Advice on a Legal issue

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by covalawn, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. covalawn

    covalawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    About two months ago I istalled 3 bushes for a customer. While doing that I busted the drip system that runs around these plants. First off he never made me aware of the system, but I agreed that it was my fault and that I would fix the problem. This was on a Mon and I had something scheduled for all day tues. I go back on wed to finish up (not to repair the system I was trimming bushes, I did not have the time to get the coupler until the weekend) and he tells me that he already had it fixed. So I said ok and went on my merry way. When I received payment for the job I did he sent the bill for $85 for the repair of the system. I agree that it is my fault but he did not give me time to repair the problem. Now he wants to take me to court for that plus all the other fees. Will he win this with not giving me the time to repair the problem?
     
  2. Joe65

    Joe65 LawnSite Member
    from nj
    Posts: 93

    i would be happy it only cost me $85 dollars.......not worth the aggravation of fighting this one.....it probably would have cost you more to fix yourself if you consider time lost that could have been spent making money elsewhere
     
  3. bullethead

    bullethead LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 273

    Pay it and be done with it. In the future, you WILL have a nice new clause added to your contract - regarding yours vs homeowners responsibility for marking of underground lines/utilities. I.e - you will have the utilities marked before you dig and anything not marked by the utility locator is to be marked by the homeowner OR YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE. SO if the homeowner has sprinkler lines in the area, landscape lighting, secondary gas lines or dog fences - he/she must make you aware of them. If he/she does tell you and you whack em, you fix it or pay, if he/she doesn't - it's their problem. I know it seems like a PITA, but it will save you time and money in the long run - trust me, it took many years for this point to sink in my thick skull
     
  4. SproulsLawnCare

    SproulsLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from IN
    Posts: 365

    I totally agree. You almost certainly won't win this one in court. It would be better to pay it now before it gets any higher with court fees.
     
  5. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    Are you really crying over $85.00?? PAY THE BILL!! :rolleyes:
     
  6. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    I would have made it a priority to fix this asap, drip is inexpensive and incredibly easy to repair. Since you didn't make it a priority to repair it yourself, you're on the hook to pay the bill.
     
  7. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    Dude, pay the bill! You damaged it and didn't fix it ASAP. Plus the bill is NOT out of line. We charge $65 per man hour on irrigation repairs with a min of 1 hour and a trip charge of $35 (if they are not on a irrg maintenance contract), so he didn't hose you on the price at all.
     
  8. Nosmo

    Nosmo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    If you damage someone's property -- for example you get too close to a chainlink fence and hook it on your deck and bend up a section here's the option the owner has.

    He does not have to let you try to repair it. He can hire the best fence company in town and send you the bill. If you use the excuse -- he didn't let me repair it or find somebody to fix it -- this won't hold up in small claims court.

    Best thing is to be careful as possible when mowing on a customer's property.

    Nosmo
     
  9. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 677

    Did you have a verbal aggreement to fix. Here in FL a verbal agreement is binding. Unfortunetly just pay the bill and learn your lesson. Sounds like your getting of cheap. In the future you might want to get in touch with an irrigation installer so you can call just in case of emergencies.
     
  10. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,219

    first off always ask and cover yourself if anything happens because if you ask and they dont tell you its there its not your fault

    second that also happened to us about a month ago one of the guys slide down a hill and hit the top of a retaining wall and knocked it down and we said wed be back in later the next day to start fixing it. it was a big section but it was an easy fix came back the next day and the lady handed us a $900 bill to fix it i was hot and she never gave us a chance
     

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