Who is responsible if a contractor damages a third parties property?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Who is responsible if a contractor damages a third parties property?

I hope you can help me decide what are the best next steps for me.

I needed some road outside my house resurfaced.
I got quotes and hired an independent contractor who was a specialist in this
type of work.
The third party was informed throughout the process and could have got involved
but did not.
The work was completed to a good standard.
A short time after the work was completed the third party complained to me that
an internal part of their garden wall had been damaged by the vibrations from
the machines.
The third party also contacted the contractor – who has not responded.
The third party is now asking for compensation.

Should I direct the third party to the contractor?
Am I responsible?
What do you suggest I do next?

Asked on January 13, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you are not responsible for the damaged done by an independent contractor, which is not your employee of yours but is rather its own independent business. The third party needs to seek compensation from the independent contractor, and could sue the contractor (e.g. in small claims court) if the contractor will not voluntarily pay.

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.

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