All Things Legal - Hour 2

All Things Legal
Sunday, February 18th

Lawyers Doug Sunseri and Albert Nicaud answer legal questions from WWL callers on topics including construction contracts, dealing with contractors and construction insurance coverage.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Contracts and documents and research of the current state of the law on the issues involved. As a result the information provided by the attorney suggested all things legal is given for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal tax investment or other professional advice communications with the attorneys on this program whether verbal or digital do not create an attorney client relationship. Hey were backed eriksson's are Albert because you can r.'s all things legal. Here for our number two we are on 21030. Com and we're going to San pregame fell issue Notre Dame baseball. First pitch at eleven. All is good with the world. LSU baseball is back back in full swing sues people sway home. Yeah before the break we're talking a little bit of vote. A lot of folks who are having problems now with with the contractor situation. You know the Denham springs group then you know punch to. You know areas that have flooded over the last year or so. You know a lady called me I gave 22000 dollars to this guy Ian and they did some demo and hadn't seen sense. And so now warning off my job site that. He's got my money I certainly don't want me back it's been two months he hadn't come back he went. Back to South America somewhere in there he's come back and and wants more money to get started. And it's just you know it's bad enough to lose everything right filing insurance claim because when you filed an insurance claim if you how small is mortgaged. You mortgage companies gonna hold that money. And make sure that the house gets renovated because they got to protect their interest. In the mortgage so they're only gonna give you bits and pieces of that. That money to pay for. Pay for the renovation so you got to be very careful. And one of the things you certainly wanna do. Is have even if you don't have a mortgage company because there'll Connell look out for them a little bit withdrawal schedules. But I have draw payments where we've done certain things so now we're going to give you. Another draw another you know 101020000. Whatever that amount is too where. You're not so far ahead of me as the contractor we'd you have the upper hand. You can walk away and used to be head it in India yet they would still be heading there you're stuck trying to get your house finished. With. You know well in a lot of here's the reality of these situations and it's a temptation not deal with that if you have a mass disaster like battle Kurdish Shia. You've got you I think he had Terry popped out student to a 100000 structures affected. By the flawed. You don't have 75000. Contract she only have a handful exactly. A lot out all these carpetbaggers coming in from out of state. You know we're gonna come hit it quick do you. Do the work is cheaply and as quickly as we can and you know never to be seen again pot and that's an issue that's a real issue. And so so what you have to do any guy who won a temptation is still be helped ought to put a hard sell on he's saying look. You know I we want this future down payment. Or you go somewhere else and in the homeowner feels like there's nobody else out there it is very few are aiming get a contract argued take a look at per month and I wanna get back in my house right. Saw a lot of the decision makings based on. That pressure that fear him and it's it's difficult and that's where the contractors may be able to take advantage. But the situation requiring may be you know. 50% up from 33% off Ron right favorable terms to downton and always say that. You know vicious words used in the analogy about partnerships. Is there to be alone. Then be with the wrong person yet I think we are are is better not to have a contractor and heavy how sit in the air rather than have the wrong contract. Right because you know you wanna get in quickly would if you get in and you have problems for the next ten years being used you know no matter where you sit you know how if you look at its own sort of defects then. It's it's not worth it and I understand it's it's even more of a double whammy. Because it's not a wind event it's a flood event in with a flood event FEMA doesn't pay for. Your live vote largely along is using your time away from your property so you're out there trying to get in your living with relatives or staying in a hotel god forbid. And now you know you yet you want it done quickly but even in those circumstances. You know those guys want to work to do so. You know you can you can negotiate. Probably not to use the greater degree as if it was more about. A seller's market on it that. You there's still things you can do now architecture shelf and put in your contract to Wear it in the event. It goes sour you can. In the end in and what you're saying is if you get the contract reviewed before hand maybe a couple of hundred dollars you know 1111. Comp salt right. That's manageable. But if you have a loss. And you got hotter 2000 now