In August I served as expert witness on a new home project. It was another situation of a homeowner deciding to wait until the job was almost complete, then start playing the “we are not going to pay you because blah, blah, blah.” This project was done in 2002 to 2004.
The contractor, after trying several times to get the owner to honor the contract, gave up and pulled off the job. He sued for all his job expenses and the overhead and profit on the contract. The homeowner countersued.
In court, the homeowner’s attorneys tried to beat the drum on how the house was not built to the manufacturers specs, and a number of other technical items to cloud the issue. Their expert witness made several statements that simply were not true, including talking about the “industry standard” for overhead and profit.
I testified on that issue and several others, as did another expert witness. The jury took the case and came back 100% for our contractor.
The contractor won because:
- he had the determination that he was due the money and was going to get it and
- he hired a law firm that specializes in construction litigation and found good expert witnesses that could verify his claims.
When a contractor builds a quality job and a homeowner tries to dodge paying, the homeowner deserves to lose. But it doesn’t always happen. Chalk one up for the good guys.