If a contractor did not install my garage door properly and refused to fix it as per the warranty, what are my options?

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If a contractor did not install my garage door properly and refused to fix it as per the warranty, what are my options?

Garage door opener installer failed to fix improperly installed door. It was shaking vigourously during operation. I contacted him within 24 hours and asked him to fix the problem as the item was under warranty. He refused to fix and asked me to pay $75 for service charges and I told him that it is under warranty. He quit responding and I called credit card co and cancelled his charges. I asked another contractor to install new opener. I told the previous contractor that he can take his equipment back. He is threatening to sue me?

Asked on June 23, 2012 under General Practice, New Jersey

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the contractor for breach of contract, breach of warranty, and negligence.  These are separate causes of action (claims) in your lawsuit.

When there is a material breach of contract, which is one that goes to the basis of the bargain, you can sue for breach of contract without tendering payment. 

Your claim for breach of express warranty is based on the failure of the contractor to honor the warranty and make the necessary repairs.

Your claim for negligence is also due to the substandard work and resulting problems with the garage door.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable garage door service would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (of due care mentioned above), breach of duty (failure to exercise due care), actual cause, proximate cause and damages.

Actual cause means but for the garage door installer, would the garage door have malfunctioned?  If the answer is no, actual cause has been established.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable, intervening acts which would relieve the garage door installer of liability?  If the answer is no, proximate cause has been established.  Damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs and/or completion of the work by the second contractor.


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