small claims court

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small claims court

Several year ago, a home improvement chain, installed a completely new shower in one of our bathrooms. The old shower was totally gutted. A totally new stone floor or base was installed all of the way down to and including the subfloor. Recently, serious damage to the entire shower, as a result of water leakage, was discovered. I contacted our insurance company, an adjuster was here within 2 days. The adjuster saw the extent of the damages and the insurance company hired an outside engineering firm to evaluate the damages. It was concluded from the report that the shower was improperly designed and constructed. The insurance company has already said they will pay for the demolition and reconstruction of the shower. The insurance will cover 100% of the cost less $1,000.00 which is part of the insurance agreement. Can I take the store to small claims court to try and recover the $1,000. Also, can I request compensation for non-use of the shower? It will be 3 to 4 months before it is back in service? The insurance company has already filed a claim again the store for the damages.

Asked on March 19, 2019 under Insurance Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, you can sue to recover the deductible. A business which does negligent or substandard work is responsible for the cost to correct the situation, less any amount you receive from insurance (since you are entitled to the total amount once--you cannot be double paid). So if all but $1,000 is being paid by insurance, you can sue for that remaining $1,000.
2) You cannot, however, sue for inconvenience, such as not having use of that shower; you can only sue for actual physical damage or economic loss.


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