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Owner Contractor Dispute

John worked with the defense on a matter involving a construction dispute between a homeowner and her contractor. The homeowner (plaintiff) had received an insurance settlement for flood damage to her home and hired a contractor (the defendant) to perform the restoration and well as some improvements. Near the end of the job, the homeowner and contractor had reached a point where they could no longer work together. The two parted ways with unresolved financial and work-in-place issues which resulted in a lawsuit. The plaintiff claimed deficiencies and defects totaling over $100,000.00. The contract documents and specifications were sparse and the initial contract had been supplemented with numerous verbal and emailed change orders. John determined that the homeowner had received approximately $85,000.00 from the insurance company for flood damage and that all of that work, less some opt-outs, and plus some improvements, had been completed by the contractor for a contracted amount of approximately $76,000.00. To date, the contractor had been paid $70,000.00. John laid out the multiple contract agreements sequentially to determine what the actual agreement was and how much of it was allocated to the insurance repair and how much was upgrades and improvements. The result clearly showed that the contractor had performed within budget for the insured work. A site visit and analysis of the work in place showed it to be consistent with the specifications where they applied and consistent with typical workmanship standards in the balance of the areas. The exceptions were a handful of punch list type deficiencies, incomplete items, and cosmetic errors that would cost less than $2,400.00 to complete. This amount was well less than the $6,000.00 still owed to the contractor and allowed the defendant to enter mediation in a strong position to successfully and favorably settle the claim.