Liability

ccschoch

Member
Location
CA
Occupation
Electrician
Hey y'all!

I just got a call to install a few heaters for a small commercial space. The leaseholder just put up a few walls himself to create a new studio space and had someone unlicensed rough in the lighting and power. Now, the city wants it to have heat, so I get a call to add heaters.

Nothing back by the panel is strapped, inspected, anything - just an overall mess. I would get anything I do permitted and inspected regardless, but I'm concerned about having my work alongside the other shoddy stuff. I'd be worried about proving it wasn't me that ran it if anything failed.

This customer has made it very clear he wants it cheap as possible. I'm inclined to pass on the whole thing either way, but I'm wondering if I'm overthinking the liability aspect. It's not like we don't run into bad wiring out there, but considering my work is going in at the same time, I'm worried I could be blamed for the other work.

I'd quote him to fix the other guy's work but a) he's cheap and won't go for it, and b) that sounds like a can of worms I don't want to open.

Any thoughts? I'm pretty much settled on passing, but would love some input.
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
As far as liability goes you can cover yourself by stating on your work order or contract exactly what you are going to do and be responsible for and that is what you list on the permit.

But I would still walk away from it. Jobs like this never work out well.
 

edward

Senior Member
Location
CA
Occupation
Electronologist
Cheap as possible on the labor or material? Which means using a 16awg zipcord extension cord for the wiring.

If you need the work do it right and call for inspection and point out the other violations to the inspector. If you don't need the work just walk away.

My cent and a half.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
As far as liability goes you can cover yourself by stating on your work order or contract exactly what you are going to do and be responsible for and that is what you list on the permit.

But I would still walk away from it. Jobs like this never work out well.
you cannot "cover" yourself, no matter what. you can be sued down the road even if the work everyone did is perfect.

if you do not want to do the work just pass on it. if you want to do the work, define your scope of work and hope nothing goes wrong. chances are nothing bad will happen. if it does, that is why you pay for insurance.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
As far as liability goes you can cover yourself by stating on your work order or contract exactly what you are going to do and be responsible for and that is what you list on the permit.

But I would still walk away from it. Jobs like this never work out well.
Our experience it that the inspector doesn't care who did it, he wants it fixed. Some of them make it personally your problem and won't sign off on your work unless the violations are fixed. I get where they are coming from but it doesn't help the guy trying to do it right. The next escalation for the inspector is to ding the tenant/owner for unpermitted work and you might be collateral damage in that firefight.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
Yeah plus, as I far as I know it's extremely rare for a contractors insurance company to be involved. I have never heard of it happening. These things seem to be handled by the homeowners insurance or whatever insurance is covering the building.
usually the insurance companies work it out amongst themselves. just like auto accidents.
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
Location
Vermont
Occupation
electrician
Sounds as if even if you first off did not have anything to do with the noncompliant installation, but did do work on or around the noncompliant portion and were aware of the issues, you could be held liable for it and any issues arising from the noncompliant installation. Wow.
Fred....i'm liable just riding past most jobs ....... :cry: ~RJ~
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
Fred....i'm liable just riding past most jobs ....... :cry: ~RJ~
Only option is to close your eyes while you drive. Oops, not a good idea either.
I have a hard time convincing the GC or HO that noncompliant thing needs to be fixed before someone gets hurt or worse, gonna have to keep that link handy for the GC that doesn't want to even approach the HO about the issue that "It's been that way for years and the house hasn't burned down yet".
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
Location
Vermont
Occupation
electrician
Only option is to close your eyes while you drive. Oops, not a good idea either.
I have a hard time convincing the GC or HO that noncompliant thing needs to be fixed before someone gets hurt or worse, gonna have to keep that link handy for the GC that doesn't want to even approach the HO about the issue that "It's been that way for years and the house hasn't burned down yet".
It's a no win scenario Fred

For ex., i spent years filling out 'run reports' after cleaning up patients at accidents

I was told, if i didn't write it down, it didn't happen

as well as , if they can prove it happened, and you didn't write it down , you're screwed......:oops:

~RJ~
 

Eddie702

Licensed Electrician
Location
Western Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
A no win situation. If you don't get yours inspected you libel, obviously. So you get the inspector in and the cheap owner goes nuts and blames you because he now has to fix everything.

I would walk
 
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