Can a mechanic be held responsible for school repayments and compensation for loss of a job?

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Can a mechanic be held responsible for school repayments and compensation for loss of a job?

I had bought a car. I needed 2 front struts so I took to car a mechanic and he fixed the struts for almost $1,000. Struts should last 60,000 miles. A few weeks later one of the struts he installed broke. I brought the car back to him and he kept it for 2 days. Struts only take an hour at the most for an experienced mechanic to install. I had to call out of work and loose 2 days of pay. He said he fixed the problem. Then a couple of weeks later the same strut broke. This time he kept my car for 5 days and I still do not have it back. I missed a state job interview because of this.

Asked on October 18, 2011 under General Practice, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, the mechanic is most likely not liable:

1) Under almost NO circumstance would he be liable for the missed job interview, because the causal link between the car being in his shop and you not getting the job is far too tenuous: you could have made the interview and not been hired; you could have easily rented a car, borrowed a car, taken mass transit or a cab, etc. to get to the interview. You can't necessarily trace not getting the job to the car being in the shop, but you have to be able to do so.

2) Similarly, the link between the car being in the shop and the lost pay is so,mewhat tenuous as well, since there are other options to get to work (rental car, borrowed car, mass transit) and also, from what you write, you never asked him when he'd have the car ready for you...if he did not commit to a time it would be ready, then he is not at fault for taking several days to get to it. Unlike the above claim, there is at least a chance you could recover on this claim--since it was a given you had your current job, unlike the job interview, where getting the new job is  wholly speculative--but unless you asked him for when the car would be ready and he violated that, you most likely fact an uphill battle in trying to prove and win this case.


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