What is my recourse if a contractor damaged my basement staircase?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What is my recourse if a contractor damaged my basement staircase?

The contractor was hired to remediate mold condition and to remove panels of the basement. However, the crew unnecessarily cut off 1/4 of the staircase and refuse to

repair the damage. Additionally, the contractor advertised 10 senior discount but then would not honor it. Finally, the contractor took with him all items used in the job and charged me for them – floor mates, individual head-lights, heavy plastic covers.

Asked on December 28, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You sue the contractor: you sue based on all the following--
1) Breach of contract: not honoring the senior discount;
2) Fraud--both lying about the senior discount and trying to fraudulently charge you for items which they took back with them (i.e. which were not left for you);
3) Negligence--carelessly causing damage to your basement;
4) Negligent or intentional (you can allege, or claim both, since at this point you don't know which it was) loss or destruction of your personal property (the furnace filter, exercise equipment, etc.).
You would sue for the cost to repair the damage they did; for the value of what they took or destroyed; for the senior discount; and for the return of the money which you paid for items they kept. If the amount is less than the limit for small claims court, suing in small claims as your own attorney ("pro se") is an excellent option; otherwise, retain an attorney. Suing is the only way to recover compensation from them.

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.

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