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New York Construction Law Blog

What if a subcontractor does poor work?

Posted by Karl Silverberg | Mar 09, 2021 | 0 Comments

As a contractor, you stand behind all of your work. You always do work that is up to code and you seek to exceed your clients' expectations.

What if you brought in a subcontractor who doesn't live up to those standards. When you bought them on, you felt like it was a good fit, but it quickly became clear that they were taking shortcuts and generally doing sloppy work. If this leads to defects on a project, are you liable for their work?

Their work is your work

Generally speaking, yes, you are liable. If you are a general contractor and you hire a subcontractor, their work is essentially your work and you can be liable for their negligence, their mistakes and their defects. This is why it is so important to vet your subcontractors carefully so that you can trust them to do work that is up to your standards — not just their own.

Think of it similarly to how you hire employees for your own company. You send them to a job, and you are responsible for the work that they do. It doesn't matter that you weren't swinging the hammer or that you may have been juggling multiple jobs. If you put them in that position, you have to take responsibility for the results.

If your client threatens or initiates legal action, your best move is to immediately take that subcontractor off of the job and go over their work to bring it up to code. If you still find yourself facing a dispute or allegations of construction defects, then you need to look in to your legal options. An experienced attorney can help you.

About the Author

Karl Silverberg

Karl Silverberg Contact Me: (631) 778-6077 Email me Practice Areas: Construction Law Biography Prior to law school, Mr. Silverberg worked as a professional engineer, and has eight years of experience working as a structural engineer on public sector transportation projects. Mr. Silver...


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