What to do if I live in an attached 3 level townhouse and my neighbor’s water line to her refrigerator leaked causing damage to my unit?

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What to do if I live in an attached 3 level townhouse and my neighbor’s water line to her refrigerator leaked causing damage to my unit?

If leaked for more than a month before we figured out that the leak was from her unit not ours. Her insurance denied the 3rd party claim to us so the insurance claim was processed under my policy and I was forced to eat the $1000 deductible. The claim she was not negligent as supposedly she saw no signs of a leak. The leak happened on the second level traveled through the floor and down a wall causing extensive damage. I would like to take her to small claims court for her to pay my deductible, do I have a good case or am I wasting my time?

Asked on November 6, 2013 under Real Estate Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

She would only be at fault if she were negligent--that is, if she were at fault, through having been unreasonably careless. If there were truly no signs of a leak, then she would not have been negligent or careless in not taking action and would therefore not be liable. So unless there is some reason to think she did know, or reasonably should have known, of the leak, you would probably lose a lawsuit, since without her knowledge of the leak, you'd be unable to show her fault and liability.


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