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What is my recourse for a poor quality flooring install?

Fairview Heights, IL |

I had about 8K flooring job done by a big box retailer. They laid carpet and nail down 3/4" hardwood. DId a terrible job on both. Seams, stretching, one carpet defect, board spacing, poor board choices, defective boards. I complained within 1 yr warranty period. Have had several "we'll take care of you conversations over last YEAR. Still nothing. 6 weeks ago, at my insistence, they sent out an independent inspector who was disgusted with the jobs too. I haven't seen his report but he told me his opinion was that the installation quality was "shameful" and his report would indicate so. Still haven't heard a word from them. I am ready to go to small claims court I think. It has been a year since their install sales manager and sub contractor owner first visited me. In that year, they have NOT ONCE contacted me to attempt resolution.
Can I sue them for a full refund and the cost of labor to remove all the flooring and return it to it's original state? (bare sub-floor) That would come to about the 10K max for small claims.
Because of their lack of responsiveness, would I have any chance of punitive and or compensatory damages for all my wasted time and HARD work getting the place ready for the flooring with a "real" lawsuit? I have been friendly, and fair, but I've now had it and am ready to get ornery.
Is there potentially more value in this with a "real lawsuit" or going it alone with a small claims suit?
Thanks so much for the advice.

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Attorney answers 1


It's not a great idea to represent yourself in court. You do, however, have the constitutional right to do so.

I always recommend spending an entire day in the court to observe how judges handle self-represented defendants to get an idea of how irritated they get at amateur lawyering. If you really want to represent yourself, you should purchase an hour of an attorney's time to have her or him coach you on how to handle things.

In small claims court......

You might find helpful my Legal Guide "How to Organize Your Small Claims Case Testimony"

Good luck

Finally, you might find my Legal Guide helpful "What Do I Tell My Lawyer"?

God bless. I do not see a case for punitive damages.