Can we sue for a full refund for blueprints that were not timely drawn up?

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Can we sue for a full refund for blueprints that were not timely drawn up?

My mother paid about $100,000 for blueprint commissions for a commercial building in 2005. It took the contractorover 2 years to make blueprints, which should not take over 6 months. In those 2 years my mother had to go to the city 3 times and pay the fee to approve the prints. There was a verbal agreement that she would not have to pay anymore money. Now the contractor/company has mailed her a bill for $9,000. Furthermore, since it took so long for the blueprints to be made and the economy going down, we were unable to acquire funds to build the building and since regulations for buildings change every year the blueprints are essentially useless now. We essentially gave him $100,000 for nothing. Should we speak to a litigation attorney? In Arlington, TX.

Asked on October 24, 2010 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You and  your mother should definitely speak with an attorney. The issue is whether or not there was a breach of contract. If the contract specified a date in some fashion--whether as a date certain (e.g. blueprints by November 5, 2005), in terms of elapsed time (e.g. blueprints in 6 months from date of signing), or in terms of an event (blueprints in time to get approval by end of 2005), andd the contractor did not deliver them in time, there is a breach of contract and you'd have grounds to recover damages. Without a date, the case is not as clear cut that the contractor breached, but you may still have grounds to recover if you can show that the contractor either breached in some other way (didn't deliver usable blueprints) or committed fraud  (e.g. misrepresented how long it would take or the contractor's qualifications). It's definitely worth talking to an attorney about. Good luck.


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