Can I sue my contractor for replacement cost/labor for french patio doors that don’t work properly or just a refund?

UPDATED: Dec 20, 2011

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Can I sue my contractor for replacement cost/labor for french patio doors that don’t work properly or just a refund?

I ordered french patio doors and an accompanying transom window. That was 12 months ago and I’ve had issues with the doors from the moment they were installed. They leak water onto the floor and frost up due to excessive drafts. They’ve been out 4 or 5 times and still are not fixed. I’ve asked for a refund numerous times and the contractor keeps trying to avert that by offering me additional work/products. Can I sue them for the cost to have someone else replace the door and any related damages (floor, subfloor, moulding, etc)? Or can I only due for my refund related to the doors?

Asked on December 20, 2011 under Business Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You could potentially sue for  the cost to correct the situation--i.e. for the cost to install new doors the right way, and to replace any damage done by the improper installation. To prevail, you'd need to show that the doors were either broken/defective when installed, and/or where the wrong doors for this usage, and/or were installed incorrectly. Note that since there is a duty to mitigate, or minimize losses, you should take care of the leaks first, worry about suing later; if you allow the condition to worsen, you may not be able to recover for it, since you violated your duty to mitigate the damage.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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