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‘You break it, you bought it’: A rule to live by

By Tom Fetters

Why shouldn’t the “you break it, you bought it” rule apply to all construction companies?

After reading our Paul Snyder’s account this week of the dispute over a bill to ban risk transfer from construction contracts, I think state Sen. Lena Taylor’s bill is on the right path.

The current setup that lets project owners and general contractors pass their share of liability to a subcontractor on a construction project seems downright unfair.

The case of the subcontractor that — because of the law that made the sub liable for the project owner’s negligence — had to endure the loss of an injured employee as well as the additional expenses resulting from the injury defies reason.

Liability on construction projects should rest with the responsible party. If a subcontractor’s negligence leads to an accident, then the sub should be held responsible. But if the project owner or general contractor is to blame, why should the sub have to pay?

Tom Fetters is a copy editor at The Daily Reporter. He once had a “you break it, you bought it” moment with a lamp.

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