Can I be sued by landscaper for wasp stings?
Question Details: I hired a company who I now realize may not be an actual company; it is uninsured, unlicensed, etc. I hired them to clean debris and till the yard on a home we just purchased but hadn't even moved in yet. When they started tilling, they hit an underground yellow jacket nest and he claims 3 guys were severely stung and went to urgent care. They came back out 3 days later to finish the job but never actually did and is now threatening to sue more for medical expenses and put a mechanic's lien on property there is a dispute on payment since I paid him in full but he took some of that payment as reimbursement for some of the medical expenses and is now saying I didn't pay him for the actual job. This whole situation is a mess and while I feel bad they were stung, I don't feel I was neglectful in any way nor should I have to pay but I'm new to home ownership so I don't know these things yet.Can they actually take our new home from us as they are claiming and sue us for tens of thousands in damages?
1) You would be liable for wasp stings ONLY if they can show that you knew about the wasps but despite knowing them, failed to remove the wasps or warn the workers. A failure to take reasonable steps like those to protect people from a known harm is negligent, or careless, and can lead to liability. On the other hand, if you had no idea about the insects, you did nothing wrong and are not liable.
2) If you paid in full, he can't put a lien on your property--your obligation is only to pay the contracted or agreed price. Even if he had other costs (e.g. care), that does not affect your obligation to pay or give him the right to place a lien; rather, his option would be to sue you if he thinks your carelessness cost him money.
3) Even if you were careless and so liable for the stings, the most that you could be sued for, assuming no severe allergic reaction leading to permanent disability or death, would be the out of pocket medical costs incurred as a direct result of this, plus possibley a day or two or three of lost wages/profits if it can be proven that the stung persons couldn't work for a short time due to the stings.
4) You may wish to tell them that unless they remove the lien and do not sue, you will countersue them for abuse of process (using the legal processes for an improper purpose) and seek sanctions (fines) against them for frivolous litigation, including all of your legal fees.