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How would you write this contract

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by gman2310, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. gman2310

    gman2310 Senior Member
    Messages: 170

    I was at a McDonalds the other day and saw a sign that said plowers wanted in the window, so i called and talked to the owner, he has something like 16 stores and asked me to give him a price on the 4 in my area. He only wants the lot plowed when it snows and keep the parking lot open. I asked him about salt and he says he does not want salt. I was shocked and asked him again, and he said only under extreme circumstances. Now if you ask me thats a huge liablitly on my part, especially since one driveway goes down alittle drop into a major highway. How do i write the contract so that i am not liable for his not wanting salt and not responsilbe if someone slps and falls in the parking lot. He said he will do his own sidewalks.
  2. Killswitch

    Killswitch Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    Im no lawyer but how you word it may not make a big difference if someone ever did sue.

    Everyone involved is vulnerable.

    Get good insurance and re educate your customer.

    And cross your fingers like everyone does.

  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    He only wants it plowed when it snows? When else would you plow it?

    He wants the parking lot kept open? Sounds reasonable to me.

    Regarding salt, he gave you the answer. "Customer has declined any type of ice control." "Customer will contact contractor for application of any ice control substance."

    Regarding sidewalks, when you specify services to be provided, you could either not mention sidewalks (which would imply an area not serviced) or specify that sidewalks are not to be serviced. Regardless, there is no foolproof way to avoid being named in a lawsuit, all you can do is limit your potential for liability. I heard of a case once where the lawyer for the injured party sued and named people who weren't even remotely involved (such as naming me for an injury to someone in a place I've never even been), then let the judge take off names that didn't belong.
  4. digit

    digit Member
    Messages: 94

    I do a Burger King that the manager said he does not want salt unless extreme conditions as black ice ect. My contract reads salt avaliable for $$ upon request contractor not liable if salt is not requested after plowing.
    Maybe this wouldnt cover everything but it should help you will always have some liabilty
  5. Makndust

    Makndust Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    Just put in your contract that "said contractor is not liable for any personal injurys of anykind on brand X property" I also put in there that I was not liable for any property damage do to the activity of snow removal, plowing, or sand/salting.
    Killswitch is right, I believe, this will not completely relieve you of liability, but a signed contract, good plowing records, and a good liability policy will help you from loosing the "farm" over a slip/fall.
  6. glenspot

    glenspot Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    Nothing removes all liabilty.... Nobody is lawsuit proof.

    Here is a paragraph from my contracts. I'm sure that I borrowed it from someone else.

    5. HOLD HARMLESS – Client understands that plowing of a particular location may not clear the area to “bare pavement” – and that slippery conditions may continue to prevail even after plowing. Client understands that PPC assumes no liability for this naturally occurring condition. Client agrees to defend and hold harmless PPC for any and all trespasses or suits that may arise as a result of this naturally occurring condition.

  7. SnowProGRES

    SnowProGRES Member
    Messages: 34

    LOL, HEY! i think you stole that from me!! :angry:

    or did i steal it from SMG :p

    With regard to limiting your liability you should be reasonably protected if you take the advice you already got in this thread... Keep in mind that a client who posts for snow contractors in the window and doesnt want salt is going to be a cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep ......

    We have a chain of hardware stores in the area that is famously cheap, and frankly I cant belive why anyone would want to work with them... who needs a big client that sees you only as a line on an expense account? youll never get anywhere long term chasing these clients around.:nono:

    JPMAKO Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    That got borrowed from the Cutting Edge Landscaping, Inc. Contract that I have posted. I have had that clause re-written about 4 times by my attourney and I to ensure that it covers all aspects of "Slip and Fall" cases that may arise.

  9. plowman350

    plowman350 Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    Defend and hold harmless

    I think a lot of us use portions of this SMA contract. I had a contract go ou this year and the homeowner's called and told me they were both attorney's and would not agree to the term "Defend and hold harmless."

    They explained that the phrase "defend and hold harmless" is the largest blanket of protection in the world, and no way they would sign it. It goes so far as to say that if the mailman slips and falls, and sues the homeowner and the plowing co, that the homeowner's would be responsible to pay any of my attorney's fees, time lost in court, and any other related expense to the lawsuit regardless of whether I was liable or not.

    They accepted the term "XXX company assumes no responsibility for icy conditions and lawsuits brought forth as a result of these naturally occurring conditions." By saying this I am clearly pointing out that I won't automatically accept liablity.....but it doesn't mean that the customer must pay for any and all costs associated with such lawsuit.

    What a mess.
  10. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Attorneys would not agree to it? Then it's a clause I would want. Remember, a lot of us got contracts from a source that used attorneys to draw it up.