loss and you gave your 50000 dollars to your contractor you've been in and he runs off with the money. In the and you gotta hire a lawyer to chase some. That is what house. Prohibitive and I will tell you this do that the best thing to do and that's in their eyes on says yes and DA's office because every local. Parish has their own economic crime tiger in contract fraud probe actually would have tried and so does the attorney general's office they have a contractor fraud division and so. They will search these people down in it it's a local person in the air there is some sort of contract fraud threat. They'll never be able get a license again because the color of the board for contractors. But the licensing board for contractors will not. We opted a license if if in fact they've been our. Now animal amount plug out and other possibilities that contractors sport. And the shirts are ten dollars they can they can feel like your local liquor there earlier if they're for monetary and if they could care less usual all right but here's a reality also. A cash you have a loss. And so you taking bids you have one contractor who has insurance. Who has his license in his bid might be acts. Then you have. You know so and so out of his truck who is no license no insurance but I know phone number but his bid is half right. You know and a lot of people say you know what. I'm a trauma take a guy would no insurance would no licensing would no phone number. Because he's going to cost behalf. And then that's an rob. And it's it's pair for a reason. You know focus he's going to be you know grabbing guys from the local home senator. And who he has no idea. We in what what they're capable of what type of work they do and he's and he's probably running about ten jobs right now because. You know he's he's trying to make as much money as you can during this during this tragedy. And in so we'll look we've got K on the phone she's got to come has got to stay contractors AK UN are all things legal tax return number Nikko. Yes the morning tomorrow I'm on my question. Screw them. Sure that we are weird tropic well actually in the war. In well. Go quietly. I think where we're at. Coastal erosion that sort of thing Epson okay but here's my question is why are lawmakers. I'm injured teeny in terms of making sure these times. Are. Under its that they can close them so. Com and certain criteria. In one to have time Cherokee. It. It. Find out if all goes it. If you choose to go out there you. The one who does and it's probably give you have. At the plight of other kinds of art he. The dead. Arm but I think that failure comes in when it went eight. That respective part is who will get to jab and right protect. To protect. Well and let me tell you what would what what the state does. It you know this is this proactive as they can be right there are laws in place. That require. Contractors to be licensed and their different types of licenses include for a residential. Situation. There is what's called a home improvement. Certificate it's actually not even a license but it's a certificate. To anyone that performs any work on a house anywhere from 15100 dollars all the way up to 75000. Dollars. Past you have a home improvement certificate in this along criteria actually the creditors sometimes a little harder. For that person. To to get that certificate. And so at least they're registered with the state it in there is a residential building contractor's license which you know allows you to do anything 22000 or above. Put on a residential property. Yet but my concern is. Followed at. That I'm aware well and then some people I met him that experienced structuring. Right understand that. My concern is that you have times like this a permanent who have no. There's nothing to. Election say in the the fact that they. Do poor work or substandard work or they year. There is not being in jets bit and that and actually quieter out from the edge by Andy acting yet. It jab as a properly or if it's done without the necessary. Permit is this like in my case it all kinds of issues with the contractor but it. I'm I don't think that there needs to beat some well handy if you come into this my state. Before Warren cracked. These requirements like you are right. Well and you know bonding bonding typically takes place on a commercial level. It always takes place on a Tom municipal level the state level when you're doing. Public works jobs. The usually there here is a bond in place you can demand. That your contractor posted bond but they're gonna make you pay for that bond in the bond rating is based on that contractors on ratings soon. If he's someone who doesn't have. A lot of assets to back up that bond that bond is gonna cost fuel lot a lot of money. So that's kind of how that works they build that into their price if they have to have a bond on a residential property. And with the bond is it to its. That the payment upon the different parts of performance bond payments on things that. And it requires that make sure that. You know you're subcontractors get paid. Here's the other thing that I wanted to talk about com. And finally came yet let yet to you to your your last comment K about the