From: Roger Turk <73527.1356(--nospam--at)compuserve.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2001 00:40:15 -0500
Dennis Wish wrote:
. > The GC should not be licensed to take the overall responsibility of the
. > job unless he or she is pre-qualified and tested in each of the
. > responsibilities of his sub-contractors.
A General Contractor *is* responsible for the performance of his/her
sub-contractors. Whether a General performs 90 percent of the work on a
project with his/her own forces or subcontracts *all* of the work to
sub-contractors, the GC should have a project superintendent on the job
site. A good superintendent will be fully aware of the performance of all of
the sub-contractors; a bad superintendent will overlook poor performance of
the sub-contractors. Subs are aware that future work is dependent on
satisfying the GC, and will do the work required by the GC, or will correct
work improperly done. This is leverage that the average owner (or engineer)
does not have.
It is in boom times that the worst work is done. The GC has a lot of work,
and hires marginal or poor job superintendents for all the work the GC has.
In lean times, the GC pares down his/her work force and keeps only the best,
and only the minimum needed for the work underway.
To me, there seems to be something missing in the Aase case as it is being
discussed on the list. It is my understanding that the legal definition of
"damage" is not limited to physical damage, but can include monetary damage,
value damage, and even prestige damage. If there was only a charge of
poor/bad workmanship, and the owner did not have to repair it, or if the
value of the house did not diminish, or possibly other things, then the owner
experienced no damage. The fault might even be due to the owner's lawyer in
not presenting evidence to show that the owner actually had been damaged.
The case and the decision of the Superior Court which was upheld by appeals
courts is very intriguing. It would be interesting to read a legal analysis
of the case which probably should already be available in legal publications.
A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)