Cincinnati, OH asked in Civil Rights for Ohio

Q: I fired a contractor for not making their deadline and doing shoddy work. Do I have a strong case in civil court?

Hired a contractor for a bathroom remodel who let his employees do the job with zero supervision.The contractor didn’t ask for any upfront payment until I began to question the type of work I was seeing them do. They then wanted half of the estimate, which I paid, and didn’t resume work for almost 2 weeks. The work that continued was poor and they couldn’t meet their promised deadline we set with them. I fired this contractor to stop the bleeding. New contractor estimates said all the previous work had to be removed since it was done improperly. The bathroom was gutted to the studs and a new contractor was hired who performed excellent, professional work and in the deadline that was promised. I have requested a full refund from the previous contractor because the work had to be redone. I have emails, texts and pictures as evidence along with new contractor testimony. Do I have a strong case to get $$ back from the previous contractor?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Drew Chalfant
Drew Chalfant
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: In Ohio you have a number of possible remedies. Home renovations contractors are required to do work in a "professional and workmanlike manner" that is consistent with generally accepted practices in the industry. If your contractor failed to do that and you had to hire someone else, your damages are likely to be the costs to get the project completed to the level that you agreed to with the original contractor. Ohio also has a consumer protection law that often applies to home renovations services (the "Home Sales Solicitation Act"). Depending on whether or not your contract with the original contractor had certain required language in it, you may have an ongoing right to cancel the original contract and demand a full refund or possibly up to 3x your damages plus attorneys costs and court fees. All of this will of course depend heavily on the facts specific to how you entered into the original agreement with the first contractor, and the agreement itself (if there was a written agreement).

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