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Old 08-16-2012, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest
342 posts, read 708,209 times
Reputation: 170

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Like all of you, my wife and I work hard for our money and expect an honest job for honest pay. We had a detached garage built last year. The general contractor / builder, who happens to live down the street from us, handled the job with his subcontractors.

I requested a specific, 30 amp/ 120v electrical outlet to be installed on the exterior to power our motorhome when readying for trips. Breakdown in communication between the GC and his electrician caused an incorrect, 20 amp outlet to be installed. The final electrical and building inspections were done.

About a month later, after several install attempts and MANY communications with the GC, the correct outlet was finally installed, but later found was never permitted or inspected by the county building dept. Soon after, I brought our motorhome to our house and plugged it in, and found had no power in the MH. Long story short, the incompetent electrician wired the outlet with 220v, which destroyed about $1600 worth of electronics in the MH.

I notified the GC/builder of this, who promptly replied that it was inspected and would not pay any damages. He actually lied a few times under oath, saying this was the first he heard of this, and he thought we would have come to him to work this out

We filed in small claims court and were prepared with what we thought was a strong case. We had timelines, pictures, email traffic threads, and a verification from another electrician of what had occurred.

The magistrate DISMISSED our case with no reason and said to bring it to district court. Now we have to pay a lawyer, at least what we are trying to recover, because of a decision made by the magistrate.

Is it just me or is something very wrong here???
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:15 AM
 
9,197 posts, read 23,392,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knagy389us View Post
Is it just me or is something very wrong here?
Yes, seems you may have filed in the wrong court. My understanding is that in NC, small claims court is available only for 3 types of claims: (1)the collection of money owed, (2) the recovery of personal property, (3) or landlord/tenant eviction proceedings.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:38 AM
 
13,818 posts, read 24,670,126 times
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Try suing the electrician.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest
342 posts, read 708,209 times
Reputation: 170
We have the Merrit-Webb legal service, who suggested going through small claims, so not sure thats really worth having.

Definitely different in NJ, were we had a few forays into the small claims court arena, and all were related to this type of problem; issues with completed jobs by local businesses / contractors.

We are pursing a few other routes, one of them being contacting the NC Board of General Contractors. Someone needs to be liable for our damage.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest
342 posts, read 708,209 times
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Thought of that, but not sure of the company he used, and we have no proof of using him as he was subbed out by the GC, who paid him. And we just found out they dont use that electrician anymore - oh, what a shock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
Try suing the electrician.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:04 AM
 
9,197 posts, read 23,392,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
Try suing the electrician.
You need one throat to choke. Suing the sub and the GC just invites finger pointing between them. You contracted with the GC, and he is responsible for delivering what was contracted. He can always go after the electrician himself.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest
342 posts, read 708,209 times
Reputation: 170
Exactly. I believe we will appeal to district court right away, since we only have 10 days, against the GC. If the GC's insurance doesnt pay, as he's said he is filing with them (though we do not believe it) we will also file a claim with the NC board of GCs.

All this because he would not let me add the outlet myself before the drywall was up (which I did at my last house)

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHTransplant View Post
You need one throat to choke. Suing the sub and the GC just invites finger pointing between them. You contracted with the GC, and he is responsible for delivering what was contracted. He can always go after the electrician himself.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
38,740 posts, read 67,030,471 times
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A fire and brimstone letter from an attorney, mentioning the NCLBGC among other dire consequences, may be all it takes to shake a couple grand loose.
The GC doesn't want to be sued and have to answer to the licensing board and file an insurance claim for a lousy couple grand.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
4,595 posts, read 5,319,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knagy389us View Post
I requested a specific, 30 amp/ 120v electrical outlet to be installed on the exterior to power our motorhome when readying for trips. Breakdown in communication between the GC and his electrician caused an incorrect, 20 amp outlet to be installed. The final electrical and building inspections were done.
Slightly OT, but when the 30-amp outlet was installed, did the electrician run new cable? He probably pulled 12-gauge for the original 20-amp outlet that was installed. A 30-amp circuit needs 10-gauge.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest
342 posts, read 708,209 times
Reputation: 170
Though I had read online that small claims court could be used for my type of scenario:

  • 1. A repairman came to fix your refrigerator and in the process knocked a hole
    in your kitchen wall. The repair shop won't pay for the damages, so you
    sue the shop for your loss.
  • 2. Someone dents your car but refuses to pay for the damage, so you
    sue that person.
though this is all a moot point now

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHTransplant View Post
Yes, seems you may have filed in the wrong court. My understanding is that in NC, small claims court is available only for 3 types of claims: (1)the collection of money owed, (2) the recovery of personal property, (3) or landlord/tenant eviction proceedings.
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