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Anyone Sued Lately???

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by 68 bullitt, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. 68 bullitt

    68 bullitt Member
    Messages: 32

    Has anyone actually ever been sued? It seems that alot of guys are saying to make sure that you have liability coverage before you set foot/plow on someones property.I reallize accidents happen, but do many plowers actually get threatened to be sued or get sued, or are we being over-conservative.I feel that most people that I do business with are very decent people and if I have any concerns before I start, I will talk to them/owners first I think that there are probably trouble makers out there,but I will avoid these people at all costs.All of my lots that I plow are word of mouth/ friend/ friend of a friend etc..Opinions anyone? :dizzy:
  2. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    I have only basic insurance- never been sued but only recently do I actually own anything of enough value that I could loose. My liability release really limits my responsibility for damages and such so it has not been a big issue- I will be looking into ins for the end of this season and/or next season
  3. landcare pa

    landcare pa Member
    Messages: 98

    we where in a civil suit with a elderly lady in nj that was on a shopping center complex that said she tripped over a standing wheel barrow arm that is 2 feet 2 inch,s off the ground how the hell a 5ft 3 inch lady picked her leg up 5 feet off the ground walked over 2 foot wide hicks yews that are 30 inchs tall is beyond me ,needless to say the judge and my insurance company was smarter than she thought we won the case .
  4. earthwerks

    earthwerks Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I too have wondered about the law suit aspect. It seems everyone has their own opinion whether they be a plower, business owner, a citizen, a lawyer, or especially an insurance agent. Ins. agents, I think, have their business to protect i.e., if they put the fear of God in you, your behavior is one way--plus in MIchigan they get a "kick back" of sorts--on top of the initial 10% singing fee commission-- for having low-risk customers like ourselves who cover our butts. Defense attorneys tell me I could easily lose a case, from their experience, as the courts side with the "victim". But then I hear from business owners who have talked to their attorneys and their attorneys say it very difficult to sue and win. Then I run into my fair share of people who boast how they sued someone for a slip-and-fall and how easy it was (I call these type "career suers"---that's how they make their money). I got tired of worrying about the whole mess. I spoke to my attorney who has defended and prosecuted for slip and falls and his best advice was to state in the contract or on the bill that I'm not responsbile for anything related to injury AND that if I am sued the customer will pay my legal fees. He said it is one thing to be held-harmless but it is a totally different thing to have your legal fees paid for due to the customer's negligence---in my case, specifically, not spreading salt to de-ice. In Michigan if you plow and don't de-ice, whoever does the de-icing is responsible. I lost two customers this year out of 12 because I refused to salt. Plus they don't want to pay for the salting. My ins. agent told me if I salt my insurance liablilty policy will double. Not worth it. Also, it is harder for a customer to blame me, the plower, if a suit asrises if they don't have a copy of my policy---which no one gets a copy of. I have had some slicksters who will tell me that tey agree that they are liable, but then turn around and say they want a copy of my policy----noooooo waaaay!
  5. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    I had a buddy in Illinois who was sued. A woman had claimed that she slipped and fell - of course. He had not been onsite that day or the day prior. So it was act of God type stuff. The insurance company and lawyer decided it would be cheaper to settle than fight any further in court. She got 10k - he still got socked with time lost, higher insurance and the business got zapped with zero. THe gist is even if you could win what is the cost out of pocket for winning?

    I sub-contract and keep my own insurance as a back up. Silly cheap sleep better at night type insurance.
  6. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    my agreement for customers states they agree to cover all expences related to legal costs and accept responsibility for any third party on thier property reguardless of my services, as well as being responsible for anything through their own actions or inactions.

    My agreement is to plow- I sand/salt whatever "seperatly" as it were so the issue of a slip and fall is not mine but defaults, as normal, to the property owner as does any claimed damage to any people or property belonging to any third parties, like a business that has customers cars in the lot when I am there- the business is liable for any damage (real or imagined- including rust from the salt) not me.
  7. Ole JIM

    Ole JIM Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    I DONO? about All this SUEING Business? Here yrs AGO! Plowing We all Tore UP some-thing?-driveway Markers-shrubs-lawn ormaments-& a few Times a customers Steeps-bicycles & odds & ends? Left-Out in the Yard!-but never Been SUED!-Rubbish Cans left OUT on the Curb seem the Most Often! Plowed UP!-I really Tore UP a Wadding Pool yrs AGO!--& the Custmer LAUGHED!--as He Saw IT 2 feet High Frozen Solid Slidding in Front of My PLOW! as I attempted to Plow the SNOW Way back of His Home as Instructed!--& It Didn*t even Hurt the Dam Thing! One Solid 10 foot Round plastc Pool--1-1/2 foot thick--Solid ICE!--completly covered w/Snow!--& Not a SCRATCH!--I assume? People Here are just NOT in the SUEING Business like City Folk--Ole JIM--