How can i collect a dept owed to my Construction company

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How can i collect a dept owed to my Construction company

An associate of mine was offered to pour a
concrete wall cap in a park on a wall between
the park and a lake. They had everything
planned out. They had a design for the wall cap
and the HOA was given a price which they agreed
on. The HOA discovered he was not a licensed
contractor and the job was offered to me.The
lake that the wall holds back is drained every
winter and the HOA wanted the wall cap done
asap so there was a bit of urgency. There was a
40 deposit paid, concrete and pump were
ordered for the next week. My crew and i got
the materials and spent the week setting forms
and prepping for the pour. On the day of the
pour, the pump crew was there, my crew was
getting ready to pour and the concrete was
batched and on the way. A city inspector showed
up and asked for a permit. I called the HOA and
he said he didnt have a permit and the job was
red flagged and shut down. I was charged from
both the concrete company and pump. The HOA
tried to get a permit and said they cant get
one so they canceled the job. I calculated the
cost of material, time, concrete and pump
charge, the 40 didnt cover it so i sent a bill
and now they are not responding after multiple
attempts to collect

Asked on February 20, 2019 under Business Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue them. You'd sue them for breach of contract, or violating the agreement (whether written or oral/unwritten) under which you agreed to do certain things in exchange for a certan amount of pay or compensation. As long as you did everything you were supposed to and/or were ready, willing, and able to uphold your end, they had to pay you, even if they were stopped from going ahead by the city--only if you had caused the work to not be able to be done would they not have to pay you, since in that case, you would have been in breach of your own obligations. But the actions of 3rd parties, like the city, does not affect their obligation(s) to you. You can sue for what you would have been paid, less any savings (like in wages) you get from not having to perform. (E.g. say  the work was to be done for $1,200 and you saved $300 by not having to pay people to help you do the work--you would be able to get $900 in a lawsuit.) 

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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