municipalities doing things yes that more and more. Contra parishes and and even the state through the attorney general's office have a contractor fraud division so. Katrina comic taught us a lot of lessons and so since that time. Throughout the state is certainly the attorney general in most municipalities and and and parish is parish government have those types of offices where they'll value agency would know this is just as dispute over the type of work which really don't fraud. As opposed like hey I gave the guy 20000 dollars and he's gone off him. It goes so correct yes so so yes that this state is counted doing what it can to be proactive without. You know placing so many limits and in entering your own people to get worked but we appreciate your call if things. Thank you Carlos go to break Texan Terry Albert Nico you weaken or resulting legal we'll be right back after his retirement they were back Texans are particularly we can lawyers all things legal we're talking about. I guess home repairs after disaster and we've got Stewart. Got a question once common. Hastert journal things Lee with our concern over Nikko. Good morning guys. Real like your topic morning and the general contractor. You know just like to make a comment about. Especially up the stones have been through it myself but he's so I've experienced Katrina then and now also from general contract standpoint. Experience you know. The demand. That it requires. One of the preventative method. I think consumers. Can use is to build a relationship. With a general contractor. Before a disaster here. My customers. Called me after Katrina and so they were on rare. So you're using. A licensed and yet our general contractor. For the faster and can you access to someone. That that is reliable. Nuclear work right the news follow the money. You know fatal people though one girl like. Right in and and that and that's what I was gonna ask you that question from your perspective how wanna get your perspective because. A lot of times you get under bid by. Quote repair people we have no. Workers' comp insurance or general liability insurance no license. No no requirements that they you know they'll they'll under bid you maybe you know 3040%. From Europe respect what is your perspective and what is your response to. That situation. Who really you know I do think it's that building net history. You know if it's a packet of homeowner gets an a habit of using someone during the year let's say to paint there now sort. Do some work around there have changed outs indoors or something right etching and those whatever. You know that follow mine they gonna go to somebody who is less expensive than again maybe they can get it on for that innate. Smaller project but when something. Be it happens and one as a catastrophe. You can't use those guys anymore and you aren't somebody that you don't know don't have it here agree with this just like any other professions but. You know contractors get ham strung wanna go to a reputable doctor you wanna do it. There it is the same principle crop support. Well and and it makes sets you know look at what what happens in we have this fight often with speak with the insurance companies you know. Because there's a provision in most insurance policies that say. You know we're going to pay you. The estimate. War. Would it cost you to get it done whatever is less. So what happens is a lot of these companies wouldn't pay wouldn't pay wouldn't pay and then all of a sudden you get to the point where. You have the money to hire a licensed contractors to Europe they're doing a lot of things yourself you rip it out she rock you put in cabinet yourself. In the they say okay we're wanna pay you know for what you you know which you have in it. And so it is a big fight in in in. In terms of whether or not that. Exclusion in the plug in the policy will apply. Because it's the same situation you know you're you're stock in your to the point where now you've got to do it yourself or higher sub standard labor because. Your insurance companies not treating you fail you know you got licensed contractor is gonna say wait a minute it's really gonna cost this. I'd like make a comment. In it in it is. Someone like myself in a position that has been through before and familiar with the insurance companies. There are. Estimating programs sure or specifically designed for this sort of in you have to meet with them you can't use them. And so there is an goat she shouldn't park between the contractor and the insurance company on what is fair and what isn't there they are responsible for like. Kind replacement. And so. If you know what the light and replacement is. And know how to interpret. These programs and earn up to the injury and then you can negotiate does. Exactly we'll sue and I appreciate you Carl Stewart in fact and he will let you plug yourself he gave a solid information and so. Can tell us and they play company up and we get in touch with. And I go well where it ends. I don't Buick group with this were true so I am familiar with both sides of the table. It my name is Stewart Schmidt and with Renaissance renovations. There you know our allies say your thanks without aren't related