Legal Media Analysts

Showing posts with label contractor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label contractor. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

New Construction Litigation Law: Home Improvement Contractors Required to Disclose Insurance

Construction can be a nightmare, which can get even worse when your contractor doesn't have insurance to compensate you for their mistakes and damage. 

Based on A2202, which was signed into law by Governor Hochul on October 25, 2021, starting on April 23, 2022, contractors and subcontractors "shall disclose to the homeowner the existence of a property and/or casualty insurance policy that covers the scope of such contractor or subcontractor's employment should an insurance claim be filed resulting from losses arising from the work at such property. Such disclosure shall also include the contact information of the insurance company providing such property and/or casualty insurance, including a phone number and address."

While this is a move in the right direction, the damages for failure to comply are not enough to move the needle. It's expected that contractors will just ignore this law, as the cost of doing business, because the only damages available to a homeowner who doesn't receive information about the contractor's insurance is "a civil penalty not to exceed the greater of two hundred fifty dollars for each violation or five percent of the aggregate contract price specified in the home improvement contract; provided, however, that in no event shall the total penalty exceed twenty-five hundred dollars for each contract." 

Maybe, it's time to up the penalty too so that the government can make a meaningful impact in protecting homeowners who work with unscrupulous contractors? 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Home Construction Injuries - How to Get Sued and Lose

Generally, homeowners are exempt from liability for construction-related injuries that happen in their home. 

However, homeowners become liable if they direct or control the method and manner of work. 

What does that rule mean to you?

The Appellate Courts, in O'Mara v. Ranalli, just taught us that it is a jury question where there is evidence that the homeowner did the following acts:

  • Supplied the ladders used by the contractors;
  • Being on site and giving direction nearly every day; and 
  • Deciding not to permit the installation of stairs from the basement to the first floor in the face of the contractor insisting that it was needed for safer and easier access to the first floor.

If you get called to jury duty on this one, how would you decide? Did the homeowner direct or control the method and manner of work? Should the homeowner be responsible for ensuing injuries?