Can I file claim against contractor for improperly installing heat/air conditioning unit which resulted in water damage in ceiling/floor damage?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I file claim against contractor for improperly installing heat/air conditioning unit which resulted in water damage in ceiling/floor damage?

It alo resulted in anextremely high electric bill because the unit was not installed properly. I have since hired another contractor to correct the problem because the original contractor is now in jail for fraud.

Asked on September 5, 2012 under General Practice, Pennsylvania

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the first contractor for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable contractor would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (of due care mentioned above), breach of duty (failure to exercise due care), actual cause, proximate cause, and damages.

Actual cause means but for the contractor installing the heating/air conditioning, would there have been water damage to your ceiling/floor?  If the answer is no, which appears to be the case, actual cause has been established.  Proximate cause means are there any unforeseeable, intervening acts which would relieve the contractor of liability?  If the answer is no, proximate cause has been established.  Damages means the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit.  Your damages would be the cost of repairs/ cost of the heating/air conditioning unit being installed by the second contractor and that portion of the electric bill that was the result of the improper installation by the first contractor.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

When contractors perform work that does not rise to commercially acceptable standards, they can be sued for any losses, costs, or damage they caused through their negligent work. You would need to sue him if he will not voluntarily pay. As a practical matter, if the contractor is in jail, it may be difficult to collect from him, however--if he's not working and his business is closed, he may have no assets or income to pay any judgment you win against him. You need to consider whether a lawsuit would be worthwhile before filing.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption