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File a motion stating that the lawsuit which names you as co-defendant is brought without justification and has no merit. Not to mention that the suit which is filed against you is frivolous under the law, because they need legal grounds for a law suit and there is no indication of your wrong doing or even mentioning of you doing something wrong or anything you did at all.

Therefore if you're licensed and all the work you did was done legit,i.e there was a permit, it was approved and inspected by the town, you got nothing to worry about... I would counter against them for frivolous lawsuit and harassment and if they have any brains they will drop the suit against you.

Good luck
 

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Nope...The landscaper recommend me..I gave the client a bid...they accepted my bid...so my contract was with them...The landscaper got a finders fee...which he returned to me about 2 months later...I was paid directly by the client..
Just saw your post that the landscaper's ins. com is the one who filed the lawsuit. If you did electrical work then I hope the permits were pulled and inspected. They LOVE to get contractors on this even if everything was 100% correct.
 

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First the disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and I don't know much about litigation, but...

If you go into court, pro se (representing yourself) *sometimes* the judges will look kindly on you. My husband is a litigator and he hates it when he's dealing with a pro se litigant, because the court goes to great length (sometimes) to protect the poor sap who has no experience in the legal world.

That being said, we do not have a justice system, we have a legal system, and too often, you get as much "justice" as money can buy.

I hope you get dismissed from the lawsuit tout suite.

As someone who's seen the legal system upclose and personal, I fear that lawsuits will be America's undoing.

:mad:
I'd like to know where that is. I went Pro Se and the judge held me to a higher legal standard than the Plaintiff's attorney. To the point the judge would not even look at documents I obtained from the plaintiff that contradicted his own claims by $5,000+.

It was so bad that at one point the judge literally asked the plaintiff's attorney to help make a court ruling.
 

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File a motion stating that the lawsuit which names you as co-defendant is brought without justification and has no merit. Not to mention that the suit which is filed against you is frivolous under the law, because they need legal grounds for a law suit and there is no indication of your wrong doing or even mentioning of you doing something wrong or anything you did at all.

Therefore if you're licensed and all the work you did was done legit,i.e there was a permit, it was approved and inspected by the town, you got nothing to worry about... I would counter against them for frivolous lawsuit and harassment and if they have any brains they will drop the suit against you.

Good luck
We clearly are missing some information since the OP thought it was the homeowner who brought the suit. Another company's insurance bringing the suit more than likely means there is at least a little bit of merit and all I can do is guess they are claiming a malfunction caused in part by the new electrical work. If there was no permit that will be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Let me clarify a few things.

Upon first examination, the summons referred to the plumber and myself as DOES 1 and DOES 2, which they made reference to as my firm and the plumbers firm. DOES 1 and DOES 2 were named as co-defendants.

The landscaper said that I and the plumber were being sued by the client.

Upon the second and third reading it looked more like I was being named as a co-defendant by the insurance firm of the landscaper.

My lawyer read the complaints and it took her some time to figure out who was suing who, and, she was finally able to come to the conclusion that it was the landscapers insurance law firm.

Nothing in the complaint by the client refers in any way to any work done by my firm, it all has to do with landscaping issues and promises made by the landscaper that he didn't follow up on, plus, issues regarding mis-representation.

Any of the additional issues of client injuries, dog injuries, etc. are all referenced to the landscapers work and work crew.......it is also frivolous and has no merit.

I did not pull a permit for the work on the job because the landscaper told me specifically, and, told the client specifically, that he had permits for the whole project, and, that a separate electrical permit was not needed. I went down to the city planning department to check on permits and they told me that they were dealing directly with the landscaper.

So, three weeks ago after I got news of this lawsuit, the landscaper fessed up to me that he was working off the permit that the swimming pool contractor had pulled for the project. This makes no sense to me and it tells me that the landscaper skipped on permits for this project. Technically the landscaper was the GC for this project and should have had permits for all the work.

Interestingly, the swimming pool contractor is not named in the lawsuit.

Normally, I pull permits for all of our work, even if its minor work. However we do work a lot of other projects where permits are pulled by the GC.....so this wasn't that unusual.

I am sending insurance documents to my lawyer and having a talk with them next week.
 

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Let me clarify a few things.

Upon first examination, the summons referred to the plumber and myself as DOES 1 and DOES 2, which they made reference to as my firm and the plumbers firm. DOES 1 and DOES 2 were named as co-defendants.

