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Asbestos Contamination, Tobacco Spit in Drywall texture, More...

Audie

Junior Member
#1
Colorado. We hired a contractor to put up drywall over existing paneling. Quoted as a 4-day job. The company kept pushing us to do more work than in the original bid (take out ceiling, strip floors, etc). We let them take out the ceiling and they busted open two closet ceilings by ripping out a beam. Insulation and dust fell down and covered my nice business suits and cleaning them will cost over $300.

This is an old home, so we told them we have a baby in the home and implored them NOT to take out any drywall, just put it over the existing paneling due to lead-based paint. We repeatedly found them doing just the opposite and had to stop them.

We also told them NOT to touch the 9" tile beneath the carpet pad as it was likely asbestos. I personally went to all three workers and told them no matter what anyone tells you do NOT remove the asbestos tile. I walked in to asbestos dust flying and one of the workers busting open the asbestos floor. This was a BAD contamination and the front three rooms had to be professionally abated three times to get it all. The contractor said he is not willing to use his insurance for any of the damages. He said the asbestos contamination is our fault. When we mentioned issues with lead, asbestos, and the health of our baby, he said "Well, your kid isn't going to be in the room much anyway." (Uh, this is her baby room...)

Now we are trying to paint, but there are huge quantities of tobacco spit and tobacco embedded in the wall texture. The worker clearly used the wall texture as a spittoon. I am truly sick to my stomach at the thought of all of this spit.

We now know they also damaged floors, ruined and discarded the heat register covers, ruined and discarded the air conditioner, did not finish electrical, did not finish the hung door, and more. This fiasco took three months. The paint will have to be done repeatedly, as the tobacco stain will leach through forever. Our expenses for remediation are reaching near $5000, not to mention loss of 40% of our home being unusable for three months. They will not return our calls. Suggestions?
 


Audie

Junior Member
#4
Did you make sure the contractor was licensed and insured?

Your total damages are what? Just the $5000+?
$5000 is the amount of money we have spent so far for asbestos remediation, clothing cleaning, and physical damages to fix the room and replace items. This does not include loss of use or anything beyond our actual expenses.

The contractor (a local veteran-owned business) said he was licensed and insured. He is licensed, we checked that online.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#5
$5000 is the amount of money we have spent so far for asbestos remediation, clothing cleaning, and physical damages to fix the room and replace items. This does not include loss of use or anything beyond our actual expenses.

The contractor (a local veteran-owned business) said he was licensed and insured. He is licensed, we checked that online.
You should have good records with receipts of all that has been done by the contractor and his workers and the amount you have paid for this work. Keep good records with receipts of all that now needs to be done to remedy the damage done by the contractor and his workers.

If the damage is what you say, you should have a good action to pursue against the contractor.

Have you reported the damage to your own insurer?
 

Audie

Junior Member
#6
You should have good records with receipts of all that has been done by the contractor and his workers and the amount you have paid for this work. Keep good records with receipts of all that now needs to be done to remedy the damage done by the contractor and his workers.

If the damage is what you say, you should have a good action to pursue against the contractor.

Have you reported the damage to your own insurer?
We have USAA insurance and did report this. They said they will not cover contamination, which is the main expense here. When we inquired, they were really nice. They opened a claim, but immediately said they would not cover this, then they provided a denial letter of coverage. Even though they did not pay, they told us our insurance will go up. (Did we walk under a ladder, for gosh sake?)
 

Audie

Junior Member
#7
We have talked with a lawyer, but they have not had the time to really give us a consultation and tell us whether we need to take this to small claims court or go to actual court and use their services. They were more interested in suing the asbestos remediation company for failing to clean our house properly and testing for asbestos before the rooms were dry (Which breaks legal protocol).

Fortunately, I noticed this error before they took down the barrier which would have exposed the rest of the house to the remaining asbestos. The remediators cleaned again, twice more, at no charge. This house was seriously contaminated by the construction company.

The real damages were done by the construction company, some of them intentional, so we feel these are the folks who should be responsible.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#8
We have talked with a lawyer, but they have not had the time to really give us a consultation and tell us whether we need to take this to small claims court or go to actual court and use their services. They were more interested in suing the asbestos remediation company for failing to clean our house properly and testing for asbestos before the rooms were dry (Which breaks legal protocol).

Fortunately, I noticed this error before they took down the barrier which would have exposed the rest of the house to the remaining asbestos. The remediators cleaned again, twice more, at no charge. This house was seriously contaminated by the construction company.

The real damages were done by the construction company, some of them intentional, so we feel these are the folks who should be responsible.
You will want an attorney who can personally assess your damages and advise you on your options.

A small claims action against the contractor is one option that can be considered but, because the attorney you spoke to suggested a problem with the asbestos removal, there could be a better legal option or an additional legal option available to pursue.

Good luck.
 

Audie

Junior Member
#9
You will want an attorney who can personally assess your damages and advise you on your options.

A small claims action against the contractor is one option that can be considered but, because the attorney you spoke to suggested a problem with the asbestos removal, there could be a better legal option or an additional legal option available to pursue.

Good luck.
Would intentionally spitting vast quantities of tobacco into someone's drywall, onto their floors, and walls be considered vandalism? If so, should I also call the police in this matter?
 

quincy

Senior Member
#10
Would intentionally spitting vast quantities of tobacco into someone's drywall, onto their floors, and walls be considered vandalism? If so, should I also call the police in this matter?
If the worker(s) knowingly damaged your property by spitting tobacco, it could potentially be seen as criminal mischief. Here is a link to the law: http://codes.findlaw.com/co/title-18-criminal-code/co-rev-st-sect-18-4-501.html

I think the costs to repair any damage from the spitting is better added to a civil suit.