Accidentaly broke irrigation line during fence demolition

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jameskchandler, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. jameskchandler

    jameskchandler LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I was removing a fence post that had concrete poured in the post hole, as requested by my client. I punctured an irrigation mainline that was buried 4 inches deep, unmarked, and no sprinkler heads in vicinity to give me a clue there was a line there. The line was right up against the post concrete footing, and It appeared that whoever installed the post originally, punctured and repaired the same location.

    I was not sure what to do about the repair labor and parts costs for the broken line, considered splitting loss with client, then decided to not charge for the repair to the irrigation.

    Did I do the correct thing not to charge for repair? What should I do to avoid a future mistake, I thought I was being careful at the time.
     
  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Yes, you did the right thing and there is nothing you can do to avoid it except allow for stuff like this in your estimate/contract or write a clause in the contract stating you are not responsible. Personally, the former is better than the latter IMO. Really chaps my ass when contractors come onto a job and don't give a shiit what damage they do to onsite utilities because they have a "clause" in the contract.
     
  3. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,811

    Hey James
    Just like Kiril said fix at no cost to customer. Parts are just a few dollars.:waving: have a great 4th July :usflag:
     
  4. jcr4au

    jcr4au LawnSite Member
    Posts: 47

    Were there not any wires with the main line?

    Edit: yes you did the right thing. I would add to make sure the customer knows where the break was. In case of any future issues (like a wire issue in this area) the repair guy will have the info.
     
  5. Colaguy

    Colaguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599


    If it was a simple cheap repair & you had parts on hand, Then charge for repairs. If you had to drive somewhere & buy parts & waste time, Then charge for parts/labor.

    Yes, I'm like the silent lone voice here at LS that thinks you shouldnt be held liable for damage like this. I've ripped out many a chain link fence and/or wood posts & I tell them I assume no liability for such unseen damage to sprinklers or whatever thats hidden in ground.
     
  6. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,868

    YOU, may assume no liability, but judges and juries are more than happy to assign said liability to you.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. Colaguy

    Colaguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599


    Not true if client agrees to it beforehand. If its covered in your contract, there are no grounds to sue.
     
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 46,491

    liability varies by state - some states do not recognize the existence of hold-harmless agreements between homeowner and contractor
     
  9. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,868

    You were hired by the client because you are supposed to be a professional and as a professional you are expected to provide the client and their property with a reasonal amount of safety. That you cannot waive.

    Hundreds of millions in damages are recovered yearly in spite of contracts.

    You may get away with a couple hundred dollar damage but when the damage gets in the thousands you will find yourself in a courtroom telling a judge that you have a signed contract that absolves you of all liability.

    Be prepared to explain your companies safe digging practices and your policy on preventive damage proceedures.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,164

    Put it on the bill and charge " no charge" . Never give any away without making the customer aware that you did it.
     

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