Hebrew | Francais


> > Archive

Shabbat Parashat Shelach 5783

P'ninat Mishpat: Did He Leave the Elevator Work Between Floors?

(based on ruling 81060 of the Eretz Hemdah-Gazit Rabbinical Courts)

Case: The plaintiff (=pl) represents the residents of a building, who hired the defendant (=def) as a contractor to build a shaft and install an elevator for 390,000 NIS, including payment (166,000 NIS) for the elevator. After quickly finishing most of the work on the shaft and receiving most of the money, there was a half-year stoppage due to other renovations in the building, including an additional floor; def was to receive extra money to extend the elevator to it. After a meeting with the residents, def decided unilaterally to stop working on the project. Pl is suing for a partial refund of the money paid, as the money paid to def plus to others to finish the job and buy a (different) elevator far exceeded 390,000 NIS. Def responds that he finished the work on the shaft, as evidenced by the fact that pl paid him in full for his work, and all that remained were things he was not required (and would have gotten paid extra) to do. He also said that pl should not have bought a different elevator from the one agreed upon, as this made adjustments necessary. Def denies leaving pl in the lurch, as he still advised pl. Def explained that he left because the residents’ hostile attitude made him fear they would discontinue payment.


Ruling: Beit din’s expert reported that the list of jobs the elevator company provided that needed to be done before the elevator could be installed included things that were within def’s obligation to provide. Thus, def had not finished his originally obligated work. Def did not even inform pl that he thought the shaft was ready for the planned elevator and did not order it from the company, which he could have done easily, even if he wanted to be phased out.

Because it is considered that def backed out of the job without justification, he has to return the amount that pl paid that goes beyond the promised price for the whole job (390,000 NIS). (Beit din then went into detail about how much should be subtracted for each element that pl had someone else complete. We will see just a smattering.) The electric boxes needed to be moved but not to the extent that pl did it, and therefore there is only partial reimbursement for this.

Regarding the change in elevators, the price quote that def got for the first elevator is 33% cheaper than its market value (per expert). Since def backed out of the agreement, he is obligated to pay according to what it would have cost pl to finish off the purchase (at full price). In that way, pl saved money for def by buying a cheaper elevator than envisioned (by 80,000 NIS), even if it is more expensive than the price def could have gotten it for. Therefore, even though buying the new elevator required extra work to prepare to install it, that still came out to be less than the 80,000 NIS saved.

After many calculations and technical analyses, beit din obligated def to return 72,450 NIS.

Top of page
Print this page
Send to friend


We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Ori Leah bat Chaya Temima

Arye Yitzchak ben Geula Miriam

Neta bat Malka

Meira bat Esther
Yerachmiel ben Zlotta Rivka

Together with all cholei Yisrael

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

Those who fell in wars

for our homeland


Prof. Yisrael Aharoni z"l

Kislev 14, 5783


Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar 10, 5771

Rav Reuven & Chaya Leah Aberman z"l
Tishrei 9 ,5776 / Tishrei 20, 5782


Mr. Shmuel & Esther Shemesh z"l

Sivan 17 / Av 20


Mr. Moshe Wasserzug z"l

Tishrei 20 ,5781


R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8 ,5776


MrsSara Wengrowsky

bat R’ Moshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10 ,5774


Rav Asher & Susan Wasserteil z"l
Kislev 9 / Elul 5780


R' Meir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l


MrsSara Brachfeld z"l

Tevet 16 ,5780


R 'Yaakov ben Abraham & Aisha


Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l


Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13, 5778


Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23, 5777


R' Abraham & Gita Klein z"l

Iyar 18,  /5779Av 4


Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton) Polin z"l
Tammuz 19, 5778


R' Yitzchak Zev Tarshansky z"l

Adar 28, 5781


Nina Moinester z"l

Nechama Osna bat Yitzhak Aharon & Doba

Av 30, 5781


Rabbi Dr. Jerry Hochbaum z"l

Adar II 17, 5782


Mrs. Julia Koschitzky z"l

Adar II 18, 5782


Mrs. Leah Meyer z"l

Nisan 27, 5782


Mr. Shmuel & Rivka Brandman z"l

Tevet 16 5783/ Iyar 8, 5781

Hemdat Yamim
is endowed by
Les z"l  & Ethel Sutker
of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
& Louis and Lillian Klein z”l

site by entry.
Eretz Hemdah - Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies, Jerusalem All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy. | Terms of Use.