Civil/Commercial Litigation (Lawsuits)/Bad Roofer

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Question
Hello Morgan

Last year, we hired a roofing company to fix a severe moisture and leak in our attic (it was so bad that the ceiling actually caved in). We got many companies to quote but decided to go with this company even though they were almost twice as expensive as the next guy. We wanted to have the peace of mind that they were selling us. They told us we were getting the "Gold Standard" in roofing systems and we wouldn't have to worry about the roof for the next 25 years. So they fixed the roofing system and we thought everything was fine.
Less then one year later (last month), our tenant who lives at the property has told us that the leak is back. The roofing company sent someone to look at it and they admitted that the team that fixed the roof used a cheap tape for the ventilation and it fell off causing the original problem to come back. They also admitted that the soffits were not done correctly. Long story short - the roof was not fixed and upgraded as promised. Because of this leak, my distraught tenants felt that their safety was in danger (mold, ceiling collapse) and abruptly left the property without paying the rent.

My questions are:

1) what is the roofing company liable for?
2) are they liable for fixing the issues with the roof?
3) since it was their shoddy workmanship that caused this situation, can I hire an independant roof inspector, would they be liable for this cost?
4) if there is mold, would they be liable for the cost of a mold inspector and mold remediation?
4) what about the missing rent for my tenants that this leak has caused? And the cost to find new tenants? and any vacancy? Is the roofer liable for this? Because if not for their lies and cutting corners, I would still have my A+, long term tenants in there.

I am very distraught over this situation because we spent over $25K for something that is costing us a lot more in the long run.

Thank you for any advice or suggestions that you may have.
-Susan

Answer
Greetings Susan,

Before I respond further to your question, I must make clear that I do not represent you, and cannot give you individual particularized legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created by this email. For legal advice, you should hire your own attorney, and follow their advice. My role with AllExperts is limited to providing general information and suggestions for educational or general knowledge purposes. Before you take any action, consult with your own attorney.

Furthermore, I see by your question that you are in Austria.  I do not practice law in your country, and urge you to contact an attorney who does.  

Potentially, the roofing company is liable for breach of contract or negligence, as well as breach of implied and statutory warranties.  The amount of damages for any liability would be determined by a judge or jury, or whatever judicial process applies in your area.  Generally, the award of damages does not include an Order to do work: in the United States, that would be an issue of involuntary servitude.  The measure of damages could be the cost of fixing the roof.  Those damages could include mold issues, as well as any loss, so that with the award of damages you are in the position you should be in had the roofer performed appropriately.  Missing rent is another measure of damages that a judge or jury, etc., could consider in awarding damages.

I suggest you bring all of these facts, including the contract, your payment(s), any correspondence, estimates and other documents to an attorney licensed to practice law in your area to help you prepare to commence litigation against the roofer.

I hope this helps, good luck to you.

Morgan Smith
SMITH & RAVER LLP
Minneapolis, Minnesota
http://smith-and-raver-llp.biz
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Morgan Smith

Expertise

Civil litigation (contract claims, landlord-tenant actions, forfeiture suits, residential construction defect matters), Family law (divorce, custody modifications, child support modifications, and pre-nuptial agreement), new business start-ups, civil forfeiture, asset forfeiture. Please do not submit your question as Private. It is my policy not to answer Private questions from members of the public here on AllExperts; I reserve that function to my private clients. Although AllExperts permits me to change your questions from Private to Public, it is my policy not to do that. I encourage you to resubmit your question as a public question. Your public question has the potential to help others with similar concerns. I suggest that you use a pretend name and otherwise alter sensitive facts that make you inclined to treat your question as Private, and submit your question to me Publicly.

Experience

I've been practicing law in the State of Minnesota since 1995. I've worked in skyscraper firms, and now my own small firm in Minneapolis. Past answers from my earlier participation on AllExperts is posted at: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Civil-Commercial-Litigation-911/indexExp_80217.htm

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AllExperts, Yahoo Answers, http://smith-and-raver-llp.biz/News.html

Education/Credentials
J.D. William Mitchell College of Law, St Paul, MN

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