Big problem! Need advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ProStreetCamaro, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,278

    We just got a new lawn that was a referal from a current customer of 8 years. We got the job and I personaly went out and cut it myself because my dad was at the doctors. They have a red japanese maple in the front lawn. I mowed trimmed and blew off and left. Next day they called up and said that the reason they got rid of the previous company was because they broke 2 limbs off the tree, and now they said I broke a limb off and they are going to sue if we dont have it replaced. Now I know for a fact that I didnt break a limb off the tree. Tomorrow I am going to contact my attorney(We cut his lawn for FREE in agreement that he will represent us if we ever need it, plus he is a friend and runs the largest, most highly respected lawn firm in maryland and my mother is the civil supervisor of the district court of maryland.) What would you guys do? The tree that size is about $1,400. Sounds to me they are just trying to get over us because they are still pissed that the last guy broke 2 limbs off. Tomorrow I am going strait to my customers house and explain the situation to them so they hear it directly from us. So what would you guys do? By the way I just told them to get somebody else to cut because we dont need customers like them.
  2. bugspit

    bugspit LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 767

    I believe I would do what you are planning, sounds responsible.

    Might be worth your time to find out who the previous lawn service says about the customer?
  3. sanfordandsonfan

    sanfordandsonfan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    If your that well conected, I wouldnt even think about it again. In today's world everyone is ready to sue everybody. Your attorney friend will be laughing his a$$ off when you tell him about this one. If he is that good of an attorney (and I'm not doubting you) he could probably find some crazy law to sue them for causing you grief. You did the right thing though and get rid of that crappy account.
  4. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,278

    Honestly if they want to sue somebody they should sue the company that laid the sod. OMG it has huge gaps and is extreamly uneven. If they try to sue and we win I am going to file a counter suit and sue them for a full days wages, grief, and court and attorney fee's.
  5. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    They are just trying to scare you into buying them a new tree. I bet once they get one letter from your lawyer, they'll back off. IMO
  6. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 811

    ProStreet, What did your Insurence Co. say?
  7. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,278

    Thats one of the problems. After over 20 years in the business and having never once had to use the insurance company my dad 2 years ago decided to drop it and save the money. All we do is mow so in all reality the worst that can happen is something like this or a broken window. We always stop and turn off the blades if anybody is walking by. As a matter of fact in all these years we have never once broken a window or anything. My dad has the money to replace it if it comes to that and he can just write it off at the end of the year but they are just trying to get something for nothing. By the way a semi friend of ours owns a nursery and he just told us he could get us a tree that size at his cost of around $500. <<<Really good price. He is a great guy!
  8. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    unfortunately the worst that can happen can be a lot worse. Not very likely, but you're essentially gambling everything you own that it doesn't.

    Child struck in eye by object thrown from trimmer or mower

    Your mower runs into a gas line entering house from meter, house burns down.

    You're mowing along the side of a road. A driver panicks and swerves into oncoming traffic to avoid you, killing a carload of people. They claim you were in the road. You're being sued for the death of the people in the other car involved.

    Customer "CLAIMS" you damage a $1400 tree. You have to pay to defend yourself or call in a favor. But this time, they CLAIM that you entered and stole jewelry and items worth $15,000. You have to hire an attorney to defend yourself. With insurance, they pay for the defense. Unless I had a written commitment for open ended legal defense from an attorney, I wouldn't bet my financial future on it. The value of you mowing his lawn for free for a year gets eaten up in about 2 hours of his time in court. Past a point he may not be as eager to help.

    I could go on, but for $600 or $800 a year, I would think about getting the insurance again.
  9. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    no for the tree.
  10. STAN1366

    STAN1366 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    Just how big was the limb they said you broke? Was it high off the ground? Is it anyway possible that you might have brushed against it and it was already damaged and just fell? Maybe a personal face to face talk would avoid court. Good luck.

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