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Vinyl Fence now

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by bjwlawncare, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. bjwlawncare

    bjwlawncare Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 27

    20 inches fell 2 weeks ago and now I am getting blamed by an assisted living manager for damage to their fence. They have a maintenance person plow with a blade on a tractor. I watched him smashing the area. Cars are mostly parked their so I can't get my 8ft blade in their. I push snow to another open area. They HAD employee parking only signs posted in front of the fence which are now mysteriously gone. Three weeks earlier I got a letter saying I'm being sued for 50 thousand for a slip and fall, same lot. She is claiming it happened on or about Feb 8th 2009. Four other claims in the last 12 months 3 thefts and 1 accident which weren't my fault BUT still claims. What should I do. Its hard to determine how the damage occurred exactly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  2. lude1990

    lude1990 Senior Member
    Messages: 134

    I put in fence for a living and depending on the drifting and stuff the snow could weight the fence down and pull the bottom rail far enough down to pop everything out of spot or push the post completely over. It dont take much to break pvc fence. Do you sand or salt the lot??? other then that I dont really dont know what else to tell yea but good luck
     
  3. Lugnut

    Lugnut Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    Sounds like a tricky situation for a slip and fall if they've got a maintenance person who plows their too. Hard to determine whose liable unless its spelled out in the contract. Even if you do the lot and they do walks, its possible that they pushed snow across the lot from the walk resulting in the slip and fall condition.
     
  4. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Better call a good lawyer and see what he says.
     
  5. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    where did the slip and fall occur? how is the contract worded for liablity? that will tell you the whole thing.

    are they plowing the side walks and you are doing the parking lot? did you take a video of the emplyee casuing damage to the property?

    every contract that i have, if i am not 100% in charge, and its not 100% my equiptment and people, the manager has to sign a waiver stating that becasue the choose to determine the means and times that services or material is applied/preformed , they are liable for the entire property.
     
  6. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,603

    Call your insurance.
    Tell your insurance NOT to automatically settle as you plan to fight otherwise they will sell you down the river.
    Get your notes together on the dates - hopeful you have been keeping notes, time logs, etc.


    Doesn't matter if the in house guy does the work part time or not..... That's called splitting the payout between two insurance companies. Did you promise zero tolerance, no ice, etc. If so, get the check book out. If not your contract had better be clear on what the client can expect and what your policy of service is and you had better have kept to it.

    As for the fence ..... If it vinyl and you stacked on it you bought it. That is known junk - pretty know junk but junk. Otherwise, hold your ground. Everyone likes to take advantage of the snow plow guy for free stuff - they got insurance :laughing:
     
  7. bjwlawncare

    bjwlawncare Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 27

    Read the attachments for more info. I didn't video tape the maintenance guy bud. lol.

    contract.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Jello1

    Jello1 Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    Hello fellow northeast Pa resident. Just noticed Scranton on your Proposal. I live in Honesdale, and work in Greentown(Lake Wallenpaupack).

    Just figured i'd point out something involving the fence co. As it raises a red flag to me.
    I'm the senior crew leader for Kal's Insulation, and we had Swift fence co install our chain link around our warehouse property. Since our salesman knows the guy. Well after 2 years the roller assembly for our entry area gate had the wheels shread off their rims. So i had the mission of going to their listed address to buy replacements. Where as it's a fenced in lot with a pick-up, older bobcat and some fencing stuff all locked inside, no office. Needless to say i called their number etc no answer. The guy i guess works out of his house part-time.
    Having driven by their location on Underwood road(same road as mid valley schools) many times. I then went to Keystone Fence that seemed like a much more professional operation. Where they pretty much laughed when i said i had looked for Swift's office and didn't find one to buy a replacement part. Well needless to say i bought the new wheels. And will know where to go should we have fencing needs in the future. If i was you i'd call and get a estimate for comparison.

    Hope that helps.
     
  9. lude1990

    lude1990 Senior Member
    Messages: 134

    That fence quote is pretty close to what I would charge to do it.....But go with the best reliable dealer in your area. good luck man
     
  10. bjwlawncare

    bjwlawncare Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 27

    They are getting the estimates and passing them onto me. I never was given the opportunity to resolve this on my own. I am done doing work for them. I did an excellent job for 2 seasons but have gotten nothing but stress from this. They want to save money by having their maintenance do snow work but if anything goes wrong it is my fault? How about my contract says to report damage within 48 hours? I plowed on Feb 26 they e-mailed me March 10th. The garbage truck turns around right their also. No one really knows who did the damage.
     
  11. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,180

    I agree with a lawyer consult, should probably have one on call for future business anyway. There's too many sheep in that pen and I think they have to prove the fence was damaged by you and not the maintenance man,garbage truck, cars turning around,vandals,debris from the space shuttle etc.
     
  12. ColumbiaLand

    ColumbiaLand Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    Sounds to me like they did not report the damage in time, plus you saw their maintenance crew pushing snow towards this fence. Also get another estimate from the other company mentioned above. Your contract seems to help limit your liability. If they signed the bottom of that it will help you out a lot if you fight the slip and fall as long as you were doing everything according to the agreement (servicing as it says). Slip and falls are just a money maker for people, Fight them to the death. Although you don't want to work for these people anymore, check with them to see if there were any witnesses to the slip and get their side of what they say, Does the buildings or surrounding buildings have any cameras looking towards the lot? Also how did the slip and fall occur "on or around", It happens only at one time. This needs to get pinned down. Contact your insurance company, they will take care of the majority of this for you, but work very closely with them and do your own homework too. I had this happen two years ago and it was my homework that made the suit get thrown out. Get the name of the person from the insurance company that will be handling the investigation and give them everything you have and stay in contact weekly for updates and ask if they need anything else from you. Good luck and I hope it turns out well for you
     
  13. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,533

    has the customer signed that proposal you have submitted? if so you stated on there that they are aware this is not zero tolerance and that you dismiss all liability for slip and fall as it states on your proposal.
     