to call us at that demonstrated by fell it is good advice and in and that is you know but the guys that are doing some work in not just paying the bedrooms themselves or whatever you know they call this guy he had meets a new carpeting put and they get their flowing god economy and in. Re in now all of a sudden like you said you've got a relationship with this person and and as a contractor. Who you gonna put on your list of god the people that if you if you in the past it's you know you wanna look at you you want them you shoot in the future after this. I'm a mom and give you hype with that that might get some people. Blood you know their blood boiling over Illini have to that it does a car right involving contractors who are using workers who. Not on insurance yeah untrained in May be not even a document via and so it and it happens in cities you know it's just it's just an issue that that would talking about homeowners need to be aware of so Bob we've got a good two way CBS news update local news we're Bagram off form as south things legal state team they were back ducks there company could you can lawyers all things that the war on till 1030 today oh lead up to pregame tail she knew dame baseball game. Fighting Irish. You know. Well let's talk about these logos. And he's the it is this politically correct he got the fighting Irish you gotta drunken irishman come out of bar ready to fight and he's on he's plastered on. The Notre Dame. Your fears uniform is as is that the problem I don't know you but I thought Irish so are there any hour show that there just let us know if they get offended by. And and and and all right you know one of the interesting things about. What happens you know which are my contract the flu written we we we move had a few cases where contractors come work on your property. They don't have insurance. And then they'll have a worker who gets injured. On the property in the end up soon homeowner. And then on top of that almost had a few cases where you get on doc meant workers. Who working getting paid in cash. Work and work and for someone else right and then they get injured. And they see the homeowner correct which brings another dimension because Barack law. You not to argue now work her yet pay in cash you're not paying taxes are you gonna sue me right. Because you Thelma property Ryan and made the right answer is right in and also secede. At a loss as right now and in the and that ain't famed undying mail order may have used a fictitious name fictitious Social Security number fictitious everything you can. And still have a right to sit. And as a couple things. You can use a homeowner to make sure that that doesn't car and one of the things is. Make sure if you contract it does work when your house he has a insurance and an instinctive interns. Now sometimes. Even some of the contractors and aren't open up the gators to give insurance right and then not pay the premium right. So you can verify. By Kong the insurance agency that's on Stinchcomb an intern to Hank I'm homeowner. I just wonder verify that I don't. Ever forget I was you know very young lawyer who doing some work on our first home. And I asked this guy who has to come give me a bit on some minor work it wasn't a big deal and I said Tom a are you ensure. Execute amateur. NASA ago what. What type of insurance do you have to do we you know insurance on my truck. Tough don't don't don't. Are you insured for general liability and you insured for workers' compensation. You know those types of things which are looking for and asked to see that policy and make sure there is. There is or was top policy is well that's associated with this because it's just it's amazing. That not only you mean a lot of people think and you've you've we brought up a great point a lot of people think that workers' comp policies. Cover. The employee who gets injured but if there's no workers caught policy in place the owner who. Directs that the work be done if he doesn't make sure that there is a policy in place with the workers. He is liable she is liable for. That workers' comp injury all the medical expenses all of the lost wages and everything that can happen to someone. And if you don't pay him timely evicting you know if it's it's it's. Well you know I think with downed argument workers who is a very interesting argument the other attorney made and that's whether they're documented or not well yeah this one ally almost taken another step. And a worker's comp as someone gets hurt you have to pay their weekly benefits until they get another job right. So this is a very interesting fact scenario that probably. Maybe should be debated one day. But you have an on a worker who gets injured. He's on documented. In the and he's got a condition that. You have you have to pay for. His weekly benefits until he returns to work. In when he takes the position is I can't get another job because I'm conduct male worker rack nearly we work so they'll ask him and that's a position has been taken in those two is progress. Her and I know a lot of lawyers out there eleven to take those cases and I'm not out on the I get into the politics of excess we do I'm just telling is the way this season