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  1. #1

    Question General Contractor vs. Subcontractor

    My question involves business law in the state of: Missouri

    I have a very complex problem and I would love to post in here for advice. I am concerned how I can share this information in here without creating additional problems for myself.

    The problem involves a General Contractor and Sub Contractor dispute in the state of missouri.

    The email address that I registered with can easily be tracked back to me.

    How do I go about seeking advice here without creating any problems for myself?

    Can i provide all the details as long as I leave out any names or identifying information?

    I appreciate any help that is offered.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,625

    Default Re: General Contractor vs. Subcontractor

    If you're very worried about people figuring out who you are, you should hire a lawyer and discuss your matter with the full benefit of attorney-client privilege.

  3. #3

    Default Re: General Contractor vs. Subcontractor

    I am going to go ahead and put this information out there and ask for legal advice.

    I am the sole owner of a sub S corporation in Missouri.
    I was hired by a general contractor to install a roof on a commercial building.
    There are no signed contracts between me and the general contractor.

    I installed the roof and in the process of installing the roof there were leaks which did some interior damage.

    The general contractor has been paid in full for the job but I have not been paid.

    I have now been threatened that I will be sued for defective work and subsequent damages.

    How can I protect myself and my family from this possible forthcoming litigation?

    Should I dissolve my sub S corporation and will this protect me?

    Should I file bankruptcy?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,774

    Default Re: General Contractor vs. Subcontractor

    No way to tell for sure, but I'll share some thoughts. Did you personally install the roof or was it your employees? If you put in the roof the corporation wom't help you much. They could sue you personally for negligence, but there would have to be quite a bit of damages for that to happen. By not paying you, the contractor has mitigated his damages at least to that degree. It would only be for the consequential damages that he would have any chance of recovering anything from you. Was the work you did obviously defective and not performed in a workmanlike manner, or were there underlying deficiencies in the building roof/material that contributed to the failure? That would be my fallback position. How much did the contractor retain from what you were owed? Will that cover the consequential damage? If so, then he has already been made whole. Has he given you a detailed accounting of the damages that are alleged to be your fault? How much is that? Is there anything else that contributed to the damage that was not your work?

    These are some questions that come into play at least.

  5. #5

    Default Re: General Contractor vs. Subcontractor

    Thank you so much for your assistance!

    Did you personally install the roof or was it your employees?

    I personally worked on the roof and the General Contractors employee worked with me every day from the first day until the last day. The General Contractor paid his employee direct "cash under the table."

    Was the work you did obviously defective and not performed in a workmanlike manner, or were there underlying deficiencies in the building roof/material that contributed to the failure?

    I guess that comes down to opinion. I have been doing this work since 1996 and never had any problems even once. I did my best work on this job and the oldest man I know in the trade looked the roof over and said it looked awesome and he could see no reason why it would be leaking. That being said, the General Contractor says the work is deficient and he says he had an engineer look it over. He has refused to give me the engineers analysis or a chance to perform whatever was suggested by the alleged engineer. The building is old from the 1800's and yes I had numerous problems that were caused by existing deterioration. Also, in two locations there is a very small amount of ponding water that the General Contractor thinks is the problem but I am 99.999% that it is not the problem. Because my flashing fasteners kept popping out of the deteiorated brick I went back to the job and installed an adhesive flashing product to correct this issue and I paid for this out of pocket. Also, I had a problem where the sheet ends were cutting through the sealant product and out of pocket I redid this seal with embedded mesh and 3 coats to stop that problem. There is still one tiny slow drip left and I think it is coming in through the deteriorated bricks but I am now not allowed to go back to the jobsite to see if I can seal the masonry and stop the one leak that is left. For 9 weeks the roof was leaking and the General Contractor did not notify me and he did not complete any repairs whatsoever. He did tell me he had an engineer look at it and he also told me he had a bid to fix the ponding water but the contractor never showed up.

    How much did the contractor retain from what you were owed?

    Over 22,000. In fact 8,000 of the 22k owed is for other work that is not defective and I can not get paid for the non defective work either. Additionally, the general contractor had me go do 3 other jobs at different properties while this job was in progress and he will not pay me for any of that work either.

    Will that cover the consequential damage? Has he given you a detailed accounting of the damages that are alleged to be your fault? How much is that?

    I do not know about the total of damages and I have been given no list. I did turn in a claim on my liability insurance but they tell me they think they will deny the claim. They are trying to "cash in" my insurance policy. The building has been leaking off and on for 140 years and it was leaking when they hired me. Additionally, they did not take necessary and reasonable actions to reduce the water damage. IE where there were leaks they left expensive furniture and electronics there. IE the roof was leaking for 9 weeks and nobody notified me and nobody made any effort to correct the problems.


    Is there anything else that contributed to the damage that was not your work?

    Yes, the General Contractors employee was late every day and had to leave early nearly every day and would not work weekends. I was not allowed to bring in my people so the roof took way way longer to complete than it should have. Also, I informed the general contractor about the deteriorated brick issues repeatedly and he said to drive on. Also, the tentants would not take reasonable measures to reduce the water damage. Also, the general contractor and building owner let the building leak for 9 weaks and did not notify me and they did nothing to attempt to stop the leaks.

    There are some fairly long winded answers for you

    I appreciate your time so much!

  6. #6

    Default Re: General Contractor vs. Subcontractor

    I could not figure out a way to modify my post so I made this reply instead. I apologize if that was not okay.

    I did some research on this site and I also read up on some good internet links that were given at this site in other posts.

    Based on what I read, it seems that in Missouri, the "Statue of Frauds" law would make it a paramount task for the general contractor or the building owner to sue me successfully. Apparently, it seems that a Promissory Estoppel is what is required to overcome the statute of frauds defense.

    I say this based on what I read and also based on the fact that there is no signed contract between me and the general contractor. I also signed no contract with the building owner.

    If so this is great news. If I am way off base here maybe somebody with more knowledge could chime in? On a side note, if this is correct, it seems that it potentially would also hurt me at the same time as it would make it a paramount task for me to successfully win a lien on the property without any form of signed contract.

    Without signed contracts, this seems to become an "oral agreement" which is highly subject to the possibility of fraud. Therefore, it seems that Missouri courts set a very high standard to challenge and overcome the statutes of fraud defense.

    Here is where I found some really good information about it: http://www.mobar.org/9f9753bb-ae48-4...b89565bfd.aspx

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