Can I be compensated for personal property damage on a job?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I be compensated for personal property damage on a job?

I am a freelance make up artist in Michigan. I was hired for a job and my cell phone screen was cracked by a member of personnel. The producer told me not to worry about it, that my phone would be taken care of. He told me to submit an email explaining what happened and how much it would cost to fix my phone. Once I did, he emailed me and said that they would not pay to fix it because it wasn’t being used during production, hence they are not responsible. But wasn’t his assuring me that he’d take care of it considered a verbal agreement?

Asked on January 12, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Although you could claim that you had a verbal agreement with the producer for repairing the damage to your phone, it may be difficult to prove because in court it would be your word against his.
A better alternative would be to sue the company for negligence because an employer is liable for the negligence of its employee that occurred in the course and scope of employment.
The employee's negligence (cracking the cell phone screen) occurred during the course and scope of employment.
You can file your lawsuit in small claims court.  Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs to your phone.  Upon prevailing in the case, you can also recover court costs which include the court filing fee and process server fee.

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 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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