What to do if I live in an attached 3 level townhouse and my neighbor’s water line to her refrigerator leaked causing damage to my unit?

If leaked for more than a month before we figured out that the leak was from her unit not ours. Her insurance denied the 3rd party claim to us so the insurance claim was processed under my policy and I was forced to eat the $1000 deductible. The claim she was not negligent as supposedly she saw no signs of a leak. The leak happened on the second level traveled through the floor and down a wall causing extensive damage. I would like to take her to small claims court for her to pay my deductible, do I have a good case or am I wasting my time?

Asked on November 6, 2013 under Real Estate Law, New Hampshire


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

She would only be at fault if she were negligent--that is, if she were at fault, through having been unreasonably careless. If there were truly no signs of a leak, then she would not have been negligent or careless in not taking action and would therefore not be liable. So unless there is some reason to think she did know, or reasonably should have known, of the leak, you would probably lose a lawsuit, since without her knowledge of the leak, you'd be unable to show her fault and liability.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.