If arepair man came to fix a handle on a microwave and he tried to remove a part to get the handle on and broke it, can I sue him for the cost of the part?

The part is $180 which is not worth replacing because the microwave is 6 years old.

Asked on October 20, 2011 under Business Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the repairman and his employer for negligence.  An employer is liable for the negligence of an employee which occurs during the course and scope of employment. 

Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that in this case a reasonable repairman would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (of due care mentioned above), breach of duty (failure to exercise due care by breaking the handle), actual cause, proximate cause and damages.  Actual cause means but for the repairman working on the microwave, would the handle have broken?  If the answer is no, which appears to be the case, actual cause has been established.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable intervening acts which would relieve the repairman/employer of liability?  If the answer is no, proximate cause has been established.  Damages means the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit.  Your damages would be the $180 replacement cost of the part.  Your damages should also include court costs which would be the court filing fee and process server fee.  You can file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.


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