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View Full Version : Negligence in Software Development - Legal Proceedings?



Cjmorris1
30th January 2013, 10:25
I am a professional web developer who has been contracting since 2008 and of all the clients I've worked for, none of them have come back and said that the work was substandard or that i have been negligent in terms of my ability to do the work that was required of me. In fact, most have written recommendations on LinkedIn as to my capacity to deliver and one place even offered me a permanent job.

However, in the last 6 months or so I did some work for a client through an agency who found me the contract. Not the easiest of clients and they had no technical knowledge so they were completely reliant on me to provide my input and expertise on all things technical. They even said to me once that they thought changes to the application were easy to which I responded that nothing is easy, just challenging and different.

Having finished with them they have now hired another contractor who has told them that he has had to rewrite sections of the application, that it is susceptible to hacking, other changes should have been implemented and that there are still some bugs in the application.

The client has taken this that I have not done my job properly and has not paid my last invoice and will perhaps seek to recoup some of the costs of my time. What is also worth mentioning is that I inherited the application from a third party who had probably completed 80% of it and the lines of where his work ended And mine stArted would indeed be very hazy. For example, if this contractor is claiming that the website can be hacked, who takes the responsibility for that if indeed it is hacked, is it negligence on my part or with the guy who built the website in the first place. Arguably, my code is only as good as the foundation on which it runs.

To that end, I am concerned that the client will issue legal proceedings against me claiming that I have not delivered the services that were asked of me.

Would anyone else like to pass their comments on this And indeed if you have been in a similar situation?

Thanks for reading.

BolshieBastard
30th January 2013, 11:24
I think you probably need seek legal advice rather than info from a forum especially if as you say a 3rd party previously worked on the same product and now someone else is saying the product is defective in parts.

simondolan
30th January 2013, 11:39
Talk to the client and come to some sort of agreement with them. The last thing you want is a legal battle - you'll end up spending way more on legal fees than you would lose by settling with them.

eek
30th January 2013, 11:41
Talk to the client and come to some sort of agreement with them. The last thing you want is a legal battle - you'll end up spending way more on legal fees than you would lose by settling with them.

Assuming you've got professional negligence insurance why wouldn't you hand it over to them to deal with.

Lewis
30th January 2013, 11:49
Do you have professional indemnity insurance? Hopefully yes. Personally I would chase invoice and pursue payment via usual means (see other threads for non-payment options). Wouldn't get too involved in a discussion about quality etc.. (unless there was some spec you agreed to that said the website must be unhackable then I think they are on thin ground - you'll always be able to pick holes in code - if it was done well and works then I would want payment) and if they want to sue then invoke insurance and leave it to them. I doubt this would happen. Client sounds a bit unreasonable to me - maybe they just think this will save them some money.