Can I be compensated for personal property damage on a job?

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Can I be compensated for personal property damage on a job?

I am a freelance make up artist in Michigan. I was hired for a job and my cell phone screen was cracked by a member of personnel. The producer told me not to worry about it, that my phone would be taken care of. He told me to submit an email explaining what happened and how much it would cost to fix my phone. Once I did, he emailed me and said that they would not pay to fix it because it wasn’t being used during production, hence they are not responsible. But wasn’t his assuring me that he’d take care of it considered a verbal agreement?

Asked on January 12, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Although you could claim that you had a verbal agreement with the producer for repairing the damage to your phone, it may be difficult to prove because in court it would be your word against his.
A better alternative would be to sue the company for negligence because an employer is liable for the negligence of its employee that occurred in the course and scope of employment.
The employee's negligence (cracking the cell phone screen) occurred during the course and scope of employment.
You can file your lawsuit in small claims court.  Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs to your phone.  Upon prevailing in the case, you can also recover court costs which include the court filing fee and process server fee.


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