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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>Is there any legal obligations to a General Contractor if he made a referral based on an online search to a owner. And the referral didn't work out and ended up in court. General Contractor didn't directly hire Sub, just referred. Is there any legal obligation from the General Contractor to pay legal fees that were cumulated in the owner and subs court process.

Is there any legal obligations to a General Contractor if he made a referral based on an online search to a owner. And the referral didn't work out and ended up in court. General Contractor didn't directly hire Sub, just referred. Is there any legal obligation from the General Contractor to pay legal fees that were cumulated in the owner and subs court process.

CaliforniaLawsuit

The owner is asking me to pay 1/2 her legal fees.

1 reply

Mar 13, 2019
That's an interesting question. First - in a situation where a contractor has hired a sub and that sub has caused an issue resulting in litigation, that contractor could potentially be liable, to some limited degree, for issues caused by that subcontractor. While referring a company to a customer could cause embarrassment if that referral doesn't pan out, there wouldn't seem to be much of a basis for potential liability. If an official referral agreement were in place and/or if a contractor received a fee for their referral, it might be easier to argue that liability should be incurred. But even then, if the referral were made in good faith, it seems unlikely that the party who made an unfortunate referral should be held liable for the failures of the referred party. Without reviewing the above situation, specifically, it's hard to state one way or another with complete certainty - but generally, a bad referral which was made in good faith won't give rise to legal liability, especially when the referral was informally made.
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