Brooklyn, NY asked in Business Law and Contracts for New York

Q: Did a job with the client had a contract and a client tried to turn around and ask for some of their money back

Drew up a contract with a client supposed to do a move on a particular day. Was not able to finish the move on that day due to circumstances. Client stayed behind the following day till the client that they could leave tried to work out other arrangements of the client didn't have to stay behind. Client infused to take arrangements that it was fine. Did the job finish it moved clients items then a client tried to turn around and say that they They had to miss a day of work and by staying behind and working 30 plus hours to help us finish try to say I owed them $2,200. I'd like to add in the client added dishes that they did not initially add to the move and was not calculated in the final price. In the contract that I wrote up with the client said that they would be responsible for my legal fees if anything were to happen. How should I proceed?

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2 Lawyer Answers

A: In large part, the answer to your question depends on what the circumstances are that prevented your company from completing the move on the designated day.

Ordinarily, if a contractor promises to perform a service on a particular day and then fails to do so, the contractor is responsible for “delay damages” unless the parties’ contract includes a “no damages for delay” clause. The exception is if the circumstances creating the delay were caused by the customer.

You should take your contract to an attorney who practices contract litigation in or near the county where the move occurred. You can probably get an initial consultation for $500-1,000 depending on how much attorneys routinely charge in that area.

Peter J. Weinman agrees with this answer

Mathew Paulose Jr.
Mathew Paulose Jr.
  • Bronxville, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Greetings. It appears that you are experiencing a dispute over your contract. Where a party is to perform by a date certain, the failure to meet that deadline is not a material breach of the contract, as contract performance is measured by reasonable performance. However, if the date certain is made essential, such as through a "time is of the essence" clause, then it is a material breach and the breaching party is liable for contract damages, which consist of expectation, reliance, or restitutionary damages. Note, however, contract damages cannot include damages that were not within the contemplation of the parties. Time spent by one party (who supposedly had to take time off from work because of a claimed lack of performance by the other party) was likely not within the contemplation of the parties and is thus likely not compensable. Please contact a good New York lawyer for further information. Good luck.

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