My question involves independent contractors in the state of: Florida
I'm located in a different state. I've worked for a company doing engineering for approximately two years now in Florida, up until recently when payments started falling behind. I had found work to replace them so I basically sent them a notice saying that in a month I'll no longer be providing services due to lack of payment, I'd be happy to help train a replacement and continue my duties up until that mark, assuming they pay the invoice that was due for already completed work.
He followed up with an e-mail saying that after looking at some past invoices he needs to talk with me because something doesn't add up, and has completely ignored any attempts I've made to get in contact with him since this follow up message..
They hired a new engineer, who has been sending me questions. I basically have just forwarded them on to the owner, reminding him that I'd like to be of assistance, but not without payment of previous invoices. He's sent back this cryptic message saying 'it would be in your best interest to help the new engineer'.
I guess my question is, does he have any sort of legal grounds on which he can sue me? We've never had a formal contract written out, it's all been verbal, with a lot of back and forth e-mail regarding project status and other misc. bits. I have a feeling he's found something on an invoice he doesn't feel is true. I'm pretty careful about how my invoices are prepared, even if this was true does he have a lawsuit there? I had originally verbally agreed to stay on until around August, before they stopped paying invoices. They have all the work I've completed, their problem is it's all software and there's some missing procedures that get everything up and running. Should I be worried? I feel that, if anything, I should take them to small claims court for the amounts they owe me, the only problem is they are across the country and I really don't have time to pursue it.