What do we do if we signed a contract with a business owner to rebuild a deck on our home and he was paid but has not done the work?

UPDATED: Feb 6, 2015

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What do we do if we signed a contract with a business owner to rebuild a deck on our home and he was paid but has not done the work?

We gave him a down payment of $5000 to purchase the wood. That was 3 months ago but he does not return our calls.

Asked on February 6, 2015 under Business Law, Missouri


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the business for breach of contract.  

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the $5000 you paid plus additional costs incurred as the result of the delay in having the deck rebuilt.  This would also include costs incurred from hiring another company to do the work.

If you do hire another company to do the work, you will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting a company whose fees are comparable to other companies in the area doing the same type of work.  If you were to select the most expensive company you could find to rebuild your deck, you have failed to mitigate damages and your damages will be reduced accordingly.

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