I’ve got court coming up on a silly case that id like some input on, especially if anyone has had as similar issue.
About a year and a half ago we roofed a house that SF did the “no damage” deal on the 17 year old chimney flashing on, so we re-flashed the chimney during the re-roof.
About 6 months after the work was done the customer calls with a leak. Most of our work and all of the our crews were 2 hours away but no big deal, I send a crew down to check it out. They looked everything over, added a little caulk and came back later that day and water tested to find that there was no more leak.
A few weeks later the customer calls back and says the leak is happening again, I send a different crew down who does bascically the same as the first and reports back no leak.
A few weeks later the same thing happens again, in fact the same thing played out 6 times over the course of 3-4 months.
Finally after 6 trips the customer tells me that when the house was built 17 years ago it took 5-6 different contractors to figure out how to make the chimney stop leaking. When I asked him what the issue was he said they told him it was something with the mortar and they fixed it with a clear spray.
I told the customer at that point that our work there was done, we had made 6 trips with 3 different crews and that the roof never leaked when spraying the flashing with a hose. I told him that he should contact a brick mason to redo the mortar that was admittedly the problem from the start that a temp repair was done to 17 years ago.
I though that was the end of it until about a week later he starts calling all of us again demanding we repair it. I told him that I would send a crew down 1 more time to apply a temp repair to his mortar to show him that its not the chimney leaking and then he could move forward with getting the repairs he needed. He agreed
The crew put a silicon mortar repair product on the mortar and I didn’t hear anything for about a month. I then get a register mail letter from the customer advising that if I don’t redo his mortar he will be suing me because our repair to it was unsightly (it was pretty ugly no doubt) but that it did fix the leak.
I told the customer that we had no obligation to him or his mortar that he’d admitted in writing was an issue in the past, and he sued me.
He is trying, with some schmuck lawyer, to get me for a little over $4500. (repairs have to be under a grand, tops) Because any lawyer would cost me at least half that to handle this absurd case I decided to just fight it on my own and see what happens.
My summons states I must present any issues at law and I have no idea what the legal parameters are of something like this. My contract does state that customers agree to arbitrate which he did not do. The fine print on the back is pretty pro contractor but it was an older version before I cleared/cleaned things up a bit.
I also need some good voir dire questions.
I would have been more open to assisting in finding a mortar/mason fellow if he had been honest with me but nothing pisses me off more than an asshole that attempts to get his entire home rebuilt on my dime. Normally we just cave to these morons to collect our money but its usually something stupid like some new flowers or a section of gutter that they swear we bent.
I have a A+ BBB in 4 markets for 5+ years, I take care of everyone but this guy just pissed me off.
Any advise/input/help is appreciated.