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Can I sue a cement contractor because garage door won't lock (even though I paid him)?

Philadelphia, PA |

I recently had a paving job done in the back of my house (Oct. 2012). At the time, the contractor asked me to leave the garage door open until the cement dried. He came the next day asking for a check, which I left for him while I went to work. Upon returning home, I discovered that the garage door would no longer lock, because the cement through the door off line, so that the lock would no longer engage. I called the contractor several time and he keeps assuring me that he would return to fix it. It has been a month, and he has still not returned. Keeps giving excuses. What are my options?

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

Before you waste money on lawyers, go to a hardware store and buy a 10" mill bastard file. Put the door up and file away a small amount of the opening in the rails into which the two locking arms slide. Keep filing until the door locks.

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I am sorry to hear about this situation. Litigation can be costly and time consuming. Often, after receiving a judgment, the defendant doesn't have sufficient assets to pay. I therefore recommend trying to resolve it before litigation. Tell the contractor that you will sue if he doesn't repair it. If that doesn't work, contact a lawyer to send him some letters threatening litigation if he doesn't remedy the situation.

As a last resort, you could sue in Philadelphia Municipal Court (small claims court) if the amount at issue is less than $12,000. Small claims court is good because it is cheaper and faster than common pleas court. It is bad because the judgments are appealable and judges are unpredictable. Good luck.

Timothy Knowles
Attorney at Law
Warren & McGraw, LLC
920 Lenmar Drive
Blue Bell, PA 19422-2000

Feel free to call or email me to further discuss your case. This answer does not create an attorney/client relationship and is for informational and educational purposes only.