Yup, that's my biggest red flag to bail. Thanks for all the input everyone. I don't need the work, but the guy's stressing and I wanted to help him out. But there's too many red flags so I passed.the liability wouldn't bother me as much as the "cheap as possible" would
It appears like the plaintiff is claiming somehow the contractor knew there was something dangerous and did not report it to the city. A lot depends on the actual facts of the case, but it does not look to me like the contractor has any liability. Although juries are often swayed as much by the injuries plaintiffs suffer as by whether the defendants actually did something wrong.