What to do if a workman hired to do work on a house did nothig except cause damage to it?

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What to do if a workman hired to do work on a house did nothig except cause damage to it?

My boyfriend’s mother hired someone to work on her house. The person was a friend of a friend, so she hired him on trust and did not have him sign a contract. He turned out to be an alcoholic and a ne’er-do-well. Not only did he take her money and fail to complete any work but he did damage to her property and left things in a bigger mess than when he arrived. Does she have any legal recourse?

Asked on December 4, 2012 under Business Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, she does have legal recourse: she can sue him to get her money back and also for the cost to repair any damage he did. She would sue him both for breach of contract--the oral agreement by which he agreed to do work in exchange for pay--and for negligently, or carelessly, damaging her property.


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