If someone spilled coffee on mylaptop, what are my rights?

Someone spilled a Capuchino on my laptop. Tech support cannot recover it and I cannot use it anymore. It was 6 months old. Is there any chance that the other person has to replace the device?

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The other person would be responsible if he/she were negligent or unreasonably careless--e.g. was "talking with their hands" while walking past you, or not watching where they were going, or trying to carry too much, etc. If the spill were not their fault--someone else bumped them or the table top; the cup was defective and leaked; etc.--they would not responsible. To recover from them if they don't voluntarily pay you, you'd need to sue, and then prove, in court, that the spill was their fault, by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e. that it was more likely than not).

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