If I had an acquaintance redo my driveway and it is a mess, what legal rights do I have?

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If I had an acquaintance redo my driveway and it is a mess, what legal rights do I have?

He says he will try to make it better but has not as yet. Starting to wonder about that. He also told me that I did not need a permit to do the job.

Asked on June 17, 2012 under Business Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue your acquaintance for breach of contract.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the cost of having someone else complete / correct the job.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by hiring someone to complete the work whose fees are comparable to others in the area doing this type of work.  If you were to select the most expensive person you could find to do the work, you would have failed to mitigate damages and your damages would be reduced accordingly.

Since the person who worked on your driveway was an acquaintance, if you didn't have a contract, your lawsuit then should be for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable driveway resurfacer would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  Your damages would be the cost of repairs to the driveway.  Again, you would need to mitigate damages as discussed above.


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