Business ruined my car, hasn’t refunded me

I had a vehicle wrap done by an independent business owner on my Nissan GTR for $5000. The job was extremely horrible, and the wrap didn’t cover the entire car, it was already peeling/bubbling. I asked for a refund. He agreed he has done a poor job and confessed to rushing it. I spent a week removing the poorly-done wrap job and discovered deep blade marks all over the body of my car. I was furious and made him aware of this. I gave him a month to repay my fully, and haven’t seen a penny back. What can I do or say to speed up the process?

Asked on September 7, 2016 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless you sue him and win, it is completely voluntary on his part whether to compensate you or not. Therefore, the only way to move the process along if he is not paying voluntarily is to sue him. (If the business is an LLC or corporation, you sue the business; if not, you sue the owner personally.) Since anyone who negligently (unreasonably carelessly) damages your property (including a car) is liable (or financially responsible) for the cost to repair it, you would sue him for negligent property damage. If you already paid him for the vehicle wrap, since it was not done to acceptable standards, you would also sue him for breach of contract (not providing an acceptable wrap in exchange for your payment) to get your money back; so you can sue for a refund and for the repair cost. If the amount in total is equal to or less than the limit for small claims court, sue in small claims, as your own attorney ("pro se") to save on legal fees; otherwise, retain an attorney to help you.


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