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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: A Client is Suing Me Over an Old Repair He Never Approved or Paid for

    OK sounds good (not really haha)
    I'll gather all the for sale ads, and play it by the ear. Should I volunteer with the printouts of the old emails or just verbally describe them? Is it important to have the printouts?

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,208

    Default Re: A Client is Suing Me Over an Old Repair He Never Approved or Paid for

    In small claims court, the case is heard as a dialog between the judge and the plaintiff and the judge and the defendant. You don't know how that dialog will take place until it happens. The judge will want to get to the meat and bones of the case as quickly as he can. If he thinks the plaintiff has a case and you don't have a defense, the judge will want to know about damages. On the other hand, if the judge does not think the plaintiff has a case, you will not need to establish the cost.

    It's the same thing with the emails. Have everything with you and use it if you need it.

    Did you answer the complaint or file a counterclaim for the cost of repair?

    http://www.courts.ca.gov/1113.htm

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: A Client is Suing Me Over an Old Repair He Never Approved or Paid for

    No I did not know it was possible.
    All this time I tried to get it taken care of by fixing the lens and he changed his mind about going ahead with the suit on Monday.
    I happen to be traveling this week.
    The court date is on Monday.
    BTW if the claim states period of 1/1/2012- 1/1/2013 the starting date is past 3 years. Would that make the claim pass SOL?

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: A Client is Suing Me Over an Old Repair He Never Approved or Paid for

    Quote Quoting zaku
    View Post
    All this time I tried to get it taken care of by fixing the lens and he changed his mind about going ahead with the suit on Monday.
    If you're planning on not appearing in court on Monday, you had best be certain that the matter has been dismissed or adjourned. If the plaintiff appears in court on Monday and you're not there, he'll likely get a default judgment.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,530

    Default Re: A Client is Suing Me Over an Old Repair He Never Approved or Paid for

    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post
    In small claims court, the case is heard as a dialog between the judge and the plaintiff and the judge and the defendant. You don't know how that dialog will take place until it happens. The judge will want to get to the meat and bones of the case as quickly as he can. If he thinks the plaintiff has a case and you don't have a defense, the judge will want to know about damages. On the other hand, if the judge does not think the plaintiff has a case, you will not need to establish the cost.

    It's the same thing with the emails. Have everything with you and use it if you need it.

    Did you answer the complaint or file a counterclaim for the cost of repair?

    http://www.courts.ca.gov/1113.htm
    He cannot alter the contract of a free repair to now customer has to pay for it.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,208

    Default Re: A Client is Suing Me Over an Old Repair He Never Approved or Paid for

    I don't see anything in OP's posts that says he made any contract to repair the lens for free either in writing or verbally.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,530

    Default Re: A Client is Suing Me Over an Old Repair He Never Approved or Paid for

    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post
    I don't see anything in OP's posts that says he made any contract to repair the lens for free either in writing or verbally.
    Going back and reading it appears not clear to me if the repair of the newly discovered damage was at the owners cost or some other arrangement. Given how it was phrased;

    I took some time trying to repair, make the lens perform better and returned it to him



    sounds like op was simply attempting to repair the lens without charging the customer. Otherwise why wouldn't op simply give an estimate to replace the element and make it fully functional. Why would one stop at "made it work better" if one is charging for a repair?

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: A Client is Suing Me Over an Old Repair He Never Approved or Paid for

    Yes it it confusing
    Here is the time line
    2009 customer brought me the lens and I gave him the estimate of $1700 to repair.
    He did not get back to me until 2012.But that was about some other repairs, technical advise. By then I had put the lens in storage shed. He did not inquire about the lens until 2013. When I pulled the lens out of storage about that time I noticed the separating glass and started looking for replacement. That's when I told him about it. Unable to find replacement for this old lens I did what I could to make it work correctly and returned it to him about a month ago.
    Before I did I asked him via email if that will take care of the lawsuit . He said yes and he confirmed when I returned the lens.
    Last weekend I got an email from him that he changed his mind and is proceeding with the lawsuit. There was no other contract, verbal or otherwise about the repair. I did what I could because he told me he'd back out of the lawsuit. I'm back from travel now and plan to be present for the court date.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,530

    Default Re: A Client is Suing Me Over an Old Repair He Never Approved or Paid for

    so the original $1700 estimate was for the damage as known in 2009. I don't know if that repair had anything to do with the recent condition.

    Unable to find replacement for this old lens I did what I could to make it work correctly and returned it to him about a month ago.
    do you often charge $1700 to repair something with the promise of; I'll do what I can to make it work but no promises?

    so, was the work you did part of a contract to repair the lens or was it gratis for whatever reason? If part of the contract, why did you allow him to take the lens without receiving payment?



    and if you could not find replacement parts, how is it that you can now provide a price for those parts that are not available?

    Would it be helpful to print out some ebay ads that show that the price of that lens is $2900? I could also argue that the repair was $1700 so the actual value of the lens before the damage was discovered was $2900-1700=1200. I also looked online and found similar glass element for sale for $400.
    Could I argue that the claim is $400 or less since that's what the cost of the damaged element is?
    if you could not find the element to replace the damaged one, there is no price available.

    and in the following excerpt from another of your posts you state you cannot find a replacement for the lens. Either you can establish value because there are other lenses like this one for sale or there aren't. If not, you can attempt to establish value by using similar age, quality, and mechanically comparable lenses.





    .
    Unable to find replacement for this old lens I did what I could to make it work correctly and returned it to him about a month ago.
    Before I did I asked him via email if that will take care of the lawsuit . He said yes and he confirmed when I returned the lens.
    not likely to be worth much of anything. All he has to do is claim you said the lens would be fixed which apparently it isn't.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: A Client is Suing Me Over an Old Repair He Never Approved or Paid for

    I'm sorry about the confusion it is a bit convoluted. I appreciate your time very much indeed. ;-)
    At the time of the initial $1700 estimate the glass was not part of it as I was unaware of the damage. I only quoted for the repair I was going to perform.
    I found another glass element from the same type of the lens for $400 (approximately same size but not the same one). I can not locate the needed element.
    The glass is still the same in the lens (separating/damaged) I just made mechanical repair/adjustment for it to work correctly. You actually can't see any effect on the image created by the lens caused by the separation. But it is clearly visible when you look inside the lens.
    He was clearly aware that the separating glass will remain in the lens- the assembly, adjustment will only be mechanical.
    Actually I looked back and there isn't even mention of any repair on our recent exchange.
    He just wanted the lens back and said that he would back out.
    I did some tweaking/mechanical repairs on my own...
    Oh yes and there is another one for sale now.
    In good condition, no repairs needed, $4000. Can I use it as an example and deduct the $1700 repair from it?
    And use the $2900 one that sold on Ebay to support my claim?

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