If a mechanic gave me a quote but something fell into the engine, do I have to pay for the repairs?

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If a mechanic gave me a quote but something fell into the engine, do I have to pay for the repairs?

I was getting my injectors and glow plugs changed. When removing the components, one of the injectors and one of the glow plugs broke and pieces of metal ended up in my cylinder. The shop is saying that the head would have to be removed to ensure the metal isn’t in the engine. The work will require 30 hours of labor. Isn’t the shop insured if something goes wrong while they are working on my truck? Shouldn’t they have to stick with their quote?

Asked on February 3, 2017 under Business Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Their insurance is irrelevant--what matters is whether they are liable, or legally responsible for, the condition and cost to repair. (The quote also does not matter, because the circumstances changed with the parts falling into your engine; a quote only applies when the facts remain as they were when the quote was given.)
If it was the negligence (carelessness, clumsiness, error, mistake, etc.) of the mechanic which caused the parts yo break and fall into your engine, the shop is liable for the cost to repair; someone who negligently damages your property is responsible for the cost of that damage.
If the mechanic did nothing wrong and the parts broke and fell in because they were damaged, corroded, old, or defective, then the shop would not have to pay this cost; liability is based on fault, or doing something wrong.


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