Newburyport, MA asked in Contracts for Massachusetts

Q: I am a handyman and I canceled a job to do for a customer, the dates got pushed up a few times. He called me and yelleed

At me. I told him I no longer wish to do the job. He emailed me with a demand to do job , saying that if I did not do the job, I would be responsible for any damages do to me not doing the job.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth
  • Salem, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: The issue is was there a binding contract, if there was and you breached it - theoretically he could sue for damages. Assuming there was a contract and you breached it, then what were the direct consequential damages as a result. He has to have a direct damage. Theoretically if you quoted him $200 to do the job and he hired someone else to do it and it cost him $300, he could sue you for $100. If the repair is critical like patching a roof before it rains there could be additional damages if a leak damaged a significant portion of his home. All of this is speculation. Without knowing what was agreed and what you are supposed to do, it is impossible to determine what your potential liability is. A Contract requires a meeting of the minds and an agreement on basic terms. So you and he would have had to agree on the scope of the work as well as the price as well as when the work would start and be completed. If you show-up within a reasonable period of time to do the work, unless this customer can prove a direct loss as a result of the delay and not just he was aggravated and inconvenienced.

Anyone can sue somebody, winning and collecting is the hard part. Assuming you do the work, I might not do another job for this guy.

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