Are we screwed?

My husband was an independent contractor. I say was because we are in the process of shutting down the business. One of his last jobs was laying tile in a private home. The owner insisted he do it the way she wanted even if it wasn’t up to code. Things like the wrong type of wood as underlayment and fewer screws than recommended to save money. She also insisted on less mortar under tiles so they would even with her other floor. He warned her the floor wouldn’t last and agreed to do so only if she signed a

liability release form so that when the floor cracked it wouldn’t be his responsibility. Now a few months later the floor is cracked, she is denying ever signing the form and threatening to take my husband to court. We also cannot find our copy to prove her wrong. Is there anything we can do?

Asked on July 19, 2017 under Business Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you had the release, you'd be in good shape: a release like that is a contract and is enforceable in court. Without proof of it, however, since it is professionally negligent to lay substandard or not-up-to-code flooring, she will likely win, since your husband would be liable *except* if she contractually released him from liability.


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