and so. There is. As a homeowner. You wanna be very careful on a lot of different levels if you get to general contractor. Our our contract is gonna give you half the price right. You know the that the well brother ordeal without assurances without licenses and this is the risk you run. Here's the other thing you want to insist DePaul and I will not pay you a draw. Until you give me. Lien waivers from your subcontractors are not OK so you've got a a roofing contractor that came in put a roof fall in the works with us for the general contractor. I want a lien waiver from that brew for that says he has been paid. From the money about it I've advantage you. And he signs it and a lien waiver saying I don't have any liens are really claims against this house and then you pay him his natural. And out way because what happens is if you if you pay your contractor and they don't pay their subs. Within certain time limits that subcontractor has the right to place a lien in your house for four payment of their services that you. Paid for already right so for example if you paging general contractor. To get a 101000 dollars air condition system in UK Bart and I didn't pay. The sub contractor they can still come back and collect. They can pick and your property you know you're gonna have to perfected a proper lean within the current periods otherwise they really have no cause of action against you but. They still have the right to do so and they can collect again would you ultimately scolding lien waiver from that contractor for the work that's being completed. In this country of contractors that are on the work. The scope fall launch let's go to Carrey's got a Gary's got a question regarding non contract as an intern take Gerry and all things legal tax return Albert Nikko. I are pressured to take my call at worst in. On the insurance is it possible to have the contractor. At procurement. They're just not sure absolutely while you can. The yes it is on special and a bigger job you do you'd want to do that you cannot. I I don't think that would be a big problem and that would be a good idea. United just makes you it makes shooting sure that if if they're insured army and a and a the right of action is really against there that the contractor who hired that subcontractor in. You know down the chain all the way the subsite of the employee for the sub and all that sort of thing. You can certainly ask the agent to do that some some companies will some companies won't do that. Again the general contractor. You know from the liability perspective that liabilities is. Primarily for your purposes. To protect you against liability if he's due to renovation job in. He burned your house down you know the. Corrected. It took me as (%expletive) torturing and into our wish there have been several built but I can't. On their could be additionally incher. And the contractor had insurance. And then he canceled. So our program notify our insurers currently being canceled my name was on the policy Portland not a novel. Exactly exactly. Yes and you can request that as well even if you're not a an additional insured. You can you can request that you be notified of any cancellations in and they will do that they'll do that pretty freely. And that way if they do cancel the policy. They're required to send you notice of cancel it. All right. All right let's go to break let's take you calls after the break you know let's go to break Texan terribly weekly we can lawyers all things legal we'll be right back after brief time out they were back Texan Terry average because you weaken lawyers all things legal. I guess our fanatic. Aspect of Russia today is contractors and home repairs and so gonna go to Tommy's got a question regarding he's an adjuster contract he wants to make a comment hate Tommy and all things legal doesn't turn out for Nikko. All Pro Bowl there sure. Are marked and it starts debate. Out there where I watched our track. Chart just. Op. Well there. Are certain port. But experiences. I don't all of a poll out that she shouldn't. I wish people. Out aren't cheap. You don't work in my twenty years our reportable. Oh. In the key at this. I see quite often apps and again and Y and check the people. You know in the and here. Oh. Also. In an always tell people what worked just. Trial in state you know it's. Great for all. No law itself there all. All of you check out. Her insurance what you're supposed to make audio. What. So we use all our. Our contractor. Should. You have been eager to bat the ball art. As part here well. Yeah replacement caught insurer. The insurance companies here in short I doubt. In on this chart network shouldn't. Chart work out but at all. I'm human interest. Contractor. Under Q you. And you don't want to share leader. Met in special when it's all party. And it won't work. You know future may be at church properly. Or not they think it just. Don't know what they do. Well we deal with we will we deal with that very frequently. I got some cases actually still hanging around we would not they've delayed delayed it. From Isaak and that situation happen immunity they sent dowdy. A schoolteacher. To my client because they they needed to get their you