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Water damage due to incorrect installation of kitchen appliance, liability under CA state law

Antioch, CA |

We own a kitchen appliance installation company. We got in the mail today, a letter from a previous client stating we need to pay for water damage in his condo and possible other condo units amounting in the amount of $35,000.00 possibly more. We installed this Bosch dishwasher December of 2005. Customer is stating water damage happened June 17, 2008. The dishwasher hose/crimp became detached from the dishwasher water inlet. All hose and crimps are all provided by the manufactor of the dishwasher. Are we liable for this damage? Client has no homeowners insurance and is seeking for us to pay the damages to this condo building.

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

DISCLAIMER- THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE AND DOES NOT ESTABLISH AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. CONSULT QUALIFIED LEGAL COUNSEL IN YOUR CITY OR STATE FOR IMMEDIATE LEGAL ADVICE.

Generally speaking, a person is injured or suffers damages as a result of the careless and wrongful conduct of another, than the person who is harmed is entitled to be "made whole" by way of monetary damages.

If you installed the dishwasher correctly and pursuant to industry standards, then you were not negligent and are not responsible for the other persons damages. By the way, the complaining party has the burden of proving negligence... not you!

So what exactly is negligence? It is the doing of something which a reasonably prudent person would not do, or the failure to do something which a reasonably prudent person would do, under circumstances similar to those shown by the evidence. It is the failure to use ordinary or reasonable care.

Ordinary or reasonable care is that care which persons of ordinary prudence would use in order to avoid injury to themselves or others under circumstances similar to those shown by the evidence. The person whose conduct we set up as a standard is not the extraordinarily cautious individual, nor the exceptionally skillful one, but a person of reasonable and ordinary prudence.

One test that is helpful in determining whether or not a person was negligent is to ask and answer the question whether or not, if a person of ordinary prudence had been in the same situation and possessed of the same knowledge, he or she would have foreseen or anticipated that someone might have been injured by or as a result of his or her action or inaction. If the answer to that question is "yes", and if the action or inaction reasonably could have been avoided, then not to avoid it would be negligence.

Most liability insurance policies will cover the negligent conduct of another. Automobile and homeowner polices are examples.

The above information is provided for discussion purposes only. Jackson & Wilson, Inc. and its attorneys believe in helping people and answering their questions and providing information and solutions. To encourage and facilitate this practice, it is understood and agreed by the recipient that by opening, reading and viewing this information, no attorney-client relationship has been discussed, agreed to or otherwise established. In legal matters, time is of the essence. As such, you should contact an experienced lawyer right away to protect your legal rights!

Best Regards,

Jon Mitchell "Mitch" Jackson
Jackson & Wilson, Inc.
An "AV" rated firm listed in Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
www.JacksonWilson.com

Posted

Mitch's answer is right on for you. What you need to do is turn this over to your insurance company and let them know your position. They will deal with it for you. And make sure you document everything.

Good luck.

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