The landscaper said that I and the plumber were being sued by the client.

Upon the second and third reading it looked more like I was being named as a co-defendant by the insurance firm of the landscaper.

My lawyer read the complaints and it took her some time to figure out who was suing who, and, she was finally able to come to the conclusion that it was the landscapers insurance law firm.

Nothing in the complaint by the client refers in any way to any work done by my firm, it all has to do with landscaping issues and promises made by the landscaper that he didn't follow up on, plus, issues regarding mis-representation.

Any of the additional issues of client injuries, dog injuries, etc. are all referenced to the landscapers work and work crew.......it is also frivolous and has no merit.

I did not pull a permit for the work on the job because the landscaper told me specifically, and, told the client specifically, that he had permits for the whole project, and, that a separate electrical permit was not needed. I went down to the city planning department to check on permits and they told me that they were dealing directly with the landscaper.

So, three weeks ago after I got news of this lawsuit, the landscaper fessed up to me that he was working off the permit that the swimming pool contractor had pulled for the project. This makes no sense to me and it tells me that the landscaper skipped on permits for this project. Technically the landscaper was the GC for this project and should have had permits for all the work.

Interestingly, the swimming pool contractor is not named in the lawsuit.

Normally, I pull permits for all of our work, even if its minor work. However we do work a lot of other projects where permits are pulled by the GC.....so this wasn't that unusual.

I am sending insurance documents to my lawyer and having a talk with them next week.
Then it sounds like the ins com is banking on the lack of a verified permit. I don't know how things work in your area but here the responsibility ultimately falls on the homeowner and not the contractor. However, the shady side of life shows us these laws can be manipulated by he who holds the biggest hammer.

The swimming pool contractor would be the last firm the ins com would want to involve as it would only hurt the landscaper.

Obviously you did the proper work and have a great history so once your lawyer presents this info the ins com should drop you as a codefendant. You will probably still receive copies of documents as the case moves forward even though you will no longer be on the lawsuit.

Good luck.
 

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its normal for the homeowner/other ins. companies to sue any sub contractor on a job where a lawsuit is created

Say the homeowner is suing the drywall contractor for something it wouldn't be odd if the excavator is also brought into the lawsuit.

Track home/multifamily new construction insurance rates are more than double remodeling ins. or single family home construction rates because the higher risk of lawsuits. If there is something wrong with the shingles on the roof, the trim guy will get sued also. Just how it works.
 

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I'd like to know where that is. I went Pro Se and the judge held me to a higher legal standard than the Plaintiff's attorney. To the point the judge would not even look at documents I obtained from the plaintiff that contradicted his own claims by $5,000+.

It was so bad that at one point the judge literally asked the plaintiff's attorney to help make a court ruling.
Sadly, the incompetence that's infecting America seems to be working its way through our court systems, too. I'm sorry to hear that you had such a wretched experience. That's yet another reason to avoid the courts at ALL costs. It's such a toss of the dice. :(

To answer your question, my husband is a lawyer here in Norfolk, VA.
 

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Let me clarify a few things.

Upon first examination, the summons referred to the plumber and myself as DOES 1 and DOES 2, which they made reference to as my firm and the plumbers firm. DOES 1 and DOES 2 were named as co-defendants.

The landscaper said that I and the plumber were being sued by the client.

Upon the second and third reading it looked more like I was being named as a co-defendant by the insurance firm of the landscaper.

My lawyer read the complaints and it took her some time to figure out who was suing who, and, she was finally able to come to the conclusion that it was the landscapers insurance law firm.

Nothing in the complaint by the client refers in any way to any work done by my firm, it all has to do with landscaping issues and promises made by the landscaper that he didn't follow up on, plus, issues regarding mis-representation.

Any of the additional issues of client injuries, dog injuries, etc. are all referenced to the landscapers work and work crew.......it is also frivolous and has no merit.

I did not pull a permit for the work on the job because the landscaper told me specifically, and, told the client specifically, that he had permits for the whole project, and, that a separate electrical permit was not needed.


Normally, I pull permits for all of our work, even if its minor work. However we do work a lot of other projects where permits are pulled by the GC.....so this wasn't that unusual.
I don't know how things work in your heck's of the woods, but here there is a separate electrical permit and the only person can pull it is licensed electrical contractor and he has to put his number and seal it with his stamp, same goes for plumbing.
If same goes for your state, I hope you not gonna get rimmed out for not pulling electrical permit, and I assume without it, electrical work you did wasn't inspected.

