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October, 2020- Concrete Contractor Gets Stuck: Not Entitled to Payment for Defective Work

A residential sidewalk replacement project went bad after the concrete contractor replaced a sidewalk several inches higher than the adjacent, existing brick paver patio. This created a “swimming pool” in the front of the home and a tripping hazard. Although the contractor attempted to raise the bricks next to the new sidewalk, its inexperienced workers could not do so properly. The owner engaged another contractor to install the patio pavers at the correct elevation, deducted the cost from the unpaid balance of the contract, and paid the concrete contractor the undisputed amount. Dissatisfied, the contractor recorded a mechanic’s lien against the owner’s property and sued, seeking the entire balance of the contract despite its incomplete and defective work. After a trial to the Court in which the owner was represented by Karl Berg, the contractor’s payment claim was denied, the lien was discharges, and the owner was awarded his attorney’s fees and costs.

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