Reid & Hellyer Client Obtains $1.3M Judgment Against Unlicensed Contractor

September 24, 2013

A business represented by Reid & Hellyer obtained a $1.3M judgment against an unlicensed contractor and its principal.

The case arose from a purported solar contractor who entered into a written agreement to purchase and install solar panels on the roof of a manufacturing plant in Riverside, California. Before the installation was complete, the business had paid the $1M contract in full. The purported contractor cashed the checks, but never completed the job. After failed attempts to encourage the purported contractor to complete the installation, the business hired another solar installer at a significant additional cost.

After the installation was complete, the business retained Reid & Hellyer to file suit against the purported solar contractor in Riverside County Superior Court Case No. RIC 1105274. The action revealed that the purported contractor, a corporate entity, was unlicensed. Instead, the license was held by the principal of the corporation. As such, the action sought disgorgement of all funds paid to the unlicensed contractor pursuant to California Business and Professions Code Section 7031(b).

James-Manning.jpgAfter a five-day bench trial, the business owner obtained a judgment of over $1.3M against the purported solar contractor and its principal. This included over $1 million in disgorgement for violation of the California contractors license law and over $380,000 for damages for incomplete and improper work. The court also awarded attorneys' fees.

The business was represented at trial by Reid & Hellyer lawyers Jim Manning and Alex Payne.

Jim Manning is a Senior Shareholder in the Riverside and Orange County offices of Reid & Hellyer. He was admitted to law practice in California in 1976 and has practiced with this same firm his entire career. Mr. Manning’s general civil practice has emphasized real estate, title insurance, escrow, property tax, media law, warranty and construction litigation throughout Southern California.

Alexander Payne joined the firm in 2012 as a litigation associate in the firm's Riverside office. He obtained his law degree from George Mason University School of Law in Virginia and his Bachelor of Arts from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Mr. Payne is also a graduate of the Webb School in Claremont, California.

Headquartered in Riverside, Calif., Reid & Hellyer has been serving the Inland Empire for more than 100 years as one of the most-respected full-service law firms in Southern California, providing legal services in business and real estate litigation, real estate development, transactional law, media law, bankruptcy and mediation.

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