What can I do if I took my car to an upholstery shop for a new convertible top but they left it out in the rain?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if I took my car to an upholstery shop for a new convertible top but they left it out in the rain?

At the time it had only the headliner on it. When I got the car home I saw water leaking from the trunk area. I found 2 inches of water in the spare tire well. I then checked the entire car and found it soaked and musty. The car had apparently been rained on for 2 days while in the care of the upholstery shop. They made no effort to cover the car, remove the water or inform me of the incident at all. I think that they need to reimburse me for replacement materials for the damaged carpet, insulation. They say, “I should have known that they didn’t put cars inside”. The turnaround time was 3 days, with a $500 deposit, balance due at time of pick up.

Asked on November 14, 2015 under Business Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

d on what you write, they are most likely liable for having negligently, or carelessly, damaging your car: what they did was unreasonably careless and it is not your obligation to know that they do not do what any reasonable car shop, etc. would and protect the car from the elements. If they will not pay voluntarily, you could sue them for the money; based on the amount apparently at stake, suing in small claims court, acting as your own attorney ("pro se") is probably the best way to go--otherwise, you could spend more legal fees than you will get back.

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