who's at fault?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Brianslawn, May 31, 2006.

  1. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    i had a truck load of dirt delivered, today. i had to run down the road to get more diesel for tractor before dump truck gets there. dump truck driver calls me up when he gets there (im at gas station). ive used this company for a few years and no problems. they usually want a check before they dump. guy said he'll go ahead and dump and asked where i wanted it. its going in back yard so i asked (on phone) if he could back through double gates (10' wide) to back yard and dump. i told him if he couldnt to dump as close as he could. i figured he could go up driveway and off to side a bit through gate next to garage. driver calls back a bit later saying he got stuck. i start rushing back and he calls again saying water is coming up. i get there and the ford f650 dump truck is barried up to the rear axle (about 2'). driver said he got out and checked ground... felt solid... instead of driveway he thought it be better if he strattled watermeter in ground and went over sidewalk through yard. when he sunk it next to watermeter, he broke the main line's input to meter and water started gushing out.

    i tried yanking him out with my f550 4x4, but ripped the bumper off. (chitty weld job from eaglebody). he calls his boss and he comes out with f350 and calls another dumptruck (f750). it takes both them tugging, plus me pushing with kubota to get the 650 out. city gets there to fix pipe and they want to know who is at fault so they can bill them. dump truck co owner refuses fault saying i instructed them up into yard. homeowner (my customer and a cool guy) says it should be truck driver for going in yard without a spotter. i dont feel at fault but offer to split it with truck co owner. home owner said hes had leaks on the city line next to meter before, recently. we all ask if there could be a small leak to saturate the ground before truck sunk. city denies responsibility. its been real dry lately, but got a bit of rain last night, but not enough to make a sinkhole.

    truck co owner says their policy is if someone calls the truck up into the yard, then truck co no longer has any responsibility. however, i have never been informed of that policy in 4 years of doing biz with them.

    homeowner said lets split it 3 ways. he'll pay a third. we all agree. he calls me later saying it aint my fault and says hes thinking about taking them to court.

    is it city's fault for possibly having a leaky pipe?

    mine for telling dump truck to try and go through yard?

    homeowners for whatever reason?

    driver for going through yard without spotter?

    truck co owner for whatever reason?

    this area used to be swamp land, but they built rich houses on it. this lot is on a bit of an incline an higher than others. i never wouldve thought you could sink a truck on this yard. my customer wants to sue truck co owner. who's fault is it really?

    if its mine, i want to take responsibility, however i dont think im to blame.
  2. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Messages: 4,891

    Truck drivers responsibility unless he informs you prior that its not recommended and has you sign a waiver.

    The law here is that the driver always has 100% responsibility for the operation of his vehicle. Same as a DOT inspection. No matter what is wrong with the truck, the driver gets the ticket not the company.

    Some compainies will pay the ticket, others, like mine, will say to the driver " It was your responsibility to ensure your truck was operational before you left the yard.
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Truck drivers responsibility.

    This is just like if I decided to run a backhoe through someones window. Its still my fault, even if they gave me permission to work at their house.
  4. tylermckee

    tylermckee LawnSite Member
    from wa
    Messages: 248

    I would say truck drivers fault. Whenever we hire a truck and he has to back into a difficult/odd spot i tell the truck driver where i would LIKE him to go, and if he thinks he can get there GREAT, if he cant then get as close as he can and i'll get er done. learned quickly that just because i could do something that it doesnt mean the next guy can. I word it so that if he screws up its his own fault.

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