if I hired an independent contractor to design and install a WIFI internet system for my RV Resort 2 years ago, is there anything I can do to make him finish the job and pay the equipment lease on time?

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if I hired an independent contractor to design and install a WIFI internet system for my RV Resort 2 years ago, is there anything I can do to make him finish the job and pay the equipment lease on time?

I paid him upfront and he has not finished the job yet. I am thousands of dollars in debt and now he says his business is being “restructured” whatever that means. I have a contract that he wrote but it has hand written notes on it from both of us. As part of the contract he is supposed to pay for our “equipment” that he arranged to be leased from a company under our name but he is supposed to pay the payment each month. He has stopped paying it and I am now having to pay it to keep it from going to collections.

Asked on September 17, 2015 under Business Law, New Mexico

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the independent contractor for breach of contract.
Your damages monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit would include the costs and expenses you have incurred resulting from the breach of contract such as failure to pay for the equipment and failure to finish the job.  If you hire someone else to finish the job, your damages against the first contractor would include the cost of completion by the second contractor.  You will need to mitigate minimize damages by hiring a second contractor whose fees are comparable to other WiFi installers/designers in the area.  If you fail to mitigate damages, your damages will be reduced accordingly.
An alternative remedy for breach of contract instead of damages would be specific performance.  Specific performance means the court would order the contractor to complete the installation of the WiFi for your RV resort.
Damages monetary compensation would be preferable to specific performance in this case because given the track record of the independent contractor there may be additional problems with supervision and the quality of the work.


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