As a continuation on our post concerning whether you can sue your home improvement contractor for breach of contract, there are other times that you may feel that your contractor may have made misrepresentations to you concerning their work or the scope of the project.
In order to sue your contractor for misrepresentation, you, as the plaintiff, must prove five basic elements with credible evidence.
First, you will need to prove that the contractor made a false statement to you concerning some fact that a reasonable person would consider important to the decision you were to make. An example of this would be a contractor indicating that he could provide you with a brand new kitchen with all the permits, wiring, and plumbing in seven days. You would need to show that you relied upon the fact that he would provide all those items in those seven days in making your decision to hire that contractor.
The second element you will need to prove is that the contractor made that statement to you knowing that it was false or with a willful disregard for its truthfulness. This could be shown by demonstrating that no reasonable contractor could have completed all the work, including plumbing and wiring, within that time period. This element may require that you to retain an expert or other licensed contractor in order to show what a reasonable contractor in that position would have done.
The third element that you will need to show is that the contractor made the false statement with the intent that you would rely upon that statement in making a decision. An example of this would you explaining to the contractor that you needed to have the kitchen completed within seven days in order for you to host a special and important business gathering on the eighth day.
The fourth element you will need to show is that you relied upon the contractors statement as being true and your reliance was reasonable under the circumstance. With respect to this element, the contractor’s statement must be more than what is called puffing or exaggeration. This can be shown by you providing the contractor with a signed contract, along with the deposit money, which would show that you relied upon them and decided to go forward with their services.
The fifth element you will need to show is that you suffered some financial loss and/or damages in relying upon the contractor’s statement. An example of this would be the contractor not fulfilling the contract within the seven days which necessitates that you had to pay to host the important business dinner at a restaurant or a function hall instead of your kitchen.
If you are having issues with your contractor, please consult with an attorney who is familiar and experienced with homeowner construction to advise you on your legal rights and offer you alternatives to protect those rights.
DISCLAIMER: This and other segments posted on this website are offered for informational and discussion purposes only and is not offered as legal advice. This office only represents homeowners and property owners. We do not represent insurance companies. The information contained in this segment should not be considered to be legal advice.