Can I sue my cable company for a negligent installation?

The cable company that services our community left all cables laying on the ground when installing; it did not bury them at all. While doing yard work the cable was accidentally cut and we were charged $350. They refuse to take the charges off our account and tell us they will ruin my credit if not paid. We are stuck as we are in a 2 year contract and they won’t let us out and tell us that they will also cut off our service and charge us for the remainder of the 2 years unless we pay the $350. Can we take them to court to dispute this?

Asked on September 2, 2011 under Business Law, Oregon


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your cable company carelessly left cables unburied in its installation of such and you accidentally cut one doing yard work where you were charged $350.00 for the repair where the cable company refuses to remove the $350.00 charge from your monthly bill that has nit been paid and threatens to cut off your service and charge you for the balance of the two years remaining for the service, you have no basis to sue the cable company until you have been actually damaged.

Meaning, until you pay the $350.00 (or any part of the amount) you have not been damaged. If you really want to resolve the dispute with your cable company in small claims court, the best way to do so is to pay $50.00 or so of the $350.00 charge and then sue the cable company for its return. If you win in small claims for the $50.00 return, implicit in the court's decision is that the balance of $300.00 owed would not be due.

Good luck.

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