What to do if a contractor caused major damage to our pool?

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What to do if a contractor caused major damage to our pool?

We had the concrete around our swimming pool replaced, new coping and decking. During the removal and replacement, the contractor damaged the automatic pool cover tracking system that is built into the concrete coping, stained the plaster with concrete that spilled into the pool, damaged the tile around the water line. The track system is damaged beyond repair and the only way to replace the track is to replace the coping. The contractor has offered to replace the coping with new concrete but is saying that the damaged track is not their fault and they will not cover the cost of replacing it.

Asked on July 27, 2011 New York

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the contractor for negligence for the damage to the automatic pool covering tracking system, stained plaster with concrete spilling into the pool and the damaged tile.  Negligence is based on the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that in this case a reasonable contractor would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

In addition to the cause of action (claim) for negligence, your lawsuit should also include a separate cause of action (claim) for breach of contract based on the substandard work of the contractor and the resulting damage.

Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) should include the cost of repairs and cost of replacing the damaged track.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by replacing the damaged track with a track that is comparable and not the most expensive one you can find.  If you were to select the most expensive track you could find as a replacement, your damages would be reduced accordingly.


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