Is there a case when a client does not allow for a solution after work was startered and quoted a price

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Is there a case when a client does not allow for a solution after work was startered and quoted a price

As a seamstress it is typical to have an initial
fitting done to determine scope of alterations
and price for the job. After that initial fitting
there are usually several fitings to fine tune the
alterations to fit customer. If the customer does
not submit to more than one fitting to fine tune
the alterations. They are suing for cost of
alterations but not allowing time to finish the
alterations?

Asked on June 21, 2018 under Business Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The work you are doing for them is pursuant, or according to, a contract: an agreement under which you agree to do certain work in exchange for certain compensation. The agreement may be written or may be a very simple oral (unwritten) understanding or agreement, but in all events, this sort of business transaction (services for pay) is considered a contractual one.
All contracts include what is commonly known as an "implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing": an obligation, imposed by law, that the parties to the agreement deal with each other fairly and do not take steps to deny the other party the benefit of the agreement. A violation of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing is like any other contractual violation:  it gives the non-breaching party (the one who didn't violate the covenant) the right to get all the money to which it was entitled under the contract. 
Also,  in line with the above, one party to a contract cannot use its own behavior to get out of the contract or seek compensation, so one party to the contract can't make it impossible for the other side to fulfill it's obligations, then use that as a justification to recover compensation from the other side.
And even when one side does breach a contract in some way, it is almost always given a chance to "cure" or fix the breach--so even if, for the sake of argument, the fact that the dresses required further alterations would be considered a breach, you need to be given a chance to correct the problem by making those alterations at no further costs.
For all the reasons above, the customer cannot refuse to cooperate with you, make it impossible for you to finish the work, and refuse to give you the chance to make the alterations but then sue you for the cost of the alterations. While they can file a lawsuit in the sense that anyone can file any lawsuit (the courts do not "prescreen" lawsuits to make sure they are viable or valid), you appear to have a good defense to liability (to having to pay). You also should be entitled to keep any amounts already paid by the customer or, if she did not pay everything yet, you could sue (or countersue) her for any amounts she owes. You do have to make sure you respond to her lawsuit, since a failure to respond to even a bad suit results in you losing by "default," but based on what you describe, you, not her, have the better case.


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