small claims court

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.

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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