What to do if my mother-in law took her vehicle to a local repair shop and they said they replaced a section of brake line but didn’t?

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What to do if my mother-in law took her vehicle to a local repair shop and they said they replaced a section of brake line but didn’t?

Keep in mind the emergency brake does not work. She drove the car again shortly after and almost crashed. She took it back to them and they said it was another bad section and she needs to replace all lines for a sum of $800. She could not afford this so I said I would see what I can do. Me and my friend repaired the leaky section and another that looked bad. Here’s the kicker; There were no other repaired sections of line. Repeat: they replaced nothing. It’s my suspicion that they merely topped off the fluid and pulled up the pedal so when it went to the floor again it would appear to have broke another place.

Asked on January 1, 2013 under Business Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the shop 1) to recover any money previously paid to them and 2) any damage done by their failure to do the work. You would sue under one or more of the following theories:

Breach of contract: they did not do what they agreed to do, and what your mother-in-law paid for.

Fraud: they lied about what they could do or would do in order to get her to give them her business.

Negligence: they were unreasonably careless in the work they did.

For the amount of money you discuss, it would probably be best for your mother-in-law to sue in small claims court, where she could act as her own attorney and save on legal fees.


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