Can a company decline to pay for damage that their faulty product has caused?

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Can a company decline to pay for damage that their faulty product has caused?

My husband ordered car parts that were installed at pro repair shop. When the car was tested the parts failed and caused damage to the engine. The company claims that they only pay for the replacement of their parts but not to the damage it has done to our car. The damage (worst case) is a completely blown motor which will cost about 7,000 USD to replace.

Asked on May 10, 2012 under General Practice, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This area of law is products liability.  Your husband can sue the company for negligence and strict liability.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable  auto parts manufacturer would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to produce a product that is not defective).  Strict liability is liability whether or not due care was exercised.  Negligence and strict liability are separate causes of action (claims) in your husband's lawsuit against the company.  Your husband's damages (the amount of compensation he is seeking in his lawsuit for negligence and strict liability against the company) would be the cost of repairs to his car (the cost of replacing the motor).  If a rental car is needed while the car is in the shop, the cost of the rental car should also be included in the damages.  Your husband will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting a repair shop whose fees are comparable to other repair shops in the area.  If your husband selected the most expensive repair shop he could find to replace the motor, he would have failed to mitigate damages and his damages would be reduced accordingly.  Also, with regard to the rental car, your husband will need to mitigate damages by selecting a rental car with a reasonable rate.  If your husband selected the most expensive rental car he could find, he would have failed to mitigate damages and his damages would be reduced accordingly.


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