Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Maine

someone moved a trailer for me with out a signed contract, said person was paid 3000$, and is now asking for 1800$ more, original estimate was 3200$. extra expense is moving cost to them. there was no contract paid. what needs to be paid?

Asked on 3/26/19, 9:27 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jerome Gamache Ainsworth Thelin & Raftice, P.A.

In Maine, a contract must be in writing in a variety of circumstances. Any contract for a sale of “goods” above $500 must be in writing to be enforceable under the Maine Uniform Commercial Code. However, your situation does not involve goods, it involves a service, the moving of a trailer. Therefore, the fact there is no contract won’t necessarily release you from liability.

Given that the estimate was for $3,200, you will at least owe the additional $200. It seems the overall request is for $4,800. Estimates are not binding, if the mover can prove they did incur an extra $1,600, a judge COULD find that you are obligated to repay them.

They would have to prove that the extra expenses were reasonable given the scope of the job and show why the final cost came in at about 50% more than the original estimate. Did they move it to where you both expected them to? Did you agree to the move? Did they mention it would cost more? These are among several factors that would go into a judge’s ruling on the matter.

Additionally, because this is a verbal contract, it is also possible that a judge would rule against them on the basis that there is not enough evidence you agreed to pay more than the $3200, regardless of the final cost.

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Answered on 3/28/19, 11:27 am

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