Reddish v. Bowen-Contractors Beware!
I have promised to post about some important home contractor cases in Massachusetts, and the Reddish case was decided in June 2006. In Reddish, the contractor installed a pool and violated a six-foot side lot setback requirement contained in a local zoning by-law. The court held that this was a violation of the Home Improvement Contractor law in Massachusetts that states that contractors must comply with the building laws, and therefore a violation of the Consumer Protection act, as well.
The important point to note about this case is that the contractor relied on the homeowner's statement that the property line was at the location of a fence, when in fact, it was not. The contractor deviated from the plans based on the homeowner's "say so," and was then held accountable for this error and was forced to pay the plaintiff's attorney's fees as a result. Therefore, contractors should beware, and make sure that the property has been properly surveyed, that the plans are accurate, and that they do not deviate from the plans without verifying that there work will not violate any laws.