Property damage from neighbors roofers - what is the roofer's rsponsibility?

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I live in a townhouse development in PA and today our neighbor had his roof done. Most of us have had our roofs done around here and the various contractors *always* put tarp down so they could slide the removed shingles safely into the yard. The roofers that were out today were throwing the shingles whereever and our yard was completely covered (and yes, I know I should have taken pictures right away but I hadn't had coffee yet!). Anyway, they damaged a $250 collector's edition birdbath (some very noticable scratches and a chip in the resin which means that it can no longer stay outside because it will now crack in the winter when it freezes). The owner of the company came out and immediately told my mom that our home owner's insurance would cover it to which, of course, we said that it was his responsibility and that our insurance had no need to even be contacted. He became very beligerant and yelled to the point where the owner of the house (a very nice guy) came over and tried to settle him down. The roofer said he would do nothing until we contacted our insurance co. and they came out and gave an estimate and so on. I also had given the roofer a copy of the catalogue with the birdbath in it so he would have a physical copy proving how much it cost. He said after our insurance got an estimate he would send it to his insurance company. We insisted that was not how it worked and he just yelled and said we weren't going to listen so he didn't care, threw the paper on the ground and then yelled he'd been a roofer for 35 years, he knows how it works... to which my mom responded she didn't know how he'd been in business with that attitude to which he replied that was it, we weren't getting anything because how dare she say that. I said I was going to contact the police as he stormed off, he said go ahead. He then told the owner he would give us a check for $250 if we gave him the birdbath so he could smash it in the middle of the street. We didn't agree to that obviously. Basically this owner had the "I'm a man and women are stupid" attitude and boy, did he mess with the wrong women. I looked up the BBB and the company is listed and has had 12 complaints against them in the last 36 months and 8 in the last 12 months - no details were given however.
I called our insurance company and she said that absolutely not would our homeowner's insurance be involved. Roofers are insured for things like this and it is completely his responsibilty. I also contacted a engineering company who does construction that I sometimes work for and the owner of that company told me to call the local Building Inspector and file a police report about his yelling at us to at least have things on record.
My question is... what are my options? What avenues can I take this through without it costing a fortune in legal fees (which I am sure we'd win). It really came down to the principle of the thing and then his complete lack of care nor respect for either one of us. He is the owner of this company - if this is how he runs the business people need to know what he is all about.
Thank you in advance.
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The contractor is an obvious butthead. Nicely and politely explain to your neighbor that in fact he is responsible for the damage since the shingles came from his roof and the roofer is his agent. Ask him to give you what you feel if fair recompense-- and tell him to deduct it from the what he pays the roofer or work it out with him. Take yourself out of dealing with the roofer.
If your neighbor won't pay, call Tony Soprano ;-)
Patrick
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Sounds to me like even if he is insured, he has a deductible that's higher than the cost of your bird bath. I would've taken the check, cashed it immediately, and let the asshole smash your old one in the street. Go sweep it up and be done with it. And, be sure to report him to the BBB.
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Let me get this straight. The roofer put a few scratches into a birdbath that you say cost $250 when it was new by tossing shingles. He offered to give you the full $250 provided you give him the birdbath and you refused. Sure he shouldn't have made a mess on your property. But assuming he cleaned it up and offered you full replacement cost for the birdbath, exactly what do you expect? Talk about being unrealistic.
And why didn't you just go over and talk to the neighbor when it first became obvious debris was being deposited in your yard instead of watching it happen?
What are your options now? You can sue the roofer and the property owner in small claims court. That will waste a lot of time. And if your very lucky, you'll get a judgement, most likely only against the roofer, for the depreciated value of the birdbath, which will likely be a lot less than $250. Then you'll find out you can't collect anything because the roofer is judgement proof.
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A couple of avenues to try. Not necessarily one at a time. The roofer has a license, yes? Contact the licensing authority with your complaint. If he is insured find out with whom and you contact them directly with claim No insurance? Two problems here. He is probably required to by the terms of his license and if he has no insurance you need to have a heart to heart talk with your neighbor who may have unknowingly acquired the financial responsibility. Do you have a local TV station that has a consumer affairs reporter? They might have a story out of it.
You get the idea.
Also $250 is not the right amount. Did you pay for shipping and taxes? Deprecated value is a crock. You want to be made whole again. If he wants to take the old one after he has settled to your satisfaction, he has a right to it. If he breaks it in the street, call the local law enforcement folks and file a littering complaint. Or if he dumps it on the side of the road or other inappropriate place, there is yet another complaint to whoever enforces anti-dumping laws.
Charlie