know from the insurance companies warm bodies yet they just need a warm bond well they can say hey we we performed our inspection within a certain period of time so you can't penalize us for that. Well keep in mind. You know I'll come back but it a lot of feature for all its Google paper. Yeah and court. Insurance company and which nations would church he would say it church here. There are inspected with somebody very well when. So many quite there. Not that in a lot on Sundays. Well actually that's under flood and flood the flood com. What day here the flood doesn't have those restrictions. FEMA McGuckin telling the hat but I got I was sort of stimulus. Claims in the wind going into your home almost policies yes there harper there are you have to set up a play with a fourteen gazans and perform inspection than thirty so it gave you know when you had a catastrophe it's it it makes it difficult together get warm bodies out there that. You know really have no no idea what you know what they're doing quite often and they went to a six hour training class. And all of a sudden you know how to how to work exact to me. And in now spirit you know they have no no construction experience whatsoever but they're out there protesting properties. That's involved. Now a law or there. Are also. Keep it on the right. We're right now. Our contractors out there. You'd expect Arctic price. Is off. Where right now it's directed what each. I don't know there tort called beauty you don't whether I talk about or we're not out. Right so bright that it. Ended when you change. Your contract. The note this is you know Cadillac. Or not. Here's the true. You know we do so. Sure sure absolutely and I thought we encourage all the time we were handling those types of cases it's like wait a minute this is solid mahogany. You know mail piece that got flooded it's not you know particle board so. Yeah we will go back and in demand supplements in the U they get electricity the they usually come back COU is that here's the estimates and receive I'll make my adjustments honor. I all right. Thank you find them appreciate art well we've got to take a break. Will be right back with few more calls we have a few more calls on the line who will be right back with all things legal after this break hey were back Texans Albert. I tell you we can lawyers all things Lille will be on till 1030 until our pregame for LSU Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball person pitch at eleven. Pregame at 1030 let's go to fall lawn to scoot to mark's got a court comment regarding. Subcontractors and non customers day's marquee on all things legal. So that sort of question is is there a legal device age or procedure. To fork Omar. To basically provide constructive notice to all material supplier in slopes on the job to make sure that the contact me it term bills game you know ongoing letting letting me bill. What are they getting Payer and not so that I can prevent a lead from the apartment block. One quick question yes or no question are one thing you can do is negotiate a labor only Contra. Whereby you know you either you know. Provide. The the contractor with a place to. Purchase the materials. And a lot of contractors like to use their own place because they get a little Disco kickback from. But at least you'll know that you're buying the materials and so that the materials will be paid for and Hugo. But. You know in terms of in terms of windows and doors you can always shoot me an email and say listen and even though. Make sure that you are getting paid or if if you know somebody says hey I need to pay the window installed windows supplier. Home you know you can ask the contractors look I'll pay it myself I was on a contract is our right. I could produce subtitle on the job they're relatively easy it shoot it upon which some of the try to sneak it and a couple of so that I mean not know about right or maybe deal with the mature from I mean I know about it try to prevent supplies are. I agree I agree and interrupting the best bet is you up front to to offer to pay for the European paper materials separately. If you can't do that. You know asked the contract idealistic view material provided to you go to this particular places that 84 low numbers that closes it. Interior exterior is that we are aware of where you buying your materials for you framing you you know where you getting your roofing supplies war. I'm paying my subcontractor roofer and myself contract Rupp who's gonna purchase is materials. You know from. It's on the side of the provide constructive notice of the jobs site that that provides. At least rebel resistance job site they don't notice. What is their way and file you know you know if I act to follow the court's dating that you know he would provide services to this homeowners are addressed. Between these states need to these. Insurer now that's really not gonna help you we could talk about a notice of contract we've got to go to a heartbreak over the Albert stay tuned and we'll we'll talk a little bit about a notice of contract which helps a little bit but I'll talk about that after the birth all right we'll see in about ten minutes after local and national news.