We have a swimming pool builder who we work with from time to time. He's an older man, been in the pool business for the last 30+ years, well spoken, intelligent, and very quality consciencious.
So Friday we're chit chatting in front of the truck and somehow we get on the topic of law suits.
He tells me that he and his former business partner just recently found out that they are being sued. They built a high end pool and they are being sued, not by the home owner, but by the landscape contractor!
What happened is that the home owner hired a landscape company to build a negative edge wall that was veneered with stone. Well, the new pool's shotcrete was applied incorrectly, which caused the pool to leak water, which damaged the wall.
So my buddy (the pool contractor) took full responsibility and instantly started making appropriate corrections. They removed the stone from the wall and cleaned it up. Removed the initial application of shotcrete and installed a new application.
My buddy (the pool contractor) got a price of $3,600 from their mason that they use to install the stone on the wall. All the hard work was done, the wall just needed the stone put back on.
The client's landscape contractor that initially build the wall wanted $9000.00. And they did not do a very neat job with the initial go-around.
So naturally my buddy went with their mason, due to the drastic price difference and due to the fact that they simply were not impressed with the initial job.
So my buddy has his mason go there to do the work and the mason calls and says "hey the landscaper is here working on the wall". During this time, the owner of the landscaper company (a guy in his early 30's) is calling the pool company saying "we are doing the stone work, the customer wants us to do the stonework, and you're GOING TO PAY US". My buddy says "I'm not the property owner, I can't stop you from doing the work and I never signed a contract with you and I'm not paying you."
Well - the landscaper completes the wall work. Then hires an attorney. And sues the pool builder, wanting to be paid for a job that the builder NEVER agreed to!!!
Personally - I just can't believe that this landscaper (from the Annapolis area of Maryland) would even believe that the pool builder would be obligated to pay for work that they NEVER agreed to. And I can't believe this landscaper even found an attorney willing to take the case. This just goes to show that attorneys will say and do anything to make a buck. MD has laws that if you are wrongfully sued - you have the full right to countersue.
This case is still in the beginning statges. My buddy's attorney just responded to the landscaper's attorney last week. I'm sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear what comes of it.