Isa computer company liable for my attempted repairs to my computer?

UPDATED: Dec 30, 2010

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Isa computer company liable for my attempted repairs to my computer?

I took my computer to a company because it wouldn’t charge. They told me the charger port was loose; I said OK. A few days later they called me back and said that the screen wouldn’t reattach because the latches were broken. They asked if I had anyone work on it before; I said no. They said that the pieces to put it together were missing and they couldn’t fix that part. A few days after that, I got call saying that now they had the pieces but they were too loose to fix and also that the charger port was never broken to begin with. They want to give my computer back even more broken; in 2 separate pieces. What can I do legally?

Asked on December 30, 2010 under General Practice, Ohio


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the company for negligence for the faulty repairs.  Negligence is based on failure to exercise due care (that degree of care in this case that a reasonable computer repair shop would have exercised) to prevent foreseeable harm.  In order to establish negligence, you will need to prove breach of the duty of care, actual cause and proximate cause.  Breach of the duty of care would be based on the faulty repairs and the condition in which the computer was returned to you.  Actual cause means but for the faulty repairs would the computer have been damaged?  If the answer is no, which appears to be the case here, you have established actual cause.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable intervening events that would relieve the repair shop of liability?  If the answer is no, which appears to be the case here, you have established proximate cause. 

Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs by another repair shop to repair the damage caused by the original repair shop or the cost of a replacement computer.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages which means you would not be able to select the most expensive repair shop to repair your computer or your damages will be reduced accordingly.  You would need to select a repair shop whose fee would be comparable to others in the area.  If the computer cannot be repaired, a replacement would have to be a computer comparable to your present computer again to mitigate damages and not the most expensive computer you can find or your damages will be reduced accordingly.

You may be able to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  Your damages (in addition to the cost of repairs or the cost of a replacement computer) would also include court costs such as the court filing fee and the 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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