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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    122

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

    First of all it is beyond the statue of limitations. If a Customer never approved for service then you are not held responsible especially if the client is outside of the warranty period or repair period.

    A customer could come to you for an estimate or inquired about service but decide to go somewhere else as he/she did not approve(for you to perform the repair) for the repair. How can the customer prove that he or she did not damage it? How can you prove that you did not damage it? Basically it can be hearsay where he said she said. 6 years is quite a long time to come back for a free or discounted repair.

    Lets say I brought in my laptop for repair at 123 Laptop Repairs 6 years ago and today I found out my hard drive is failing. I simply cannot prove that it was due to 123 Laptop Repairs as you are given a 90 day repair warranty and even then you could be charged for labor and parts if it was found out that the customer altered it. In the case of your customer they could have went on a Safari to Africa two weeks ago and broke the lens and wanted to find someone to blame so they decided to blame you. They may be trying to scam you because 6 years after the fact is too much.

    If they wanted the lens fixed then they need to enter in a new contract with you.

    Clearly you are under no obligation to enter into an old agreement as the cost of labor has gone up and the parts can be more expensive.

    Remember the sign"We reserve the right to refuse service". If the customer is really pushing you to do something you don't want to do then you can tresspass the customer and tell him/her that they are no longer welcome in your establishment and if they come to you again you will call the police and charge them for tresspassing.

    Having a tresspassing warning or order could be helpful to you if you do go to court provided that you are doing it legally and not discriminating against the customer.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    16

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

    Thank you that's what I figured. He's just trying to liquidate his last piece of gear that he owns. He apparently sold all his camera gear. Just my common sense tells me that somebody 6 years after leaving the gear with me , never approving repair and not paying me a penny can't just demand compensation because the lens is still broken. It makes no sense to me and hopefully will be the same to the judge. Besides the statue of limitations should be the best defense.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    122

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

    You are so welcome zaku and yes the Statue Of Limitations is your best defense. Remember to ask for your legal fees to be paid as well as loss of business time during the trial and other foreseeable costs encountered as a result of this frivolous lawsuit. Perhaps ask for a Tresspassing or Restraining Order if you feel uncomfortable dealing with this client in the future. I would tell the Judge that you wish to not do business with a client who tries to come to you after the fact.

    Hope it works out and please keep us posted on the outcome.

  4. #24
    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 travelplus
    View Post
    You are so welcome zaku and yes the Statue Of Limitations is your best defense. Remember to ask for your legal fees to be paid as well as loss of business time during the trial and other foreseeable costs encountered as a result of this frivolous lawsuit. Perhaps ask for a Tresspassing or Restraining Order if you feel uncomfortable dealing with this client in the future. I would tell the Judge that you wish to not do business with a client who tries to come to you after the fact.

    Hope it works out and please keep us posted on the outcome.
    zaku failed to treat the lens as abandoned property and in fact, performed work on the property very recently. That makes an sol defense invalid. In California there are requirements regarding abandoned property. If a merchant fails to avail themselves of what the law allows, they end up with the continuation of a bailment. Given it was a gratuitous bailment at the time the duty of care zaku was required to comply with was an ordinary level of care, the fact the lens was arguably damaged by zaku, the owner has a reasonable argument for the value of the lens, in it's condition at the time of the delivery.


    as to the legal fees and loss of business; not a chance in the world. This is far from frivolous.

    as to a trespassing or restraining order; what are you even talking about? Zaku can ban owner from returning to his shop if he so chooses. If owner returns, there is a trespass. There is no valid argument for a restraining order. Feeling uncomfortable is not even close to a valid claim for an RO.


    zaku writes:

    Thank you that's what I figured. He's just trying to liquidate his last piece of gear that he owns. He apparently sold all his camera gear. Just my common sense tells me that somebody 6 years after leaving the gear with me , never approving repair and not paying me a penny can't just demand compensation because the lens is still broken. It makes no sense to me and hopefully will be the same to the judge. Besides the statue of limitations should be the best defense.
    since he NEVER approved a repair, the only argument you would have to attempt to claim the value of the repair would be on a quantum meruit argument. There was no contract in place under which you could seek compensation, at least that you have disclosed here.