  14. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i didnt see a signature, thats a problem, what about the termination date? june 2009?

    Slip and fall issue- sice there is no aggreement in writting that i can see that has a signature and a valid date. the question then posses, how and where did the slip and fall occur, and what was both your roll and the property maintenance team roll in the snow removal?

    just an examples; If you were to do the parking lot, and they always did the sidewalks....and the person fell on the sidewalks....thats a pretty good case to bring up.

    If you plowed for snows over 2 inches, and that they have to call you for snows less than 2 inches, and they did not call you....and thats when the fall occured.... thats a good point, that they are managing and they are liable.

    when and why did the maintenance team have to plow in the first place?

    this stuff will not be clear and cut in writing in the law books, but generally judges are pretty smart and alot will be able to mae a reasonable determination as to whom is at fault.

    i wouldnt pay a dim or admit to anything, let them take you to court over the fence. odds are they will just drop it. Next time you go by the property make sure you take pictues of their plow and plow truck as proff they own and operate one. in addition, dents, scratches on both the plow and truck dont consitiute that they did the damage, but it does show a small amount of careleness and neglect that they exersied. (obviously this would only be wise if your trucks are in steller condition)

    the slip and fall would really be were my main concern is. fencing is cheap, few thousand bucks, make them take you to small claims court. but th eslip and fall hurts the insurance, and then your rates can go up for years an dwe all know how this story ends

    on a side note, to all those individuals that have 1 page contracts and then post questions like why do some snow removal companies have what apperas to be a book for a contract - this is one of many reasons that could be avoided.
     
  15. bjwlawncare

    bjwlawncare Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 27

    Thanks for the responses. This was the previous years contract and yes they did sign each season. I had this one saved to my desktop so I just used that it is the same. They use a plow in between the cars it is mouted to a tractor maybe a 3ft blade. My point being in this spot cars are always there, I can't plow that spot. It would be unusual to be open. I plowed 5 times total in 2 days so I might have hit it once. State farm hired an attorney he called today and we are meeting on the 18th. No witnesses to the slip and fall no ambulance, not reported to the building manager. A tenant told me she heard the fall happened in between 2 cars in the lot. As for the fence I think you are right let them take me to small claims court. It will cost them more to take me their than its worth. The thing that had me concered was they have my insurance info and are named on the policy.
     
  16. ColumbiaLand

    ColumbiaLand Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    This is why you need to have insurance. Good thing you have it now! Its all worth it!
     
  17. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    no report, no ambulance, no witness, is there a doctors visit? no docs visit, no case-

    yes docs visit, - fell between two cars, id say that no where in the aggeement does ti say zero tollerance adn that you can not be liable for snow between cars that can not be cleared with the equiptment that you were contracted to use, physicial impossiblity to fit 8 foot plow in a 2 foot area between cars. try this on also, ask what was the reason that the person that fell was out side? if they claim "i was on my way to XX" ...i see, so being that it snowed that day , that means you would have had to clean off your car? and the snow that was on your windows is now on the ground you slipped on? - you might not want to bring that up at first, it just gives them time to work around it,...so keep it in the back of your head, but find out if they were going out or coming home, and if they cleaned off their windows, or if they cleaned them, and then came back when they fell, did they park in their "normal" parking spot (ie the spot they just wipped off the snow in).

    heres my feeling, since your not going to do business with them again, talk to the manager, and see what his feeling are on the slip and fall, alot of times they can and will help you fight it....after all, even if you are sued and loose, that is still their property and they will be liable at somepoint in the process..so they might as well get on board and help you fight it, or they are on the other persons side, in which case, you A prove it was the persons fault for slipping and falling for being stupid, and B prove the managemtn took all resposility. was the snow fall that day greater than 2 inches? people fall on ICE, generally not snow. i see no aggreement for you to provide an anti ice surface.
     
  18. bjwlawncare

    bjwlawncare Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 27

    update...

    Concerning the vinly fence. I offered the lot a free future snowplow which they thought was fair. The slip and fall went as far as me giving a deposition and at that point all parties agreed that her "fall" was getting out of her car and had nothing to do with me. I actually switched to Penn National insurance after being dropped and got more insurance for less money. State Farm called back 3 weeks after I was cleared and asked, "If we can lower your insurance by $500 or more a year will you come back." Its not about the money here. I told them I didn't want an insurance company I was with for fifteen years to drop me. I would at least like them to stand behind me until the facts are given. They collected premiums for years and years from me.
     
  19. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,603

    StateFarm ... Not the company I grew up with. They will quickly turn their backs now, pay off against their member and then either jack the rates or run away. But don't think they go away .... They report EVERYTHING to an organization which all insurance companies subscribe to that tracks you like a plague. Keep in mind not all insurance companies submit everything to this organization -but statefarm does.

    After 27 years with them .... I'm pretty much done. There just not what they started out as and have become nothing but a high priced lack luster money operation. :salute:
     
  20. bjwlawncare

    bjwlawncare Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 27

    you are right Scott they do report everything to other ins. co. I used the towing insurance twice in fifteen years and it was on there. It had on there pending castastropohic loss due to slip and fall acident PENDING. LOL! The new insurer just asked me what happened and I told them the truth and it didn't affect me negatively whatsoever.