Hiring a negligent contractor is bad enough. Hiring a contractor who exhibits willful and reckless conduct can be especially worrisome for homeowners in Ohio. After all, the safety and security of your family and property should never be compromised by a contractor’s work or behavior.
What are your rights? What does the law say about willful and reckless conduct of contractors?
Continue reading for more information.
What is Reckless Conduct?
In the case of a bad contractor, a Claimant may assert, with supporting evidence, a claim for willful and /or reckless conduct against the Contractor. For example, a Claimant might assert that a Contractor showed a reckless indifference to the safety of the Claimant and his or her children by failing to remediate a mold issue or failing to provide a safe work environment.
Reckless conduct is characterized by the conscious disregard or indifference to a known or obvious risk of harm to another that is unreasonable under the circumstances and is substantially greater than negligent conduct.
Thompson v. McNeck, (1990), 53 Ohio St.3d 102. Restatement of the Law 2d, Torts, Section 500 (1965), adopted.
It’s also worth noting that willful misconduct implies an intentional deviation from a clear duty. Sakelus v. Cincinnati, 2015-Ohio-1508.
A person acts recklessly when the person is aware of, but consciously disregards a substantial or unjustifiable risk of injury or damage to another. Columbus Finance v. Howard (1975), 42 Ohio St.2d 178. Disregarding the risk must be a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would use under the circumstances. Id.
Punitive damages may be recovered in an action for negligence where such negligence is so gross as to show a reckless indifference to the rights and safety of other persons. Gearhart v. Angeloff (1969), 17 Ohio App.2d 143.
Dealing with a Reckless Contractor?
If you find yourself dealing with a reckless contractor in the state of Ohio, you may have unanswered questions that need clarity. Feel free to contact our office to discuss your situation.