Suing a contractor - attorney recommendations

4 Replies | Atlanta, Georgia

I had a contractor who I had to fire as it became appearant that he could not complete the job.  I had already paid him for several items including a few that needed to be redone as they were not done properly the first time.  I’d like to get the advice of an attorney as I figure I have lost about $30k due to his incompetence. I would much prefer to work with someone who will take the case on contingency.  Does anyone have experience suing or any recomendations for attorneys?  Thanks in advance!

Most attorneys won’t do these types of cases on contingency....hourly only.  When you say “....lost about $30k..”, any damages you might win likely will be strictly work paid for but not done, assuming this was very clear in your contract....you likely won’t be able to collect for any indirect costs....carrying costs, time, opportunity, lost rent, etc. 

I’ve been involved a couple of construction related suits, it’s never fun, and you’re not likely to be happy with the outcome.  First priority of course is get the project finished.

Well you fired him , he didnt walk off the job . So he couldnt finish the project .  You will have a hard time proving things were done "wrong" .  It all depends on what the contract says .  Be carefull , the contractor could also counter sue you for damages . 

The only ones that will make any money are the lawyers 

Thanks for the advice.  I kinda figured that’s the situation I was in.  @Wayne Brooks , I was able to complete the project.  That was definitely the first (and at the time, only) priority.  The $30k I’m referring to is only on the construction side.  The losses from carrying costs, time, etc would push it much higher.

@Matthew Paul , I didn’t fire him so much as he told me there would be someone else taking over because he was too sick to continue.  When I met that person I decided to ask him to let me out of the contract.  He agreed.  I thought it might be worth a little bit of effort to see if I could recoup some of my losses.

Echoing the others' experience.   You almost never recoup costs lost.

This is a contract dispute, and you will most likely be paying the attorney up-front for prep, plus additional litigation fees. Depending on the contract, you may have to go through arbitration first. Unless it's extremely clear-cut that they were paid for work but did not do it at all, figuring damages is difficult.  Once damages are calculated, that ultimately becomes a number that's negotiated down.

I've had contractors fired due to drug abuse (meth), contractors that ghosted after getting paid, contractors triple moonlighting and working themselves into hospitalized exhaustion, and more.

Lawsuits have negative ROI, no matter how wronged you are.