How to recover labor and material on work that was finished , but never got paid

I did work for a man acting as a contractor on
his new home , he never paid me for materials
or labor over 30,000

Asked on July 5, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You sue him: that is how you get money that someone owes you but will not pay. You would sue him for "breach of contract" primarily: that is, for violating the agreement (even if only an unwritten or oral one) under which you agreed to work in exchange for payment. If you did your part (did the work), he is the contractually obligated to do his part and pay you. You would secondarily base the suit on "unjust enrichment": the law does not let someone knowingly or deliberately get the benefit of your work (i.e. let you do work for him) without paying you. In the lawsuit, you would need to provide testimony and/or evidence of the agreement, of what you were supposed to do, of what he agreed to pay, of the cost of materials, and that the work was completed.

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