Roofer punchered AC Freon lines

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Roofer punchered AC Freon lines

I just recently bought the house and HVAC guy discovered a freon line punctured
by a roofing nail from a new roof installation, which did a few months ago and
under the warranty. Now the roofer said that it’s not his fault as he installed
the shingles properly with a standard roof nail penetration. The freon line was
installed right against the roof decking and covered by sheetrock and insulation.

Then who’s fault is it? Will roofer warranty not cover? Is he responsible to
check the ac lines before he installs a new roof? Please advise that I can
consult an attorney for this?

Asked on May 24, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The issue is what a "reasonable" roofer would have done in that situation: someone is liable for damage they do due to "negligence," or unreasonable carelessness. They are not liable if they took the expected care or did things in the usual, reasonble and expected way. What is unreasonably careless is judged in commercial contexts by what the average or reasonable member of that profession would do. If the average roofer would have inspected to see if there was freon or similar line there and this one did not, he is liable; if the average roofer would not have inspected and would have done what this person did, he is not liable. 
You will need an expert opinion (e.g. by another roofer or contractor who does roofing work) to both know what a roofer should have done and, if you elect to sue, to prove the roofer's fault in court: the court will not accept a layperson's testimony as to what a member of a profession would do. So the first step is to talk to a roofer or contractor and find out if what this person did was reasoanble and acceptable or not--then you can decide whether to sue.


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