Who's responsible?


May 31, 2010
Bossier City, LA
The 8 yr old liner needed replaced from a leak under the steps so I called the original pool builder knowing he'd had problems when he originally built it and knew the size/shape of the liner and could order it from the previous owners info. Ordered it in Dec 09. Here comes January, a very wet January. We got 2.50 inches so far that month, and .50 inches of this was the day before the contractor calls and says I'm coming to put your liner in. I was surprized and said "YOU better be wearing boots as my back yard is FLOODED." He sent his crew and they pumped the remaining water out which was just a few inches below the steps where the leak was and took out the liner/smoothed the bottom with concrete and quickly put the new liner in. They left after they started filling the pool until they could come back and cut out the steps ect. The next morning early, my husband and I noticed large lumps and bumps around the edge of the pool. When the guys came they called the owner and I asked him if he wanted to see pics. He didn't but said to withhold money and he'd be back when the ground water was gone.The walls have caved in and hardened and I suspect the liner is ruined. It looked like the edges of Grand Canyon. It's June. I've tried calling him since April, he won't return calls. I reported him to BBB, Licensing Board, Attorney General and a demand letter from a lawyer. He only responded to BBB saying he's not responsible for the damage from the ground water. He lives in the vincinity, he knew how much it rained, he knew about the ground water problem from building the pool, he knew I lived 5 houses from a lake. How much is a contractor responsible for? :x


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
Coastalish 'down easter'
Welcome to TFP!!

I'm not a lawyer nor in any way qualified to proffer legal advice! (but I've never let that stop me :lol: )

Check your contract, There is almost certainly an "Acts of God" clause removing liability from the contractor for issues caused by weather, natural phenomenon, war, civil uprising... ad nausium. However, I believe that there is an unwritten "reasonable diligence" rule that says ~ 'would a reasonable person expect "X" to happen or not happen' (didn't phrase that well, sorry). Your PB, with his many years of experience in your area should have anticipated the damage done to your pool and taken reasonable precautions to either prevent the damage (like not draining the pool in a wet location in the rainy season) or postponing the liner drop until whatever likely damage from the rains had occurred and then repaired it (at an additional cost to you) before installing the liner. He also could have used a fire hydrant or trucked in water so that the pool was filled as quickly as possible as an attempt to prevent ground water damage (again, at an additional cost to you).

I don't know the whole story, but reread your contract and then run it by a lawyer (at an additional cost to you :wink: ) Your lawyer can tell you better than I what to do.

I can help you by telling you the 'reasonable' precautions my company takes in similar situations, but it's easy to be a 'Monday morning quarterback' and maybe the PB did nothing wrong :(