What todo if an electronics store hung a TV for me but it fell damaging the wall and fireplace?

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What todo if an electronics store hung a TV for me but it fell damaging the wall and fireplace?

They have assumed liability but have only offered $600 for the repair of the wall and fireplace. The first bid for repairs was from the contractor who built the fireplace and he gave me a friendly bid of $1,600 which was rejected by the store. I received 2 more bids one for $2,850 and the third for $2,800. As I prepare for a small claims court appearance, should I ask for the low original bid of $1,600 or the more realistic bid of $2,800 which was the middle bid?

Asked on March 12, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the realistic bid of $2800.  Your damages should also include the cost of repair or replacement of the TV and court costs.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.  One issue which might arise in the case since the store knows of the $1600 bid is mitigation of damages which would mean going with the lowest bid.  Since that bid was unrealistic, you should go with the realistic bid of $2800.

Your lawsuit against the electronics store would be for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable electronics store would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You should probably use the middle bid, but bring all three in to court--you will likely be asked under oath about all bids you received, and must be able answer truthfully. You can, however, list any factors you believe which made the lowest bid exceptional or unreliable--e.g. if you've worked with this contractor before, if there were cost overruns, inflating the price over his initial proposal.


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