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  1. #1
    nanomug is offline Member
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    Help! neighbor suing for damages

    What is the name of your state? california
    Neighbor is suing me for property damage that occured due to her asking me to help her. Should I pay? Am I responsible/liable?
  2. #2
    absconder Guest
    Like ya know, what happened man?
  3. #3
    nanomug is offline Member
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    Help! neighbor suing for damages

    additional information. neighbor (female) wanted to get her car out of the garage, but due to major snow storm couldn't remove snow from her steep driveway. She asked me to help her by getting her husbands plow and plow her driveway. I had used the plow before, but not on her driveway. I had to back up the driveway and due to ice conditions I hit her garage door and the panels came down. I put the panels back up and everything seemed fine. She called me weeks later telling me I owed her an entire new garage door ($800). She asked me to help her using her equipment and due to conditions beyond my control damage was done (it looked very minor). She called me and said if I didn't pay half, she would sue me for the whole amount, which she has.
    What do I do?
  4. #4
    jity is offline Member
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    My questions

    Who broke it?
    Who broke it?
    Who broke it?
    Who broke it?
    Who broke it?
    Who broke it?

    Very nice of you to clear the ice/snow! Did you get paid / Did they higher you? Now this is the kicker was the door in such poor shape it would have fallen apart anyway?
  5. #5
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanomug
    additional information. neighbor (female) wanted to get her car out of the garage, but due to major snow storm couldn't remove snow from her steep driveway. She asked me to help her by getting her husbands plow and plow her driveway. I had used the plow before, but not on her driveway. I had to back up the driveway and due to ice conditions I hit her garage door and the panels came down. I put the panels back up and everything seemed fine. She called me weeks later telling me I owed her an entire new garage door ($800). She asked me to help her using her equipment and due to conditions beyond my control damage was done (it looked very minor). She called me and said if I didn't pay half, she would sue me for the whole amount, which she has.
    What do I do?
    Tell her never to ask you for help again and to pull out her homeowner's policy. Because that's all she's getting.
  6. #6
    nanomug is offline Member
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    Court date is Monday, May 8. Answers to questions below; any ideas for preparing for court?
    "Very nice of you to clear the ice/snow!"
    yes, it was!
    "Did you get paid / Did they higher you?"
    did not get paid, she asked me to help her because she couldn't do it and her husband wasn't home. it was with her equipment on her steep curving driveway.
    "Now this is the kicker was the door in such poor shape it would have fallen apart anyway?"
    They complained about the door on occasion. The garage had dents in it prior to the incident. I put it back together and it worked fine at that time. She seemed ok with it.

    "Tell her never to ask you for help again and to pull out her homeowner's policy. Because that's all she's getting."
    That is probably why she is suing me.

    She called me up a few weeks ago to say that if I didn't pay half, she would sue me for the whole amount. She says I'm responsible for the replacement of the garage door because I was driving the plow. The estimate for the garage door did not mention damage or why it must be replaced rather than repaired; I'm not convinced what happend required a whole new door nor have I seen any evidence that says it does.
  7. #7
    jity is offline Member
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    If you want to gamble on victory or not, a lawyer could be beneficial, either way you would pay around 200+ damages if awarded. I would try to place the negligence on the owner or the equipment that she supplied you, if this applies.

    The owner(s) of the snowplow did not fully explain proper usage.
    The owner(s) of the snowplow did not offer to show me the instruction manual.
    The owner(s) of the property did not explain in detail or general the hazards of the given property.
    The garage door was damaged before this incident.
    The snowplow acted like it had a defect or malfunction which caused it to slip, when was the last time it was professionally serviced? (ask the plaintiff through the judge)
    Do you have the maintenance records of the snowplow?
    The owner(s) in the past had only asked for half of the damages, which I felt were unreasonable considering the condition of the garage door.
    The owner stated that despite the damage her equipment caused, it was fine, and not to worry about it.

    If the damage is still present, you should take pictures. Since I don’t know the present condition of the door I don’t know what else to say. What are the dates? When did it happen? When did she say give me half? What date did she sue you? While you’re still are at fault, you can shift the blame if the judge will listen. Ware a suit, be professional, address the court “your honor” Don’t yell or raise your voice. Talk directly to the judge at all times in a calm voice.
  8. #8
    nanomug is offline Member
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    The incident occured on January 4, 2005. They replaced the garage door in late March. I don't have pictures of the old door; but have pictures of the new door, the steep curving driveway and the back of the bobcat plow. They haved lived there 4 years and the door was there when we moved in 3+ years.
    She called up after the garage was replaced and said if I didn't pay half she would sue me for the full amount, which she has in small claims. The scheduled date is May 9. Interesting on the scc papers is that she says the incident occured on January 19, when I was out of town. She told me what the new door would cost about a week before she replaced it. I was surprised since she didn't say anything when the incident occured and said the door worked fine after I put it back together.
    Do I mention that she has had a history of asking my help?
    What is the basis of fault you mention? "While you’re still are at fault".
    Thanks!
  9. #9
    cmorris is offline Member
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    Bring all of your proof and proof you were out of town that day. Don't deny it--tell the correct day. This *may* help discredit her to some degree.

    Since it is small claims, you won't need an attorney.

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