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Do you believe Home Depot and its represenatives were fair in settling our dispute?


  • Total voters
    1
Jun 22, 2019
6
0
1
67
#1
My wife and I are senior citizens who contracted with, and bought a sunroom from Home Depot that was completed in August 2009. We were looking forward to retirement when our worst financial nightmare happened.

The contractor hired by the company to install the sunroom built it in violation of several building codes. Two years ago, we discovered several problems, including dry rot that caused serious damage to our home’s foundation, flooring and walls. Our forensic architect engineer identified so many sunroom construction defects, he recommended completely tearing it down, and rebuilding it.

To resolve this matter, we have complied with the contract we signed with Home Depot. Here are the facts regarding our construction defects dispute:

• We hired an attorney and a forensic architect engineer to represent us in mediation.

• Home Depot assigned the case to the sunroom manufacturer, Temo, to settle our dispute. Its representatives, the Travelers Insurance Company, originally offered us $23,000 to settle. This amount won’t even cover the costs we’ve already incurred to repair the dry rot damage to our foundation, and pay for the forensic architect engineer’s work. Our builder’s estimate to cover these costs plus to rebuild the sunroom, and repair other damages to our home is $180,000. We have since worked with a builder to develop plans to repair the sunroom, and provide proper water drainage away from our home for significantly less. The total combined costs are now estimated to be $60,000.

• Home Depot no longer sells Temo sunrooms, and we believe their former sunroom supplier has no incentive to settle fairly.

• The Home Depot contract precludes us from seeking reimbursement for our legal fees. We’ve incurred $15,000 to date, and to file a lawsuit would cost an estimated $50,000-$100,000 to litigate.

• Given what we believe that Temo’s representatives had no incentive to settle fairly, in December 2018, we contacted Home Depot Corporate customer service to ask them to settle with us, or we would have no choice but to go public with our story. They declined to speak with us, and referred us back to Travelers.

• In January 2019, we contacted the Home Depot CEO by email summarizing the details of our dispute, and asked him to help settle with us directly. As we were working with Temo’s insurance adjuster, Travelers, we had hoped the company would accept our view that the Temo insurance representatives had no interest in fairly settling. We also informed the company that unless they offered to settle fairly we would have no choice but to go public with our story. They subsequently referred us to their insurance claims adjuster, Sedgwick. However, Home Depot’s customer service representative referred us back to Traveler’s to accept their $23,000 offer.

• We then requested our attorney contact the mediator to resume negotiations to settle with Travelers, and informed them we would reduce our offer to settle from $180,000 to $99,000. Six weeks later, Traveler’s informed us they had closed our case, and they would no longer mediate to settle.

• In our view, we have acted in good faith to attempt to mediate and have repeatedly reached out to Home Depot and both their and Temo’s insurance representatives to settle fairly, but with no success. This is in spite of presenting a variety of photos and other documentation to make a very strong case during mediation to settle with us.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer us.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,774
1,769
113
Maui Hawaii
#2
You state that the repair costs are estimated to be $60,000 and your legal expenses are $15,00 yet you "would reduce our offer to settle from $180,000 to $99,000 ". That may be why they will no longer work with you.
 
Likes: Pixie Pie

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,127
16,265
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
You say you hired an attorney - once you do that, we can't assist and if you have told Home Depot you hired an attorney, they will not work with you - it needs to be lawyer to lawyer. Once you threated or tell them you have an attorney, the company usually cuts off communication. And unfortunately - this is a case you need an attorney for. It is beyond the scope of what we do.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,127
16,265
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
Not clear on what you mean. Please elaborate.
You are asking for an outrageous amount of money - why are you asking for $99,000 when the estimate is $60,000?

If you are working with an attorney, Home Depot will not negotiate with you - you need to work with the attorney. And we also can't get involved in any cases where an attorney is already involved.

Why isn't your attorney handling this?
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,774
1,769
113
Maui Hawaii
#7
Here are the Home Depot contacts. If you have already dealt with the CEO there is little else to do at this point other than have your attorney file a lawsuit.
 
Jun 22, 2019
6
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67
#8
" The total combined costs are now estimated to be $60,000...
our legal fees. We’ve incurred $15,000 to date "

Yet you would "settle" for $99,000. Why would anyone want to settle with you?
Because the original $180,000 was based on the builder's estimate to rebuild the sunroom as recommended by the forensic architect engineer's recommendation to rebuild the sunroom and fully repair our house taht we used in mediation to negotiate. The $99,000 is based on the negotiation amount we have offered recently to mediate. The $60,000 is now based on what we can now fix our home based on what the builder is telling us they can repair the sunroom and not replace it. All of these amounts are based on what builders and and our forensic architect engineer advised us to ask for. It still is far above the $23,000 we've been offered.
 
