Small claims for mowing a wet lawn

GreenLawn51

LawnSite Member
Any of you go to small claims for mowing a wet lawn? Say about as wet of a lawn when you start mowing at dawn when there is a nice morning dew. No ruts, wheel spins etc. Just your first place you mow to start your 10 hour day.
 

Brucey

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Upstate NY
I cut a lawn the other day and it was raining pretty decent. The new client had requested a mow asap, otherwise it's not normal practice. Frankly it looked less than ideal after the big boy initially passed over but by the time I was trimming and blowing the tire tracks had basically recovered.

Small claims seems crazy unless you really rutted or tore the crap out of it. What is he asking for compensation? Rip it all out and lay fresh sod?
 

Patriot Services

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Tampa FL
Bottom line is you can sue anybody for anything. The burden of proof is on them. They will have to show significant damage due directly to your negligence or it will go no where. Anytime I get some BS like this my lawyer fires off a nicely written letter outlining what it is going to cost them when it goes to court and the judge figures out its a frivoulous lawsuit.
 

kemco

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Memphis TN
About a year ago my crew put our small zero on a soaking wet backyard. Bottom line is it either should have been skipped until it dried or put a small 21" on it. It got rutted badly. Customer complained. I went over to look. Told them what I just said and asked if I could fix it. They said if I could sure. I asked them to run their sprinklers for a few hours that evening and in the morning we would return and roll it out with a weighted roller. Which we did. Problem fixed. Customer fine with it.
 

Brucey

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Upstate NY
I got in the practice of taking before and after pics from using a bunch of the landcare apps, I continue to do it with my own clients. Then if there's ever any question of if work was done, or other issues, the record is there, nice and easy.
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
You should try to work it out with them if you can, but they may simply want to make things hard for you.

The truth is that you need to check with your states small claims laws. The people threatening you with SCC may not be able to actually do it in SCC, at least not over this. Like I said, different states allow different things in SCC. In my state, there are plenty of restrictions on what you can sue over in SCC. There is a ceiling of $6k here in SCC. Plus, no lawyers allowed in SCC here. Do your homework before you do anything else. If your state is like mine, they will have to prove you willfully did damage to their lawn. They are going to have to prove that you could have waited and you are going to have to explain to the judge or magistrate why you can't wait with a full schedule to mow only on dry days or when conditions are just right. Most judges will certainly understand that.
 

landscaper22

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
South Carolina
Sounds like a customer you don't need. I cut in the conditions you describe all the time. The only yards I leave slight ruts in are yards that are naturally soggy for a few days after a rain. Nothing I can do about that as it's the nature of their yard. But as far as just morning dew, that is normal working conditions. I face it many days and the circumstances are sometimes less than ideal. But we have work to do, and have to get it done. They can probably take you to small claims if they want, because you can file a lawsuit for anything these days. But I doubt they would win. I would get a lawyer if they do (if your state allows it in small claims) Maybe a lawyer can figure out a way to file a countersuit.lol
 

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