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Damage Waiver

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    For my new residential service agreement for 2004, I've added a paragraph for damage waiver.

    Here is the text:

    "Meier's Landscape Maintenance will not be held responsible for damage to improperly retracting sprinkler heads, plastic landscape lighting installed in lawn area, small toys left in lawn area, or line trimmer wear on fence posts."

    I've thought about adding trimmer blight to excluded damages, but the more I think about it, the more I think that should be my responsibility.

    I've also considered adding runaway pets as being another item that's not my responsibility. Should we be held responsible for pets who escape while we are maintaining the property (ie. leave the gate open) or should that be on the damage waiver list too?

    What else am I forgetting? What are other common damages that aren't our fault?

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  2. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Hi DFW,

    Here is another thing to consider. "gas service regulators."

    The following is a quote from this site.

    "Damage claims against an Ohio natural gas
    company and landscaping corporation over
    multiple fires in a condominium complex that
    resulted from the severing of a gas service
    regulator have been settled for $3.5 million.
    Kings Path Condominium Association,
    represented by Steven L. Smith and David L.
    Gordon of PhiladelphiaÂ’s Kessler, Cohen &
    Roth, sued the gas company and landscaper in
    state court in Cleveland. Twenty-eight
    individuals, some of whom also were
    represented by Smith and Gordon, sued the
    companies in a consolidated case over
    damages suffered in the fires.
    According to the plaintiffs, the fires
    occurred in July 1997 when a landscaper
    using a lawn mower to cut a 3-foot patch of
    grass sheered off the gas service regulator."
     
  3. Qdriver

    Qdriver LawnSite Member
    Posts: 188

    This is a bullet in my "Scope of Maintenance" section of my service agreement.

    "G.) A GREEN OASIS will not be responsible for any damage to the trees, flowers, shrubs or other objects organic or in-organic that do not have at least a 2-foot diameter mulched area around them."

    This is at the bottom of the page under "Contractor Liability"

    "The Contractor shall not be responsible for damages to the landscape, organic material replacement or removal due to acts of God including, but not limited to, hurricanes, tornado's, thunderstorms, meteor strikes, flooding, drought, locust swarms, freezes, etc., or damage caused by any person other than the ContractorÂ’s employees or any event outside our scope of maintenance. Such events do not constitute abandonment and are not included in calculating cost of services."
     
  4. T.E.

    T.E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    DFW,I hate to be negative but there is no way I ever ask my customers to sign something like that. If I hire a mowing company to take care of my lawn I expect them to be professional enough not to whittle my fence post down. I personally can line trim without whittling down the post. If I leave the gate open and their pets get out, who is at fault? I am,I left the gate open. Last summer the help I had ran the trimmer into a sprinkler that is for the garden. ( it stands up in plain view) I fixed it out of my own pocket. It is not their fault my guy hit it! What do I have insurance for? There are too many companys on this site that do just fine with out service agreements to go into that much detail. When I aerate a lawn that is the first thing I'm asked what happens if I hit a sprinkler head? I tell them I mark them, and if I hit one I will fix it,most say go ahead with the job. If I say that is your problem! I'd never do aeration. I feel that as a professional company I should be responsible for what I damage. IMHO,If I read more into your post.I'm sorry Have a good day Tony
     
  5. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 661

    T.E. is right, if its your fault then you should fix it.
    Its fine to have a clause in there about acts of God, I do, but these other things shouldnt be included.
    The only thing I can think of that might go on that list is if you have to move a trampoline or something.
    I also think maybe you are leaving some money on the table. If you find a sprinkler head that doesnt retract properly are you not noting that and asking for the repair? If you dont do that kind of work then at the very least you should know someone that does and refer them. They may do the same for you.
    Either way its throwing money out the window.
    It states in my contract that if I tear it up I will fix it. Thats why I have ins.
     
  6. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    Have you enclose a cause aimed at the issues presented from those cable companies that lay cables across lawns and never come back to bury it?
     
  7. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    ++++Have you enclose a cause aimed at the issues presented from those cable companies that lay cables across lawns and never come back to bury it?++++

    Thanks. Good point. I'm defintiely adding that one.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  8. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    KerryB,

    ++++If I leave the gate open and their pets get out, who is at fault? I am,I left the gate open.++++

    I'd guess that if you're in the business long enough, and especially if you use employees, eventually a dog is going to get out. I've had to chase down three dogs during my first year in the business already.

    I think I would agree that the LCO who leaves the gate open is probably at fault. But we don't typically charge more for customers who have dogs than those without. At least I don't. There is an added responsibility that we're not getting any consideration for.

    As for fence posts, if you are a one man operation with no employees, I don't think it's much of a concern. But if you're using employees, it may happen. I've seen a ton of fence posts around here that are whittled down pretty bad. You never know when some home owner who thinks you're a large company will start demanding that you pay for a new fence. I think I'll keep this one in my agreement.

    Team Gopher,

    Around here, all the gas meters stick up a few feet out of the ground. If I run over one with my mower, I think I would be repsonsible. I'm not even sure what a gas regulator is. Are they typically on ground level where they can be struck by a mower but not easily seen?

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  9. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 661

    Well nobody said life was fair. just kidding.

    But look how much trouble is it to shut the gate? I do a back yard with a min. donkey in it. lol He runs from the mower and I open and shut the gate.

    As for the fence posts, all I can say is that you just cant find good help.
     
  10. FFMED74

    FFMED74 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 242

    DFW,
    I actually hit a cable above the ground on a property I did for a realestate guy I know. I informed him that I had hit it, but that it was not marked at all. I figured they would try and ding me, but the grass was too high and the utility company was to have already fixed it and it was not marked, so I guess I dodged that one LOL. I do believe that we are in a lawsuit happy country. I liked what I heard on the Gregg Garrison Show (indiana show)( Gregg also handled the Mikr Tyson Case and was an legal guy for CBS during the OJ case) the other day, we are the only country in the world that allows a person to sue and if they lose the suit they are not responsible for the defendants legal fees. Sounds like we need to change our system a bit. Just my opinion.
    Eric H
     

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