Good luck
 

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I don't know how things work in your heck's of the woods, but here there is a separate electrical permit and the only person can pull it is licensed electrical contractor and he has to put his number and seal it with his stamp, same goes for plumbing.
If same goes for your state, I hope you not gonna get rimmed out for not pulling electrical permit, and I assume without it, electrical work you did wasn't inspected.

Good luck
Same for the Boston/Cape area and even had one plumbing inspector force us to use a certain plumber or everything was going to be ripped out because the permit was pulled late. The plumber charged us $8,000 for a $3,000 job. Since MA is a two party consent State the recording I had was useless. But it scared the heck out of the plumber when I played it back and he could hear himself admit he billed hundreds for labor that was not done and over $1,000 in supplies he did not purchase. Im sure the inspector enjoyed the kick back.
 

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Sadly, the incompetence that's infecting America seems to be working its way through our court systems, too. I'm sorry to hear that you had such a wretched experience. That's yet another reason to avoid the courts at ALL costs. It's such a toss of the dice. :(

To answer your question, my husband is a lawyer here in Norfolk, VA.
AHHHH!!! I miss Vabeach sooooo much!! I lived in Newport News for about 6 years and would party in Norfolk and Hampton Roads. It was a great place to be single. Loved being able to go to the beach for most of the year.

What was so sad was the blatant abuse of power by the judge. I was literally in shock for weeks after the trial. Filed a formal complaint against him and now have another case in the same District court so I need to see if there are options for a change of venue. He is the chief judge so even if another judge hears the case I am not too comfortable in the whole neutral starting position, even with a jury.

I also saw the documentary on the family court system.....WOW!!!
 

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its normal for the homeowner/other ins. companies to sue any sub contractor on a job where a lawsuit is created

Say the homeowner is suing the drywall contractor for something it wouldn't be odd if the excavator is also brought into the lawsuit.

Track home/multifamily new construction insurance rates are more than double remodeling ins. or single family home construction rates because the higher risk of lawsuits. If there is something wrong with the shingles on the roof, the trim guy will get sued also. Just how it works.
I thought this was sort of tapering down due to the courts allowing counterclaims for frivolous suits. Guess not. sucks.

on frivolous suits...one of my clients told me about someone wanting to sue Stop n Shop claiming the frozen turkey he purchased caused an accident. Apparently it rolled under the steering wheel and lodged against the gas pedal causing a collision. The guy seriously thought he had a case. A frozen freaking turkey. :rolleyes:
 

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Many contracts require subs to name the primary contractor and the owner as 'additionally insured'.

This does not seem to be the case here, but I have read about court decisions where the subs insurance was used to pay off the primary contractors obligations in a lawsuit even though it was proven that the sub was not responisble for the damage to the owner.

Courts have ruled that the 'additionally insured' clause means just that, that the sub has additionally insured the primary contractor. That is why I will not agree to 'additionally insure' anyone. I will however, give them a 'proof of insurance'.
 

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Many contracts require subs to name the primary contractor and the owner as 'additionally insured'.

This does not seem to be the case here, but I have read about court decisions where the subs insurance was used to pay off the primary contractors obligations in a lawsuit even though it was proven that the sub was not responisble for the damage to the owner.

Courts have ruled that the 'additionally insured' clause means just that, that the sub has additionally insured the primary contractor. That is why I will not agree to 'additionally insure' anyone. I will however, give them a 'proof of insurance'.
That "additionally insured" garbage is another ATM card for sleazy lawyers.
 

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The first thing I would do is go to the customer's home and try to talk to the customer. Don't call on the phone if possible. When you visit face-to-face you tell the customer that you would like to hear what is frustrating him sort of like you are a shrink and he is laying on your couch. Most of the time customers will tell you that you really have nothing to do with the case and they will get you out of the lawsuit.

If you didn't do anything wrong then I can't imagine how you could lose in court.

I am fairly sure that before a customer sues you they are supposed to tell you what their beef is before filing a lawsuit. This could be the premise for your personal visit with the customer. Also, this could be your argument in court. You could possibly go to court without an attorney and wait for the judge to tell you whether or not you need an attorney. Check with an attorney first.

