What to do if I had an oil change at a service center near my apartment complex but they failed to replace the oil that they removed?

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What to do if I had an oil change at a service center near my apartment complex but they failed to replace the oil that they removed?

This was on a Friday. I didn’t drive all weekend and on my way to work my car broke down. I had the car towed and they indicated that there was no oil and no oil filter. My motor is now dead. What legal actions can I take and do I have a good case for small claims court? I had contacted the oil changing location and they insisted I have my car towed to their shop, which I do not want. Can you please advise?

Asked on June 4, 2013 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, you would seem to have a good case against them: when a mechanic, repair shop, etc. is negligent, or unreasonably careless, in how service is performed, he or or it will be liable for the damage or costs that are thereby caused. Not replacing the oil and filter is clearly negligent; you therefore should have a good case against them for the repair cost, up to and including the cost of a new engine. You may also be able to get other related costs--e.g. towing; renting a car while yours is inoperable; etc. You could sue in small claims court as long as the amount you are seeking is less than the small claims maximum.


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