Do I have to pay the full cost of repairs that were done incorrectly? Why? 9 Answers as of May 22, 2015

TDS pushed an electrical pipe underground severing and blocking my sewage drain. I authorized a repair. I am given the resolution of $4000 out of $6700 because I authorized (which I don’t recall) “work above and beyond”. The “above” repair was installing a new section of pipe from the house to the severed section rather than just fixing the small section that was severed. TDS contacted the plumbers who quoted that the sectional repair would have cost $3300, TDS kicked in an additional $700 as a goodwill gesture. Is this a case I can win by either TDS paying me the full $6700 by taking back the new section or allowing me to keep the new section at no cost to me? Will any attorney take this case on “contingency fee” basis and include all fees to be paid by the opposing party?

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Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
In America, each party bears his/her/its own attorney fees unless a specific statute or a binding agreement says otherwise. Your question is a bit complicated. I expect lawyers would not take such a case on a contingency, because it's hard to see that you would get much money even if you won. But you could call around and consult with one or more lawyers. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/22/2015
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Have a lawyer review the papers.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/22/2015
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
I think you are stuck. You got the benefit of the work, so you pay for it. As for whether an attorney will take this case on a contingency basis, why not ask some attorneys in the area in which you live?
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/22/2015
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
You are unclear as to whether the repair work has been done or not. TDS owes you the cost of repairing what they damaged so that the system works as well as it did before. If the short section can be repaired, they do not have to install a new pipe from your house to the undamaged section [called betterment because it is now new piping and not the old one], so only owe $3,300. If the repair has not yet occurred, you can change your mind and say you do not want it and since no one has lost anything there is no cost to you. Most attorney's will not handle such a low value case, especially since TDS appears to be paying you $700 more than they owe you. You have to be certain what the cost will be. TDS does not owe your attorney fees.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/22/2015
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
You need to review a complete contract with an attorney.. If you authorized more work than necessary you might be liable. No attorneys do not take defense cases on contingency.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/21/2015
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Your case does not fit a contingency fee situation.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 5/21/2015
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    You can run it by a lawyer or a set of lawyers and see if you have any takers. Otherwise, I'm thinking you'll need to handle it yourself in Small Claims or District Court, pay a lawyer by the hour or work something out with them. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/21/2015
    Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC | Daniel A. Edelman
    You are entitled to the reasonable cost of repair. Whether it was reasonable to replace the entire section is a question of fact possibly requiring an expert to testify. For example, if replacing part of the pipe would have resulted in a weakness at the joint it may not be reasonable to replace part. I am not aware of what would give you a right to recover fees from the other side. Given the amount at stake and the cost of experts, it is unlikely an attorney would take the case on a contingency, and you would be well advised to settle for as much as you can get. Also consider whether your own insurer would pay the cost of repair and pursue the company.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/21/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    I would not take the case on a contingency, you will pay your own fees and as you had more done than the simple repair you are most probably liable for the additional charges.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/21/2015
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