Illinois  |  Consumer Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 7/27/13, 9:08 am

I am about to get into a legal dispute with a paint contractor. They have left paint splatter all in my carpet as well as durabond dust chunks. I have taken pictures of this. After many attempts by phone to give the contractor a chance to clean and correct the problem, I get a good feeling they are dodging me now. I have not paid them a penny. Am I ok to take pictures of this and then clean these areas myself or should I leave the evidence as is ? I have cats locked up in a room and don't want to let them out as they can get into the mess and potentially get sick from eating the dust. I also wonder if I change anything, I can make it worse. Should I write a formal complaint and have it send by certified mail ? Which kind of attorney should I be seeking out to discuss the matter further ?

1 Answer

Answered on: 7/31/13, 10:46 am by Stephen Messutta

In Illinois you have a general obligation to "mitigate" your contract losses - meaning you can move on and get things straightened out BUT BEWARE: there is a legal trap too: if you "destroy evidence" you could kill your case. The way to handle this is to terminate the contract based on breach, give proper notice of your intent to hire others to complete and repair things and to allow the contractor in breach to inspect the damages you are claiming within a period of time - that you will be taking pictures but if they don't by a date certain you will move on.... and this is something you sound like you're willing to have an attorney help with. Any attorney who handles commercial litigation can help you. Doing it on your own could result in problems down the road.

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