Roofer punchered AC Freon lines

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.

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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