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Old 09-14-2010, 07:50 PM   #1
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Release of Liability Clause


I bought a property that needs a lot of work and found a contractor that fits my needs. The contractor has added a Release of Liability Clause in the contractor and I'm finding it hard to swallow. If the contractor does substandard work or is negligent, they should be responsible for corrective action. My property is in the state of Maryland. Should I sign the contract or look for someone else?

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Old 09-14-2010, 07:57 PM   #2
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Release of Liability Clause


on any major project, you should get multiple bids.

but thats not really a DIY question.

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Old 09-14-2010, 07:58 PM   #3
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Release of Liability Clause


Those waivers never hold up in court. But if you are asking him to cheap out and do substandard work, then he has more to lose than you do. Most contractors don't use those waivers unless the property owner doesn't want to pay to do things right.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:04 PM   #4
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Release of Liability Clause


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I bought a property that needs a lot of work and found a contractor that fits my needs. The contractor has added a Release of Liability Clause in the contractor and I'm finding it hard to swallow. If the contractor does substandard work or is negligent, they should be responsible for corrective action. My property is in the state of Maryland. Should I sign the contract or look for someone else?
Do not do business with this person who, with this contract, is signaling to you that his work will most likely fail.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:43 PM   #5
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Release of Liability Clause


I've been searching for only certified, bonded and licensed contractors and have dismissed all those that weren't. I want a good job and will pay for good work, but what I don't like is a "get out of jail free" clause.

This guy is rated good with the BBB and is obligated by all his certifications to complete a good job, I just don't want the deck on the back of the house to fail and I can't do anything about it. I'm also having the entire house rewired and it has to be up to code! If the house burns down he needs to answer to it if he's found to be negligent. I think the law as far as being in "code" should trump any agreement as this. Also, my insurance company would go after him to recoup any lost revenue they had to pay out............... what do you think?
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:44 PM   #6
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on any major project, you should get multiple bids.

but thats not really a DIY question.
I already have six bids and I was going with this one until I saw his contract.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:46 PM   #7
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Release of Liability Clause


Like I said, waivers will not hold up in court, it is legal precedent. Courts say that an expert should not do something that they know is likely to fail.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:52 PM   #8
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Release of Liability Clause


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Like I said, waivers will not hold up in court, it is legal precedent. Courts say that an expert should not do something that they know is likely to fail.
even with that (and depending on what liabilities it is meant to address, it can be an enforceable release), a contractor trying to insert such a clause in their contract raises a red flag for me.



MPars;

you say it's a release off liability. Is it meant to speak to all possibilities of liability? There are many different liabilities on a job so if he is speaking to some specific area or everything would make a difference.

Have you spoken to him about your concerns?
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:00 PM   #9
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even with that (and depending on what liabilities it is meant to address, it can be an enforceable release), a contractor trying to insert such a clause in their contract raises a red flag for me.



MPars;

you say it's a release off liability. Is it meant to speak to all possibilities of liability? There are many different liabilities on a job so if he is speaking to some specific area or everything would make a difference.

Have you spoken to him about your concerns?
Here's what is in my contract:

"RELEASING: ******** CONTRACTING, LLC is hereby RELEASED of any LIABILITIES, PERSONAL INJURIES OR FINANCIAL RESPONSIBLILTY FOR the contract work or any additional labor or materials. This release shall become part of this contract."

Maryland is a "leinent" state as it pertains to waivers of liability releases. They are indeed enforceable, but to a point.

I've called the contractor this evening and requested he call me tomorrow to discuss the contract which I have amended.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:06 PM   #10
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Release of Liability Clause


Personally, I wouldn't waste my time. A guy that tries to avoid his possible liabilities at the expense of the customer is just somebody I wouldn't waste time with.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:49 PM   #11
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Release of Liability Clause


Sounds very one-sided.....Shame on him. Are the bids under the IRC 2006 Deck Code or a more recent one? http://www.lancova.com/deckinfo.pdf

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Old 09-14-2010, 10:45 PM   #12
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Release of Liability Clause


Not sure on the deck. It is only one aspect of the remodel. I'll talk to him tomorrow and field some other bids.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:48 AM   #13
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Release of Liability Clause


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Like I said, waivers will not hold up in court, it is legal precedent. Courts say that an expert should not do something that they know is likely to fail.

(A) You're talking about contract law versus professional negligence, two highly technical and often subjective areas, with rules that can vary widely state to state.

(B) Never assume contract words don't mean what they say.

(C) Always assume that the more you fight over contract words the more you pay in what is usually non-recoverable attorneys fees

(D) Beyond that, you asked a legal question. Seek a lawyer.

(E) Well, one more thing. If I were the GC and one of us wanted to cut corners then I'd insert that clause also. I agree better choice is spending more without that language in the contract, and have it done right

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