Dallas, TX asked in Construction Law and Contracts for Texas

Q: We have general contractor who has abandoned the project, and has not paid the subcontractors. He has done subpar work.

Because the contractor walked off the job, we had a home inspector come out and inspect for structural integrity. He found that over half of the load bearing walls must be repaired due to being crooked. All the windows have to be removed, and header and footer boards installed. The exterior doors must be removed to install header boards. There is not enough structural support for the span of the ceilings in the house and garage, and must be reinforced. The main center support post is crooked, and must be straightened. He has not delivered materials purchased for the completion of the house. The house is not completely dried in. The metal roof is not completely installed.

I’m fearful that the subcontractors can put a lien on the property because they haven’t been paid. We have paid over twice the original contracted price. Is there any recourse to all of this? While we would like to recoup some of the money he owes, we really don’t want him to do this to other people. Thank you.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Gary S. Weiss
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  • Construction Law Lawyer
  • Orland Park, IL

A: Yes, you have stated facts that support suing the contractor for damages for breaching the contract and a cause of action for a breach of the Implied Warranty of Workmanship, whether the contract was written or oral, if your claim can be filed within the applicable statute of limitations.

Moreover, if the contractor failed to provide you with what is commonly referred to as a "know your rights pamphlet," pursuant to the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act ( 815 ILCS 513/1, et seq) you can obtain an award

of actual damages, punitive damages and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred you in pursuing this action against the contractor.

Regarding whether the sub-contractors can record liens against your property, the answer is yes, if they comply with the Illinois Mechanic's Lien Act.

I would need to talk with you to discern what your available remedies are and what defenses you may have regarding the lien issue.

Please Email me if you would like to have a consultation.

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