pool sank in 2 hours

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by jrmyj, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. alexschultz1

    alexschultz1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,555

    awesome news man, that homeowner needs to squeeze every dollar out of the insurance company
     
  2. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    I thought I posted the other day but I must not of hit the "submit reply" button. I was surprised it took so long for insurance to be brought up. If I was in the OP's shoes and the pool company was trying to get me to do the repair at no cost, I would have handled it the same at first. But as the talks continued and they were refusing to pay me I would tell them "I will do it and file a claim with my GL for the labor, I'm sure their attorneys will have plenty to say about this". People use the threat of "I'm calling my layer" way to often and usually it isn't taken seriously, but the thought of the insurance carriers attorneys are often much more threatening than the thought of a contractors attorneys. Just discussing the attorneys may be enough to get the pool company to take a little more responsibility. That above was the advise my own attorney has given me, before I even contact him, always mention the insurance company and their attorneys first.
     
  3. jrmyj

    jrmyj LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    They said then other day that they didn't realize their insurance would cover it but they have been in business for 30 years. I didn't want to call mine until I had to so I didn't have a claim on me. I'm still not in the clear yet. It's up to the insurance now so I might have to get mine involved by the time it's all said and done
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406

    I have been in business for 22 yrs and I have no insurance that would cover my error. It would come out of my pocket. I believe its Known as errors and omissions insurance?

    And when read the ins company claim would be filed I thought "now it gets even better".


    Posted via Mobile Device
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  5. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    I should clarify my last post about insurance. I'm not saying I would necessarily call insurance or file a claim for it. what I was saying was that I would have told the other contractor that I was going to call my agent in a couple days. I would simply use the threat of calling my carrier.
     
  6. jmacd

    jmacd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    When I look at these photo's my first question is how can anyone install this pool and not see this coming? Water weighs 8 lbs per gallon, how many pounds are pushing out against that wall.

    Then add all the weight above the pool on the high side. Wow, the forces were huge. I think you will need quite a structure under ground and above ground backfilled with stone, drainage, etc, on the low side that won't be effected by water to hold that up. JMHO
     
  7. jmacd

    jmacd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    This will not stand up in court. Even if the customer signs your contract and you have clause after clause you are considered the expert. Plain and simple you are the expert, not the customer. So if you build something that fails, you are responsible if it goes to court.

    Your contract clause only means you built it knowing it was wrong and still did it for financial gain. You are responsible.

    Same thing applies with design work, you are responsible unless you have a stamped set of plans then the engineer is responsible.
     
  8. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406

    I disagree with you 100%. As a contractor I may be an expert, but the customer has every right to choose to do/have something done to his/her satisfaction.

    In MD the courts operate by a legal term. "Meeting of the minds".

    The purpose of a contract is to do exactly that, establish "meeting of the minds".

    So by stating "contractor accepts no liability and or responsibility", with the client initialing that paragraph an signing the contract - we then have "meeting of the minds".

    An example that my attorney used was this:

    If you come to my house and you just start cutting my grass while wearing a sign on your back that says "lawn mowing $25", and I step outside and wave hello to you - we then have established "meeting of the minds". You had your sign on. I saw it. I acknolodged your presence. And allowed you to proceed.

    I can write a contract saying that the customer agrees to perform (10) jumping jacks each time a call comes in on my cell phone. If the customers accepts the contract and agrees to everything stated - then we have "meeting of the minds". They agreed to everything under no duress.

    Andrew Hardscape, esq
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  9. jmacd

    jmacd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    I would not want to argue law with an attorney. He would know what is best for you.
    I know that my attorney and I experienced a different outcome. We experienced this on a project back in 2002 when the customer didn't want to pay for washed stone backfill against a existing block foundation wall. The wall cracked and all the clauses were in place and we got to test your theory along with my insurance company. Needless to say the outcome wasn't what we expected.

    I never would allow that to happen again and will not perform any work that is questionable again. Even if the customer requests it to save money.

    That being said, I guess it all depends on the situation and what the possible failure could be and what kind of money the failure could cost.

    I find that the savings for the customer never out ways the cost to the contractor in defending his actions if you need it. Some work is just not worth doing.

    Big difference between a structural failure that could cause personal injury and an aesthetic failure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406

    It ultimately boils down to "did the customer know that this is what they were getting?" If you clearly stated everything and the customer agreed in writing to all the specifics - then the contractor has performed his/her duties as hired.

    One of my pet peeves is when I read in forums where contractors say "I wrote in the contract that we're Not responsible for injuries". See, if I'm a visitor, there for a graduation party, and I fall down your block steps with 9" rises - I am holding you responsible, I didn't sign the contract, I don't even live there. Just because the home owner agreed that the contractor isnt responsibile doesnt mean that me, the guest, agrees to it. The correct wording should be "client ACCEPTS all responsibility and liability......". Keyword "accepts". With "client" being identified by name(s) at the beginning of the proposal/contract.

    .
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012

Share This Page