Suing a Contractor in NY State..

3 Replies

So I am doing a flip in Laurelton, Queens and had issues from a general contractor doing shoddy work, and a plumber disappearing with uncompleted work and stealing from us (plumbing materials put on our account, not called for at this house, as well as a missing boiler from the house). I have been spending the last few weeks figuring out how to recover some money, I have talked to attorneys and they want on minimum $4,000-$5,000 to file a civil case but I am only suing for around $8,500 for the general contractor so it really doesn't make any sense. I have tried to file in Small claims court but the SOONEST court date they can give me is MAY 2016, and I feel they will not take this court date so far away seriously and I new to recover some funds so I can complete this project and move on. Its seems like it will be almost impossible to get justice on this, and the plumber and contractor know they can pretty much get away with it. Can't afford a high priced attorney at this point. Does anyone have any experiences suing contractors in NY State? Any other ideas of how to persue this?

@Matthew Spiegel

 Sorry to hear about your situation.  Haven't dealt with suing a contractor but have definitely had ones stop mid job and disappear.  

I dont think its worth getting a lawyer to sue them either however if you do have their address maybe your closing attorney can type up a threatening letter for free when can be sent to them. It probably wont make much of a difference but it cant hurt either.

In the future you can try doing these two things

1) When contractors go to home depot or any of our suppliers to order material on our account, the suppliers are not allowed to moved forward without calling our office and getting authorization for the order.  They will either tell us on the phone what is being purchased or will fax us the invoice for us to approve before allowing the contractor to make the purchase.  This way we can be sure the contractor is not putting random material for another job on our account

2) We also make a photo copy of the license of every contractor we deal with so we know where they live.  We do this at the beginning and tell them it is to ensure if they leave the job in the middle or do something inappropriate that we know where they live and will have our lawyer deliver a lawsuit.  This is not fool proof but it helps set expectations.

Hope that helps 

Originally posted by @Matthew Spiegel :

So I am doing a flip in Laurelton, Queens and had issues from a general contractor doing shoddy work, and a plumber disappearing with uncompleted work and stealing from us (plumbing materials put on our account, not called for at this house, as well as a missing boiler from the house). I have been spending the last few weeks figuring out how to recover some money, I have talked to attorneys and they want on minimum $4,000-$5,000 to file a civil case but I am only suing for around $8,500 for the general contractor so it really doesn't make any sense. I have tried to file in Small claims court but the SOONEST court date they can give me is MAY 2016, and I feel they will not take this court date so far away seriously and I new to recover some funds so I can complete this project and move on. Its seems like it will be almost impossible to get justice on this, and the plumber and contractor know they can pretty much get away with it. Can't afford a high priced attorney at this point. Does anyone have any experiences suing contractors in NY State? Any other ideas of how to persue this?

Sorry to hear. Contractors sometimes can be a thorn. May 2016 is quite a wait... you may just have to find a more affordable attorney -- a rookie or noob of some sort but licensed, competent and eager to take to joker to court.

Letting someone buy on your account is like giving somebody your credit card . Its asking for trouble .  If you had the contractors supply their own materials then they would have been stealing from themselves.  What does your written contract with them say , all those points should have been covered .