    The statute of limitations does not apply since you did not avail yourself of the laws regarding abandoned property. Then, since you did work, the exact discussion at that time is what the time involved will be dealing with. Your "contract" was entered into on that day. Since I was not privy to that discussion I cannot say if the owner has a valid claim for damages or if you have a valid defense of any sort. You can try an sol defense but often times, given it is was is called an affirmative defense, if you did not file your response to the suit with such a claim, it may not be allowed as a defense once you get to court. Given you are dealing with small claims, the rules can often be loose compared to a higher court, it surely would be in your best interest to at least attempt to make an sol argument.

    - - - Updated - - -

    travelplus;892295]First of all it is beyond the statue of limitations. If a Customer never approved for service then you are not held responsible especially if the client is outside of the warranty period or repair period.
    talk in circles much? If the customer never approved any work, then why was there work performed? Then, what warranty period do you think applies? The work was very recent.

    as to statute of limitations: what are you considering in that statement? sol for am implied warranty? sol for a claim for loss of personal property? sol for a claim on a failure of zaku to perform under his duty of care for a bailment? Something else maybe? Simply tossing out; it is beyond the statute of limitations, doesn't mean a lot in itself.

    A customer could come to you for an estimate or inquired about service but decide to go somewhere else as he/she did not approve(for you to perform the repair) for the repair. How can the customer prove that he or she did not damage it? How can you prove that you did not damage it? Basically it can be hearsay where he said she said. 6 years is quite a long time to come back for a free or discounted repair.
    when the property is in the possession of the repair shop the entire time the "new" damage occurred, well, it makes it a pretty simple argument the owner of the property did not cause the additional or new damage.

    and hearsay has no place in the discussion. Apparently you are not aware of what hearsay is.

    Lets say I brought in my laptop for repair at 123 Laptop Repairs 6 years ago and today I found out my hard drive is failing. I simply cannot prove that it was due to 123 Laptop Repairs as you are given a 90 day repair warranty and even then you could be charged for labor and parts if it was found out that the customer altered it. In the case of your customer they could have went on a Safari to Africa two weeks ago and broke the lens and wanted to find someone to blame so they decided to blame you. They may be trying to scam you because 6 years after the fact is too much.
    zaku was in possession of the lens when the "new" damage took place. Unless zaku can prove to the courts satisfaction the damage apparent when the lens was first brought in could result in the damage seen when the customer retrieved it simply due to the passage of time, it is possible zaku may be on the hook for the value of the lens in the condition it was in when first brought in. Your argument about the computer has nothing in common with the situation here. It isn't that the owner had the lens repaired 6 years ago and is attempting to make a warranty claim. It is that there was less damage when the lens was brought in. The lens was in the possession of zaku the entire time. zaku is liable for the additional damage.

    If they wanted the lens fixed then they need to enter in a new contract with you.
    yet zaku did work on the lens. Either there was a contract in place or zaku performed work he was not authorized to perform.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    16

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

    How about this,
    I never performed any work on the lens. It was never approved or paid for
    He never approved, I returned it to him as it was. End of story

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,530

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

    What do you mean; how about this?

    you already said you worked on it.

    But even if you didn't he would have a claim based on your negligence while the lens was in your possession. As I stated before, since you failed to comply with the laws regarding abandoned property and did return the lens to him you have no argument that there was not a continuing bailment.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    16

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

    Thank you for the comprehensive post previously. I'm learning a lot here :-)
    OK I did not work on it
    I returned the lens to him after 6 years jut the way he gave it to me.
    How is he going to prove otherwise?
    Why was it bad that I returned it to him?
    would I be better off not returning it to him?
    how do I treat equipment as abandoned property?
    Thanks again.... I really appreciate the explanations on such a short notice...

  8. #28
    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

    If you are telling us that you plan to lie under oath in court, well, all the more power to you. That's not something we can help you with.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    in alto mare
    Posts
    1,123

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

    Quote Quoting zaku
    View Post
    Hypothetically speaking of course. I'm just talking about different scenarios. Why was it bad to return the lens? I'm trying to learn something for the future. I may put in some preventive clauses in my estimates after this. Something that would help me to avoid this from happening again.
    BTW I don't have to lie about it. I can just say that i returned the lens. It is the truth...
    You better hope he doesn't find this thread.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    16

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

    Haha that would be something!!!!
    I'm only speaking hypothetically ;-)

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