Monday, February 16, 2009
Here in Nicaragua, liability doesn't exist in the same way it does elsewhere. I've mentioned before that due to the legal system (or lack thereof) and a lack of clear communication about businesses (such as a Better Business Bureau), some people can screw you royally with very little consequence.
One example would be our topographer. He delivered drawings and plans that were incorrect, but the NPH lawyer (who wrote the contract) said we had no recourse. We couldn't get that kind of money from him personally and he didn't have a company backing him up to go after either. So we lost $3,000 for pretty much nothing.
Another potential mess happened more recently. But this situation has resolved in a vastly different way, however, because we used a company that we knew and they want to keep us as clients.
The water recycling system is fairly straightforward and includes a (relatively) small elevated tank to gravity feed water to the toilets.
We happened to be on the jobsite when the platform of the tank began to fold and broke the pipes containing the water. The structure didn't completely collapse because the legs were stronger than the platform and because the breaking of the pipes released water which reduced the weight.
Sumerinsa, the company responsible, just happened to be there as well and immediately began calling for new materials to replace the original. While I assume they're taking the funds out of the project profit, I know that they had been hoping to use that profit to shore up other jobs they still haven't been paid for (getting worked over can go either direction).
So this story has a happy ending (for NPH). All was taken care of, and now we have a really strong tank platform!