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You can either sue, or you can not sue. Those are your two options. (Next time, check the BBB BEFORE you hire someone, not after you've got a problem.)
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Goedjn wrote:

And just where did she say *she* hired them, Goedjn?
Based on her tale, the birdbath was damaged by someone she had no bsiness relationship with who encroached on her property by tossing stuff off a roof in a manner that let it fall there.
My vote is cast in favor of asking the neighbors to replace that damaged birdbath. If they have any class at all they should do that at once and then try and recover what they paid her from that cretin roofer. If they won't shoulder that responsibility then they're not worthy of continuing a relationship with and it'd be worth the little bit of time it takes to bring a small claims action against them that might help teach them a lesson in neighborly responsibility.
There's always a chance that the neighbor's homeowner's insurance liability coverage might pay and subrogate the claim on the roofer.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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It's true that if you ask them to, a classy neighbor would cover the dammage. But if you want to BE the classy neighbor, instead of have one, you won't because it's not their fault. Go straight after the person who caused the dammage, and skip the middleman. No point in making MORE victims.
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Goedjn wrote:

Roofer must have an insurance to cover this kind of accident. Any decent trade people have such insurance. Tony
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You turned down 250$ for a resin birdbath, I see those sold for 20-35$ everywhere. Sure he was a jerk and it was a bad situation but im sure your " " "Collectors Edition priced" " ' Prized Resin plastic limited edition, numbered, hand signed birdbath made him angry, we after all have not heard his side. For 250 maybe Marble not plastic. You did say it was scratched not smashed, right. No wonder he wants to smash it, why should he let you have it. Take the 250 and get 10 more at Wall Mart
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"Goedjn" <> wrote in message > > (Next time, check the BBB BEFORE you hire someone, not after you've> got a problem.)
Reading comprehension problem? Sue Minocqua, WI Yamaha '00 VStar 650 FOR SALE '04 TW200 (mud = fun) Kawasaki '95 Vulcan 1500 V#15937 Kawasaki '01 Ninja 500R (soon to be mine, I hope)
"Do what you want and say what you feel because those that mind, don't matter and those that matter, don't mind". ~Dr. Seuss
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wrote:

