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Need to know what legal steps or paperwork needs to be filled out to protect us

CaliforniaConstruction Contract

My husband and I own a swimming pool construction company. We have a big job right now that required us to bring on some extra subs to help with a portion of the work. We have a signed contract between these subcontractors and us for their portion. For the past week we have not seen these subs on the jobsite and we have not been able to reach them. They just disappeared! The customers who hired us are threatening to kick us off the job and take us to court. What legal steps need to be taken to break contract with the subs we hired on so we have no further financial obligation with them and we can hire someone else to finish the work or do it ourselves? The last thing we want is to look bad to these customers and be taken to court over some other flaky subs.

1 reply

Jun 29, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that - it's incredibly frustrating when a project starts to go awry through no fault of your own. First, as far as mending the relationship with the property owners, it can be really helpful to be open with them about the situation. Explaining that some subcontractors have bailed on the job and that you're in the process of terminating those subcontractors and replacing them can go a long way. While they may be disappointed, most owners will appreciate the honesty and will be sympathetic to the situation (of course, as long as the contractor shows what steps are being taken to fix the issue). Anyway, if subs are not holding up their end of the bargain, they can likely be terminated under the terms of the contract. Of course, not knowing what that contract holds, it's hard to nail down a specific ground for termination. However, failing to show up to the jobsite and holding up construction will likely provide some basis for termination under the written contract. Even if not explicitly mentioned in the contract, an agreement might be terminated under common law theories as well. While we might not have enough space to discuss the idea here, Porter Law Group has a great read on Subcontractor Termination in California, here: Should I Pull the Pin? Contractor and Subcontractor Termination for Cause. Regardless, it's always a good idea to get a termination, along with the reasons for termination, in writing.
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