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A construction company damaged my driveway, what damages can I seek?

Milwaukee, WI |

A construction company is building a large business across the street. Just recently, they drove a massive crane across the edge of my driveway and through part of my yard to get to their construction site. No one saw the incident, but there's NO question that's what happened (the developer admits responsibility). The corners of my driveway developed two 1/8" cracks from the incident, each stretching 3 feet in length from the side of the driveway to the entrance, basically creating two "triangles" on each side). The developer says it's unreasonable to want a new or partial slab poured - he wants to put in $25 crack filler. To get it looking as it was would cost $2,500+. He says the law prohibits me from getting excessive-cost repairs, only the loss of value to my property, which is $25.

He just spoke to me and said the "economic waste" rule prohibits me from getting any damages but he'll give me a $25 Menards gift card and fill in my sod next spring. If I don't agree to that, he won't give me anything AND won't fill in my sod. I have him on a recording fully admitting he was responsible for the damage, however (aside from it being abundantly obvious that one of his cranes caused it). What damages can I get if I were to sue? Am I entitled to get my driveway completely fixed? It was 8 years old. I'm also worried that there may be cracks below the surface that will come out over winter. If just the two "squares" of concrete were replaced (he's not even offering that), it would look silly and completely different from the rest of my driveway.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. While you've suffered significant damages, those damages are unlikely to be significant enough to convince an attorney to take your case. I suggest filing a small claims lawsuit in Milwaukee County. I don't see where the contractor is coming from on the economic waste rule. If anything, I suspect that your diminishment in value EXCEEDS your cost of repairs. Who would want to buy a property with a cracked driveway?!?


  2. You may bring a claim in small claims court. You should also consider consulting with a local lawyer to review your case in greater detail. This sounds like bad conduct on the part of the construction company. But, given the amount in dispute, small claims court might be your best bet.

    Good luck.

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