If arepair man came to fix a handle on a microwave and he tried to remove a part to get the handle on and broke it, can I sue him for the cost of the part?

UPDATED: Oct 20, 2011

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If arepair man came to fix a handle on a microwave and he tried to remove a part to get the handle on and broke it, can I sue him for the cost of the part?

The part is $180 which is not worth replacing because the microwave is 6 years old.

Asked on October 20, 2011 under Business Law, Wisconsin


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the repairman and his employer for negligence.  An employer is liable for the negligence of an employee which occurs during the course and scope of employment. 

Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that in this case a reasonable repairman would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (of due care mentioned above), breach of duty (failure to exercise due care by breaking the handle), actual cause, proximate cause and damages.  Actual cause means but for the repairman working on the microwave, would the handle have broken?  If the answer is no, which appears to be the case, actual cause has been established.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable intervening acts which would relieve the repairman/employer of liability?  If the answer is no, proximate cause has been established.  Damages means the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit.  Your damages would be the $180 replacement cost of the part.  Your damages should also include court costs which would be the court filing fee and process server fee.  You can file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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