If my contractor stopped working, can I consider the contract breached?

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If my contractor stopped working, can I consider the contract breached?

I hired a contractor to remodel my attic. The terms of contract were 50% upfront and 50 when the job was completed. The subcontractors framed everything out, however then I got a phone call from the contractor saying that he was having financial problems and asked me for 25% of the remaining balance to continue work. I said no because I have been burned by contractors in the past. He then asked me to pay for the remainder of the materials so that he could pay his guys to finish the job. I paid for the materials and no

one showed up for a month to do work. In the contract it stated that the job would be completed by the 18th but now it’s the 16th of this month and nothing has been done. Am I within my rights to consider this contract terminated?

Asked on July 16, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The contractor is liable for breach of contract for not doing the work.
Although you are reluctant to sue, that is your recourse to file a lawsuit against the contractor for breach of contract.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the amount you have paid.  You can also recover the cost of completion if you hire another contractor.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by hiring another contractor whose price is comparable to that of the first contractor.


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