Is a body shop liable for damage cause by a sublet?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is a body shop liable for damage cause by a sublet?

A car was at a body shop for repairs. The window was changed by a sublet company. It started to pour rain during the replacement and having the windshield out had to move the vehicle to inside to prevent electrical issues. In the process an accident happened. The vehicle had minor damages and the work it was in for had not been fully completed. There was some damage to the contents inside the body shop bay. Who is responsible for the vehicle damage

and the shop contents the body shop or the sublet?

Asked on June 24, 2016 under Business Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

More than one party can be liable--that is, in this case, you can potentially collect from both the shop and the subcontractor, increasing your chance of actually receiving money. If the subcontractor caused the damage, they would be liable if they were in any way at fault (for example, careless) in causing it: at fault parties are responsible for the damage they cause. The shop could also potentially be liable depending on the degree of supervision they exercised and the contract or relationship between them and the subcontractor. If neither party voluntarily compensates you and you have to sue, you should name both if them in the suit.

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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