Are we screwed?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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