An employee of my business burnt a section of carpet at a customer’s home. Should my business have to replace the entire carept or repair the damages?

I work for a hospital which administers home health services. One of our employees burnt a section of carpet at a patients home. The carpet was 3 years old. The patient s now wanting us to replace the entire carpet which would cost over $1000. What should our company be responsible for paying for? Are we required to replace the entire carpet, pay to remedy the damages or pay teh current value?

Asked on July 1, 2009 under Insurance Law, Kentucky


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You are responsible to make them whole, i.e., give them back what they had before.  Since they had a 3 year old carpet, and it is impossible to recreate that, and it is likely not possible to repair the damage and make it look like nothing happened, they can replace the carpet with a new one, and you are only liable for paying them the actual cash value of the carpet.  That is, the new carpet minus depreciation of 3 years.  Base it on the life of that kind and quality of carpet.  If, for example, the carpet should have lasted 10 years, you'll deduct 30% (3 years) from the price of the new one.

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