The only type of attorney I try to hire is one who charges an hourly price and bills EXACTLY for the hours he puts into the case. Most attorneys are crooks. They take wads of cash and bill for hundreds of hours and do absolutely nothing. Most attorneys try to scare you so you will give them wads of cash.

Obviously, the customer cannot sue you for more that what you did.

I wouldn't worry too much, but try to talk to the customer and try not to waste money on an attorney. Try to talk to the customer and see where his head is at.

If you had a separate contract with the owner then the first thing I would want to know is how the customer can name everyone is the same lawsuit. This may be the first question you want to ask your attorney or tell to the court. In fact, you may be able to get the case thrown out of court based on this.

Usually, most attorneys call the plaintiff's attorney and they can find out what the problems are. I always find that most lawsuits can be resolve with a few phone calls, but the problem I've had with attorneys is rather than resolve a problem they fueled the fire and dragged my cases out until the last minute before the statute of limitations and when I say 'last minute' I am not joking, but I won't get into that story today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
The first thing I would do is go to the customer's home and try to talk to the customer. Don't call on the phone if possible. When you visit face-to-face you tell the customer that you would like to hear what is frustrating him sort of like you are a shrink and he is laying on your couch. Most of the time customers will tell you that you really have nothing to do with the case and they will get you out of the lawsuit.

If you didn't do anything wrong then I can't imagine how you could lose in court.

I am fairly sure that before a customer sues you they are supposed to tell you what their beef is before filing a lawsuit. This could be the premise for your personal visit with the customer. Also, this could be your argument in court. You could possibly go to court without an attorney and wait for the judge to tell you whether or not you need an attorney. Check with an attorney first.

The only type of attorney I try to hire is one who charges an hourly price and bills EXACTLY for the hours he puts into the case. Most attorneys are crooks. They take wads of cash and bill for hundreds of hours and do absolutely nothing. Most attorneys try to scare you so you will give them wads of cash.

Obviously, the customer cannot sue you for more that what you did.

I wouldn't worry too much, but try to talk to the customer and try not to waste money on an attorney. Try to talk to the customer and see where his head is at.

If you had a separate contract with the owner then the first thing I would want to know is how the customer can name everyone is the same lawsuit. This may be the first question you want to ask your attorney or tell to the court. In fact, you may be able to get the case thrown out of court based on this.
I am getting sued by the landscapers insurance company...obviously to help pay for the claim by the clients against the landscaper. It's the insurance firm's lawyers that are trying to spread the pain to everyone that was there, even though the clients have no beef with our work (just the landscaper).
 

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If you didn't do anything wrong then I can't imagine how you could lose in court.
Oh wow.

Wow.

I've seen the court system up close and personal, and I can assure you, while this is a lovely and trusting sentiment, it is not an accurate statement.

It's like people who say, "Truth is an absolute defense to slander."

Well, yes it is, but do you really have $10,000 or $20,000 to stand behind your truthful but potentially slanderous statement? Because if you slander someone, and you get sued for slander, it could easily cost you that much to defend yourself in court.

And there's a good possibility that you could lose that lawsuit, in which case you'd be liable for damages too.

If it's a bench trial (where the judge presides) you've got better odds of a good outcome, but with a jury trial, well, that can be pretty bleak.


I am fairly sure that before a customer sues you they are supposed to tell you what their beef is before filing a lawsuit.
Perhaps the law is different in your state, but I have dealt with lawsuits in Virginia and Illinois, and I can tell you, there is no requirement that a customer contact you prior to filing a lawsuit.

These things can literally come OUT OF THE BLUE.

Above all, I would be very hesitant to tell ANYONE to visit the plaintiff in person, unless they had consulted with a lawyer FIRST, and reviewed that plan with a competent attorney.
 

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Same for the Boston/Cape area and even had one plumbing inspector force us to use a certain plumber or everything was going to be ripped out because the permit was pulled late. The plumber charged us $8,000 for a $3,000 job. Since MA is a two party consent State the recording I had was useless. But it scared the heck out of the plumber when I played it back and he could hear himself admit he billed hundreds for labor that was not done and over $1,000 in supplies he did not purchase. Im sure the inspector enjoyed the kick back.
Some of that crap was going on here in early 90's until all the pricks like that started to get nailed with corruption charges after sting operations and they got jail and heavy fines were imposed, nobody would ever consider doing anything like that now days.
 
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