What to do about an alleged breach of contract?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do about an alleged breach of contract?

My husband agreed to pay a rental company for a contractor to use a backhoe since the contractor did not have a credit card at the time. My husband ordered it over the phone, requested to pay the damage liability and paid $1295 for the rental which included about $200 in damage liability waiver insurance. My husband never signed any contract at any time. I never communicated with or signed any contract at any time. The rental company picked up the backhoe, did not have any of us sign a check out sheet, then reported to us that there was over $750 in damage and that my husband was responsible to pay it. He refused, now the rental company is suing both my husband and me for “breach of contract”. Do they have a valid contract to pursue a breach of contract case and is it legal to have made me a party to the case even thought I was never inolved in the transaction?

Asked on June 11, 2012 under Business Law, Oregon

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your husband ordered a rental over the telephone, there should have been some sort of receipt emailed to you or him or mailed to you or faxed. Ask your husband for that receipt. If your name is on the receipt and your husband's is as well, then you were both properly named in the suit. Now, as to the reasonableness of the suit or the proper legal grounds for the suit, you have a legal responsibility to mitigate your damages. This is why when you enter into any leasehold (car rental, home rental, equipment rental), you always want to make sure there is documentation given to you and an inspection done with you to point out existing damages so that when the final exit inspection is done with you, everyone knows what was pre-existing prior to you taking temporary possession of the property.  If the company never had a sign in inspection sheet showing you what was pre-existing and never did a walk inspection of the equipment with your husband at initial drop off, then there is an issue. If however your husband left this responsibility to the contractor, then you need to speak with the contractor about what occurred. Here, the contractor can be construed as your husband's agent.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption