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Ruling finds liability for contractors using subs

Ruling finds liability for contractors using subs

Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 8:02 pm

KNOXVILLE (AP) — A ruling from the Tennessee Supreme Court has made it easier for homeowners to hold contractors responsible for shoddy work by subcontractors.
The court has found that contractors have a duty to perform services in a “careful, skillful, diligent and workmanlike manner” that can’t be fully delegated to another contractor they hire.
The 5-0 ruling in a case from Chattanooga over a botched roof repair job that caused a fire could have broad implications for homeowners and contractors because most home construction and repair work involves bringing in subcontractors to handle parts of the job.
The opinion written by Justice Gary Wade and released last week said this was the first time the state Supreme Court had taken up the issue of whether a contractor was absolved from liability under the contract by hiring a subcontractor.
The case began when Robert and Joanie Emerson signed a contract with Winters Roofing Co. to replace a roof. Company owner Martin Winters subcontracted out the work. When the Emersons complained that the new roof leaked, Winters brought in a different subcontractor for repairs. Published in The Messenger 10.31.11

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