Whatdo I need to do if I want to sue a mechanic for ripping me off?

Approximately 3 months ago I dropped my motorcycle off at a mechanics. After a lot of phone calls and patience on my part, I finally got it back lte last month. It needed the front forks rebuilt since they were leaking. I got the motorcycle back, and it began having strange electronic problems. Then 10 days ago I brought it to a dealership, afraid that the mechanic did something wrong. They saw no evidence that he was the cause and I continued along, however I could not rule it out. Today I brought it in for an inspection but it failed because “fork seals are leaking”. This is the reason that I brought it to the guy months ago.

Asked on June 23, 2012 under Business Law, New Hampshire


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the mechanic's work is still under warranty, he should repair the leaking seals at no cost to you.  If the warranty is still in effect and he refuses to repair the leaking seals, you can sue him for breach of warranty.

If the warranty has expired, you can sue the mechanic for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable mechanic would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) for negligence would be the cost of repairs.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by having another mechanic make the repairs whose charges are comparable to other mechanics in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive mechanic you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.  If you need a rental car while your motorcycle is being repaired, you will need to select a rental car with a reasonable rate.  If you were to select the most expensive rental car you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.

You may be able to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  Your damages should also include court costs which would include the court filing fee and process server fee.



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