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  1. #1

    Default Contractor Stopped Check on Refund for Bad Work

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Connecticut


    I donít know if Iím in the correct forum but I need some help with my bad situation.
    Sorry for the very long post.

    I was referred by a neighbor to a contractor that did tree work on his property. My neighbor said he was fully licensed to cut down trees.(I found out after this bad experience that this contractor was not insured and should not be cutting down trees.
    Hereís my situation:
    I hired this contractor and we scheduled to start March 28th 2012 to cut 6 big trees down located at the back of the house for $2,400. There was really no formal (SOW) Statement of work but I did give the contractor $1,200 cash deposit the day he began the job.

    Keep in mind that I live on 4 acres of partially wetland and I warned them about the wetlands.
    At the start of the job, the contractor drove down my driveway with Bobcat machinery. I was trying to figure out what the bobcat was for and found out later they were to be used to pull down the trees. I thought they were going to climb the trees because they were so close to the house.

    When they tried to get to the back of the house the Bobcat got stuck in the mud. It took 7 hours to get the bobcat out of the mud. When he got the bobcat out of the mud, they made a 2nd attempt to get the bobcat to the back of the house, and got stuck again. That took them 2 more hours this time around to get out the mud.

    Not only did this contractor not cut any of the trees down but he totally destroyed my brick patio area (100bricks), patio lights, Lattice fences and more by trying to get the bobcat out of the mud.

    My wife and I were so frustrated that we finally told the contractor that heís finished with the job he never started because he already had done too much damage to the property.

    I asked contractor for my $1,200 deposit to be returned. In turn, he refunded the deposit by writing us a check for the amount of $1200. Then he gave us his Insurance information and said to file a claim. He knew he was not covered. He gave us a bad check and phony insurance information to pacify to get out of this mess.

    First problem:
    The contractor immediately stopped payment on the $1200 check before I could deposit in my bank. I got a $12 penalty charge for the stopped check.

    Second problem:

    The next day I filed a claim and after a 1 week, the insurance agent call me and said just by luck that they finally got ahold of the company owner for a brief talk to find out what damage was caused. He denied everything!!! He told the agent that he didnít know why we were complaining. The truth is that he GOT caught and did not want to admit his guilt because he was not covered by insurance.

    I found out from the insurance agent they canít move forward with a claim to fix the property damage because the contractor was NOT covered by insurance to cut trees. He was only covered for dry wall installation, carpentry NOC and interior and exterior painting damage.

    The insurance company said to hire a private agency to access the damage in case we decide to bring this matter to court. We tried everything to get in touch with this contraction to work something out but they are ignoring all my calls and emails and denying anything happened.

    A lawyer was recommended to me by a friend. I want to have my case looked at by a law firm but wanted to see if anyone on this forum can give me some advice that might help.

    The bottom line is this contractor is denying anything has happened and is about to get away with doing major property damage to my personal property and stealing my $1,200 for work he never started.

    Thank goodness he didnít get a chance to pull trees down. Heís a non-professional for tree cutting and who knows what else.

    I have proof he was on my property:

    -We have copy of the $1,200 stopped refund check that we acquired from the our bank that he gave us.

    -Copy of his business card

    -He gave me a copy of the actual Accord insurance information and said to file a claim

    -Contractor made many cellphone calls while on my property to get help from others for help to get the bobcat machinery out of the mud

    -I got pictures of damage

    -I got many witnesses

    Thank you,Jag

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    New Jersey

    Default Re: Contractor Stopped Check on Refund for Bad Work

    Make a claim with your homeowners insurance and have your landscaping repaired. Let your insurance company sue the contractor for there money back.

    Then all you need to do is collect your $1200. If the contractor still doesn't want to give you the $1200 and the canceled check fee, sue him.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......

  3. #3

    Default Re: Contractor Stopped Check on Refund for Bad Work

    Thanks for helping
    Would it make sense to have to pay for an independent appraiser to tell me what the damage would be and I put all the documents i.e., 1,200 stopped check etc. along with the damage amount together and bring it to small claims court and settle everything at once?
    Keep in mind; I didn’t have a service work agreement but I do have the stopped check along with other proof that he was there. Will the insurance company still consider doing repairs and still go after this scoundrel with the proof I do have?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Contractor Stopped Check on Refund for Bad Work

    Hey "who's that guy"

    Thank you!!!! I put a homeowners claim this morning, they came to look at the damage in the afternoon and cut the check that I was very satisfied with. I'm submitted all doc's to the Company Lawyer and as you stated, they are going after this guy for what the damage cost as well as my deductable and will win becasue I do indeed have a case!!!

    It's good to have a GREAT Insurance company that I have had for the past 40+ years.

    I'm going to file a small claims here in CT and sue this guy. I gave him enough time to return my deposit.

    You really helped me beyond belief and I thank you for that!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    New Jersey

    Default Re: Contractor Stopped Check on Refund for Bad Work

    That's great to hear. Keep in mind that it will take awhile for you to recover your deductible from the insurance company. It just may take so long - that one day your going to open your mail and find a check from the insurance company and think "what the hell is this for?" and then say "oh, this is my deductible!".
    I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......

  6. #6

    Default Re: Contractor Stopped Check on Refund for Bad Work

    You are awesome and I could not have got this done without you.

    Now, I'm going to have fun getting my $1,200 back through CT small claims court.

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and expertise.


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