Negligently to Cut Off Wood Pilings for House at An Inappropriate Height
The court concluded that the surveyor, (Y) and (XX) negligently instructed X Maintenance (X) to cut off the wood pilings for the plaintiffs' house at an inappropriate height.
The court conclude X Maintenance, Inc. was not negligent because its employees cut the pilings as directed by the surveyor.
The relevant facts were as follows: In June, 1999, the plaintiffs (Z) purchased a house from N that would be placed on pilings in Bowers Beach, Delaware.
Z requested that pilings be cut as high as possible as he was concerned about flooding. Y was hired by Z to calculate the elevation that the pilings would be cut and X was hired by N to cut off the pilings at the height marked by the surveyor.
XX, a surveyor employed by Y, told Z that the pilings would be cut off at 11.25 feet. All pilings were marked by the surveyor and X cut off the pilings pursuant to the surveyor's instructions located on one piling.
After the pilings were cut, Z measured the pilings and discovered that the pilings were eight and one-half feet or nine and one-half feet high. Since the pilings were cut too low, Z had a meeting with XX concerning this problem.
XX had no explanation as to the cause of the problem, but he recommended that Z pull up most of the pilings and cut the other pilings off. the old pilings were then removed or cut off and new pilings were driven and cut off at the right elevation. X charged Z $ 12,120.00 for this service.
Z filed the civil suit against Y and S alleging negligence by both the surveyor and X.
At trial Z conceded there is no proof of negligence by X and I conclude that X followed the instructions of the surveyor. Therefore, X is not liable to Z.
The surveyor contends that Z raised the elevation of the grade, but there is no evidence to support this contention. at the previous meeting with Z, XX failed to mention this possibility.
The evidence indicates that the dirt for driveway was brought in prior to the cutting of the pilings by X. at trial Y contended that X failed to follow the instructions of the surveyor.
These shifting explanations concerning the source of the problem cast doubt on the credibility of the defense witnesses.
X's evidence established that X followed the instructions of the surveyor. Since I conclude that X followed instructions of the surveyor, the only reasonable conclusion is that the surveyor marked the pilings incorrectly.
Based on the analysis of the facts, I enter judgment on behalf of Z and against D. Y and Associates, a Delaware corporation and XX for the sum of $ 12,120.00 plus costs of these proceedings.
The cross-claim of D. Y and Associates and XX against X is dismissed. J
udgment is entered on behalf of X and against James Z and Judith Z for the costs of these proceedings.