Your insurance should have no bearing on the damage. This guy thought he could hussle <sp> a couple of women. Mom knows best, do what she tells you <grin>. Now this thug would be singing another song and dance if the material from his site had injured your family, or pets. The neighbors deductible is higher than the actual damage. It was suggested for the neighbor to have the money deducted from the final job and be paid by the neighbor.
Machiavellian - be a prick/prickess! Smack the guy, moms can do that.
Oren "My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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First off: To the original Poster, please place breaks in your paragraphs. You post goes on as one long drool:
But I do sympathise with you. This is very typical how contractors work. There's one boss, and basically a bunch of ignorant fools who don't even have a 4th grade education that work for him. (Did any of them even speak english? I strongly doubt it)
And,.... they couldn't give a rat's ass about neighbor's property, or damage to it. They only know how to go through the motions, and basically do what thry're told.
I've seen this before, and have had this happen to my own property by a number of contractors in Chicago, where it seems, they hire the scum of the earth to do work. (But this happens all over) The contractors hire whomever they can that will gladly accept being paid poverty wages. The contractor's main concern? The Bottom Line!
Who cleaned the mess? As you said, you messed up by not taking pictures. A cleaning busines should have been called out to clean the mess they created, and that bill should've been shoved down the contractor's throat, with the bill for the BirdBath.
Yep, he sure does lnow how it works, being sued, taken to small claims court, not showing up, extensions, etc., etc. This Piece of shit has been through it before.
What people like this really need, is a shotgun stuck up their ass. That would change his tune in a hurry. The system has it set up that fuckers like this can get away with whatever they please. I myself HATE worms like this.
If he did offer the $250, why didn't you take it? Let him supposedly smash the old one in the street. While he's doing so, call the police on him. Bottom line is "Fuck Him". He doesn't deserve any better treatment.
If he now refuses to pay the $250, let your neighbor know that your very unhappy with the whole mess, and that you are taking either, or both him, or his contractor to small claims court, and suing. Tell him you have a lawyer, and his name is "Sue"! best of luck, Mark
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Call the police, give them all the information, and have him arrested. Press charges. This is no different than if he had rammed "your" parked car in "your" driveway, and then left the scene. Then, after he has been arrested, file suit in small claims court against him for all damages and expenses.
Commodore Joe Redcloud
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Well, when you do go to court on matters like this, it certainly does help to have photos, cleaning bills, reciepts, witness reports, etc. Otherwise, you stand little chance of recieving any said claims. It all boils down to your word against his, and don't figure on this scum telling the truth in court.
Sometimes, the Tony Soprano method is best.
I've seen stuff like this happen when I lived on the near west side of chicago.
The head neighborhood gangster, who I'll call "Kahuna" just bought himself a brad new Caddy Coupe DeVille.
A day later while the Kahuna is standing in front of the neighborhood bar with glass of beer in hand, some neighborhood low life backs into the Kahuna's car, scratching the nice new chrome bumper up very nicely.
Kahuna confronts the guy, says "hey man, you just hit my car"?! The guy repeatedly denied doing so. (I was standing right there) Kahuna calmly said, "OK, my mistake, you're right, you didn't hit my car".
Four days later, Kahuna's two cousins, "Arab", and "Filthy Frank" both armed with baseball bats, proceeded to take out every piece of glass on the goof's car in broad daylight. Half the neighborhood seen it. When the cops arrived, no one seen anything.
To me, that's justice. Mark
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Mark D wrote: snip

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Sure it is Grasshopper (I mean Carpenter)
Let's say your're standing right next to you car 10 feet away (As this person was) when some miscreant hits it, then gets out of his car, and has the gall to tell you a bald faced lie looking you straight in the eye, that he "didn't hit your brand new, one day old car, and that you're a liar accusing him".
Ah yes, it's a sad fact nowadays that most people just don't like being held accountable for their actions, and couldn't give a shit about another person's property.
They think that they're somehow above the law, and NOT to be held accountable for their careless actions against others. Yes, I know, I know, that's what the police department is there for "To Serve, and Protect".
Not only do I feel that the person in my story got exactly what he deserved, but it also made for some great entertainment that afternoon. Ahh, what great memories. Mark
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Mark D wrote:

Are you talking about the people mentioned in the OP? Or in general? Or of your personal experience? The last two are off topic, you know?

Like the shady characters in your story? I mean Kahuna and its cousins...

Puzo discovered that long before you did, but here we are talking of a couple of nice ladies that had their feathers ruffled by a contractor. I doubt they would want to put a contract on the man, capisc?
Besides you are getting on the war path only reading a story that just doesn't seem convincing. According to the OP tale the man offered to pay the full value claimed for the birdbath and they refused. Which leaves me scratching my head wondering:" What else do they want?"
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Flyersfan1013 wrote:

How close are the two homes?
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I sympathize with your distress, but I can't get over the $250 collector edition birdbath. Does it have Elvis' face in the bottom? You leave it out in winter?
Why didn't you move it? Neither the roofer nor the neighbor had the right to come onto your property, it seems. Don't know how shingles could chip a resin birdbath, but anything is possible. Any chance it could have already been chipped and this is all for naught? Lawn mower nicked it?
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