Who is responsible if a contractor damages a third parties property?

I hope you can help me decide what are the best next steps for me.

I needed some road outside my house resurfaced.
I got quotes and hired an independent contractor who was a specialist in this
type of work.
The third party was informed throughout the process and could have got involved
but did not.
The work was completed to a good standard.
A short time after the work was completed the third party complained to me that
an internal part of their garden wall had been damaged by the vibrations from
the machines.
The third party also contacted the contractor – who has not responded.
The third party is now asking for compensation.

Should I direct the third party to the contractor?
Am I responsible?
What do you suggest I do next?

Asked on January 13, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, you are not responsible for the damaged done by an independent contractor, which is not your employee of yours but is rather its own independent business. The third party needs to seek compensation from the independent contractor, and could sue the contractor (e.g. in small claims court) if the contractor will not voluntarily pay.


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