What happens if a TV that I sent in for repair came back with a different problem?

UPDATED: Jun 14, 2011

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What happens if a TV that I sent in for repair came back with a different problem?

I recently had my plasma TV repaired as it would not always turn on; it needed a new power supply. When I picked it up and tested it there were 2 lines vertically down the screen; it was find when I dropped it off.  Upon return, the vendor said it was worked normally when it left his place and so he was not liable. Now he tells me the plasma screen is no good and a replacement will cost more than a new TV. While I was there, TVs were piled up outside the store and a gust of wind blew them over; I bet those customers weren’t informed of this fact. Do I have a case (as it seems that he has caused this new problem)?

Asked on June 14, 2011 under General Practice, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether the repair shop did in fact cause the damage--if they did, they would liable for negligently (i.e. carelessly) damaging property in their control. There appears to be no direct evidence of negligence, though there is some circumstantial evidence--the timing of the problem; what you witnessed about the lack of care this vendor took with other TVs. If you sue, the burden of proof will be on you--you have to affirmatively prove your case--so it's not a given you'd win. On the other hand, suing in small claims court can be very inexpensive, and merely filing a suit may encourage the vendor to at least settle--maybe not paying everything you'd like, but at least pay something for the damage. Bringing a small claims action is something you should therefore consider. Good luck.

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