If property is damaged but fixed under a warranty, does the part who caused the damage still have to pay for the amount of the repair?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If property is damaged but fixed under a warranty, does the part who caused the damage still have to pay for the amount of the repair?

An employee damaged a fridge door while moving it into a basement. The customer had the fridge fixed using his warranty for the fridge, so it was all covered and the customer did not have to pay anything. Now the customer sent us a bill to pay the amount it would have cost to fix the damaged fridge door. We would like to know if we have to pay that amount even if it was already covered by the warranty plan. Also, the customer did not tell us about the fridge until like a week later and we asked for a picture of the damaged door and never received the picture.

Asked on January 2, 2017 under Business Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, if you damage another's property, you have to pay for the *actual* cost or loss he or she suffered; but if the fridge were repaired under warranty, the customer did not suffer any actual loss (did not pay money) and so cannot recover money from you--he or she cannot make a profit on the damage by being paid twice, one by the warranty company (in the form of the repair) and once by you.
In theory the warranty company could seek reimbursement of what they paid out to the customer from you, but are very likely to do that--it is most likely not cost effective for them.

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