One topic that came up in my practice recently was a contractor’s potential exposure to liability for punitive damages under New York law. As the name suggests, punitive damages are awarded above and beyond their contract or property damages, ‘where the wrong done was aggravated by circumstances of violence, oppression, malice, fraud, … on the part of the defendant, and are intended to address the plaintiff’s mental anguish or other aggravation, to punish the defendant for its behavior.’ Black’s Law Dictionary 390 (6th Ed. 1991).
Time and time again, homeowners hire fraudulent contractors without knowing so. There are many instances where the homeowner will hire a contractor without really knowing what they’re all about. Usually out of excitement, or desperation to complete unfinished work, homeowners will too often hire their contractor based off an estimate, without digging deeper as to the insurance status or legitimacy of the contractor’s business. With that said, what are the top 3 things every homeowner needs to verify before hiring a contractor and signing the contract? Continue reading “Hiring a Contractor: Top 3 Things Every Homeowner Needs To Verify”
Often times in discussions with contractors, I hear many of the same types of issues repeat themselves, and from the perspective of counsel, quite preventable. While not every potential problem on a project can be determined upfront, keeping the following 5 tips for contractors in mind might be helpful in preventing problems, improving business practices, and effectively managing risks.