Is an A/C vendor liable for damage repairs to my home?

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Is an A/C vendor liable for damage repairs to my home?

I have home warranty. That company sent a vendor out to repair my A/C. Air conditioning company came out and replaced evaporator coil and installed a small drain pan. Half the size of my original drain pan. 31 days later my daughter’s bedroom wall is wet from water draining down from the secondary drain pipe. A/C company came back out said it was a plumbing problem not a/c. Plumber came out and said A/C guy did not blow out my lines when he put in new coil and pan is too small for my unit. Also said A/C guy pulled secondary pipe to connect to small pan and caused it to come apart from exterior

Asked on July 31, 2011 Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the air conditioner repair company for negligence.  Negligence is based on the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that in this case a reasonable air conditioner repairman would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  It would be advisable to obtain a statement signed under penalty of perjury from the plumber who stated that the A/C repairman caused the problem.

In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (of due care discussed above), breach of duty (failure to make the repairs), actual cause, proximate cause and damages.  Actual cause means but for the substandard A/C repairs would there have been water damage to the bedroom wall?  If the answer is no, which appears to be the case, you have established actual cause.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable intervening events that would relieve the A/C company of liability? If the answer is no, you have established proximate cause.  Damages refers to the compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit which in this case would be the cost of repairs to your house.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages which means that if you have another company make the repairs, you will need to select a company whose charges are comparable to those of other companies in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive company you could find to repair the damage to your house, your damages would be reduced accordingly.  You will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the air conditioner repair company for negligence.  Negligence is based on the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that in this case a reasonable air conditioner repairman would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  It would be advisable to obtain a statement signed under penalty of perjury from the plumber who stated that the A/C repairman caused the problem.

In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (of due care discussed above), breach of duty (failure to make the repairs), actual cause, proximate cause and damages.  Actual cause means but for the substandard A/C repairs would there have been water damage to the bedroom wall?  If the answer is no, which appears to be the case, you have established actual cause.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable intervening events that would relieve the A/C company of liability? If the answer is no, you have established proximate cause.  Damages refers to the compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit which in this case would be the cost of repairs to your house.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages which means that if you have another company make the repairs, you will need to select a company whose charges are comparable to those of other companies in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive company you could find to repair the damage to your house, your damages would be reduced accordingly.  You will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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