If a customer is claiming that I damaged her fence, do I have to mail her a check for the amount she stated?

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If a customer is claiming that I damaged her fence, do I have to mail her a check for the amount she stated?

I pressure washed a fence and the customer is claiming I ruined her fence. The company who is fixing it quoted her $1900. I only did have of the fence as I noticed the algae and mold was not being

removed. She wants me to mail her a check that she can cash.

Asked on May 16, 2019 under Business Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

No, you can refuse to pay her at all and see if she sues you. Or you can send her what you deem is fair and see if she sues you for the rest. To win her court case, if she were to sue, she would have to prove in court by a "preponderance of the evidence" (that is is "more likely than not") that you did the damage she claims you did. She would also have to prove not just that she paid $1,900 but that $1,900 is a reasonable price for the repairs: while she is not required to go with the "lowest bidder," she is not allowed to overpay by a large margin, or pay for more work or higher quality work than is needed (she can only fix the damaged portion of the fence, to the same quality that it had been before) simply because she is counting on you paying for it.


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