Jun 22, 2019
6
0
1
67
#9
You are asking for an outrageous amount of money - why are you asking for $99,000 when the estimate is $60,000?

If you are working with an attorney, Home Depot will not negotiate with you - you need to work with the attorney. And we also can't get involved in any cases where an attorney is already involved.

Why isn't your attorney handling this?
Our attorney is handling our case. I'm not looking for someone else to represent us, but other advice.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,127
16,265
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#10
Unfortunately, once an attorney is involved, we don't get involved. From our FAQ on what we do and don't advocate:
Are there any cases you don’t mediate?
Yes. Here’s a partial list:
Airfares that go up after selecting a flight option (caching).
Airline seat comfort issues, including in-flight entertainment systems that don’t work.
Any case involving legal action against a company or customer.
Asking a company to honor an obvious price error.
Car rental damage cases.
Cases submitted on behalf of a third party.
Compensation for delays that resulted in lost vacation or work days.
Getting a refund for a nonrefundable airline ticket or hotel room.
Missing or expired loyalty points.
Recently lost or misplaced luggage.
Visa/passport problems that led to denied boarding

Your attorney has to handle this for you since he is involved in this.
 
Dec 19, 2014
358
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#11
With the amount that you are seeking, and the fact that you have hired an attorney, your only option at this point is to continue with the legal process. The ONLY advise that a consumer advocacy site can offer is to continue to work with your attorney and follow his/her advisement.
 
Likes: Algebralovr
Jun 22, 2019
6
0
1
67
#12
Our attorney is handling our case. I'm not looking for someone else to represent us, but other advice.
Aside from working with our attorney, isn't there anything else you can recommend? Frankly, to litigate for $50,000-100,000 in legal fees we can't recover to seek a judgment for $60,000 isn't making sense to us. What about using social media or reaching out to traditional media to tell our story? Approaching elected officials to author legislation to have others avoid this? Filing complaints with organizations that promote advocacy or share them with the public?
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,774
1,769
113
Maui Hawaii
#13
Aside from working with our attorney, isn't there anything else you can recommend? Frankly, to litigate for $50,000-100,000 in legal fees we can't recover to seek a judgment for $60,000 isn't making sense to us. What about using social media or reaching out to traditional media to tell our story? Approaching elected officials to author legislation to have others avoid this? Filing complaints with organizations that promote advocacy or share them with the public?
If you are looking to "shame" HD into settling, you will probably be unsuccessful. You are welcome to try local media to see if they might be interested.

Have you talked to your lawyer about recovery of legal costs if you win? "The Home Depot contract precludes us from seeking reimbursement for our legal fees " it would seem that if HD violated their end of the contact the recovery of legal fees should be on the table. This is something your attorney will need to evaluate.

There is no magic bullet we have to offer.
 
Likes: Algebralovr
Dec 19, 2014
358
649
93
47
#14
Aside from working with our attorney, isn't there anything else you can recommend? Frankly, to litigate for $50,000-100,000 in legal fees we can't recover to seek a judgment for $60,000 isn't making sense to us. What about using social media or reaching out to traditional media to tell our story? Approaching elected officials to author legislation to have others avoid this? Filing complaints with organizations that promote advocacy or share them with the public?
Once you are working with an attorney, everything needs to go through the attorney. Your attorney will advise you what to say and what not to say. Going out on your own to try and "shame" HD or talking to the media may have ultimately work against you. What does your attorney recommend that you do? Follow the attorney's instructions. They are the experts.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,127
16,265
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#15
Once you are working with an attorney, everything needs to go through the attorney. Your attorney will advise you what to say and what not to say. Going out on your own to try and "shame" HD or talking to the media may have ultimately work against you. What does your attorney recommend that you do? Follow the attorney's instructions. They are the experts.
Chris is right. Your attorney might tell you to stay off all social media and post absolutely nothing about this on any public forums.

I would suggest you not post anything else about this on any public forums unless your attorney thinks it’s ok. If you end up suing, these posts can hurt you.
 
Sep 19, 2015
4,628
6,067
113
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#16
No CEO/company is going to get involved and over ride what an insurance adjuster is doing. They can not interfere and would risk loss of insurance coverage. I am perplexed as to why this was done and what was expected and if this was done with approval of legal counsel.

Also threatening settle with us or we go public is often not a good strategy. And social media uproar over a sunroom is bound to be minimal — and then people forget and move to the next outrage.

If you have a lawyer work with the lawyer — if you are unhappy with the lawyer find another.