Have you ever had a client that was so mad over weeds in his plant beds thet they wanted to sue you the designer? In 25 years of self employment and another 14 years working for others, I've never had an angry client, until now. Never been sued of even threatened to be in all my career. Now after a very small residential project the client is livid because he has to weed his groungcover bed. Have never heard of anything like this in my life. I told him I didn't understand how he holds me responsible for his lack of maintenance...I'd be hacked at the installer but I guess the designer is always at fault.
Jason, you are absolutely right!
If only the bottom dwellers in this country would subscribe to this...
of course, half of them would not get paid...and that's the reason they won't do it.
I must add that lawyers can be great clients.
I've had many great lawyer clients and am currently working for two
very good ones.....
I know a few good lawyers as well, mostly real estate, that provide a valuable service and one is very design oriented for what he does. He had handled a lot of pioneering stuff with brownfields and liability.
Then there was the ambulance chaser in my hometown, who had replaced the car stereo in his dated SL500 with a Cobra police radio scanner. And the guy who one of my family members used to use who embezzeled milliions out of old ladies when he handled their wills and "advised" the on investing with him after thier husbands died. I almost went to that dudes office with a baseball bat after trying to get a deed written properly.
That is written into our contract...if we have to sue them for fees they owe us, they pay lawyer fees as well.
I have found lawyers to be some of the most flexible and least contentious clients--perhaps because they know what a losing proposition it is to go to court (for everyone).
They also don't mind an LA's hourly rate--probably because it is about 1/3 of theirs!
Yes, I have found that lawyers understand the hourly rate concept very well, and yeah, they know they're overpaid....
I'm a registered landscape architect in Pittsburgh, PA and owner of a landscape architectural design-build firm. It sounds like you did everything you should have and performed in a completely professional manner. As difficult as these situations can be, try not to engage this person in any further discussion or debate. It sounds like this guy was told he would have weeds no matter what, as any good pro would, and is just using threats to get something for nothing (free maintenance). If he is that cheap, he will probably give up when his legal council tells him that he has no case or wants to charge a legal fee. If it goes further (a big if !) it will be laughed out of court.
I wonder if this is client creates these kinds of problems for other service providers that have worked for him. How well do you know the installer? - where you on-site to know for sure if he applied preemergent under the mulch? If preemergent was not installed - this can happen with unsupervised crews in design-bid and design-build. If the preemergent was installed, the client might be exagerating his claim.
Has your client only expected the fantasy of no weeds and not have been difficult in any other way? Have we all run into one or several clients that have a distrusting, "expect it all" mentality? - great design for a low fee, top quality installation from the low bid, specs that will control and take responsibility for unsupervised installers, the right to renegotiate or not pay a final payment - payment invoices for lump sum contracts! (I just provide receipts of their payments to me), asking for freebies and the ability to control nature with zero maintenance and no weeds.