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Liability Exposure when using subs

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by forestfireguy, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    Hey Guys,

    At a former employer I gained a great deal of knowledge in how to work with subs, find them, manage them and negotiate with them. My new employer is interested in expanding all around including using subs on sites we would normally not service due to them being outside of our primary service area. Say for example.........Joe Bobs Excavating has a truck with a plow and a salter and a loader they would like to keep busy and earning in the winter but have none of their own snow work this year but have been doing snow for several years, John Does Landscaping hooks up with Joe Bobs after hearing good things about his work and having seen him around for years doing good work on local properties. They come to an agreement on compensation and move forward, both are fully insured and established businesses. Half way through the winter, there's a slip and fall at the local shopping center, Joe Bob has done all the right things, John Doe has checked the site after storms and during Ice watches and wouldn't have done anything different. There's a lawsuit, who is exposed to this liability, both or just Joe Bob, and if both at least in the naming of those included how does this kind of thing play out? Been to depositions before, given testimony, but only for things done "in-house" Thoughts??
  2. show-n-go

    show-n-go Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    It would seem to me that the company that was doing the billing would be the company at risk initially. If you get an account and then sub it out, its still your account, they didn't hire xx to do the job they hired you. I guess you could then go after the sub.
  3. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    Here in Ontario that is exactly how it works except you as the contractor cannot directly go after your sub contractor. It would be left up to your insurance company to go after the sub if your insurance company had to pay out a settlement and only if the court ruled it was due to the direct negligence or criminal activity of the subcontractor (or employee of said subcontractor) would they even proceed. The contractor is ultimately responsible for all hired help, employees and sub contractors alike. The laws are different province to province and state to state but they are all generally very similar.
  4. WalkGuy

    WalkGuy Junior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 7

    Bajak, do you have any further reading you can point me to? I am potentially being hired as a sub and would like to be sure what my liabilities are.
  5. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    The contractor should require the sub to add him to his snow policy as an additional insured.

    then you just let the insurance people work it out in a claim.
  6. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    First they would serve the contract holder, demanding all the records pertaining. They would file in a manner that allows them to add defendants. Then they would include anyone else they could make a reasonable argument to.

    In the States (at least this one) they can sue everybody one shot. If one party is found to be negligent all the other party's that had expenses can file supplication suits against the "guilty" party.
  7. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    In this day and age with lawsuits being rampant and people trying to sieze an opportunity to make some quick cash all parties are screwed... The owner of complex, the Contractor and anyone actually doing the work. The "sub" should sign an agreement hold harmless agreement regarding any slip and fall claims.

    The thing that boils my blood is as an adult, you make a decision to go out in inclement weather. There is risk involved in this. If an owner hires a contractor to remove snow from his property and the contractor did that service and some dope got out of his car and slipped and fell he should have no grounds for a lawsuit. There is absolutely no way you can prevent every icy spot or ounce of snow. Granted it would stink if that person hurt themself but thats the risk of going out after a snow fall.

    Rant over...
  8. lbfmd

    lbfmd Member
    Messages: 48

    been there done that. Short Answer everyone gets sued and even after its settled your insurance company will sue your subs insurance company and that will go on for years. There is no waya round it especially in NJ. My agent referred to NJ as the most sue happy state out of the 48. If you think being named additonal insured will keep you out of it it will not. Just be prepared.
  9. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    I should have stayed in school and became a liar......I mean lawyer.
    Tell me if this is true or not. I heard rumor that lawsuits are fast becoming a main source of income for American families?!!!...:jester:

    WALKGUY keep reading here on plowsite. Pick 2 or 3 members that you think you can relate to as far as your business and market go. Read ALL of their posts. It may take a while to cut through the sarcasm and joking, but by the time your done you will likely find most of your questions will be answered.

    For me I picked one guy locally for market insight. For goal setting and sound advise, I picked 2 guys who have built businesses that I aspire to, one day, achieve. Both guys are in different markets, but I can take certain aspects of their markets and relate them to the market I have to grow a business in.

    Best of luck!

  10. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    I heard over 50% of all Americans have the two L's as a retirment plan, Lawsuit or Lottery:nod:
  11. show-n-go

    show-n-go Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    The courts or someone should put a stop to this. Every one is sue happy. All people are doing is makeing it more expensive to live. The cost goes up on everything you do because of lawsuits. I understand that sometimes you have to do it but there are a ton of BS lawsuits going on every day.
  12. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    Yes we all pay Taxes, that pays the courts and now because of the first few BS lawsuits that set precedence, insurance is pretty much a must have for anyone of age to vote. I understand there is a lot of out of court settlements made by insurance companies too. The lawyers don't care because they still get their cut, probably quicker, with out going to trial.

    I think they're all in bed together.