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Repair shop negligence

Discussion in 'Car Sales, Dealers, Repairs, Lemon Law' started by Gmcmaugh, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. Gmcmaugh

    Gmcmaugh Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Can I sue an automobile repair shop for expenses and turmoil due to negligence by an employee of the shop and misdiagnosis of the resulting problem by the shops top mechanic?

    Here are the details
    The shops negligence caused extreme and immediate overheating of the engine.

    Misdiagnosis of the overheating led to extensive time and money to discover and repair the actual cause of the overheating.

    A new/used truck was purchased due to the overheating/misdiagnosis on my truck. Had I not had the new truck, I would not have been able to identify the damage to the old truck as I needed a vehicle to get to auto parts stores to get parts and other materials used in chasing down the real problem. The new truck was also key in my being able to meet people in parts stores who eventually lead me to the repair shop that in the end found and fixed the problem.

    Had I not purchased the new truck, my old truck would be sitting in a junkyard today. I came within 10 minutes of calling Pick a Part and having the truck towed away. In the end I decided to keep the appointment at the garage to have “one last” look at it, where it was discovered that the shipping cap to the radiator had never been taken off when the new radiator had been installed by All Around Auto.

    Negligence: Mechanic failed to remove the shipping cover on the radiator’s output port. The lower hose was put onto the output port OVER the top of the shipping cover and the hose clamped down.

    Result of Negligence: The engine’s coolant flow was blocked and the engine overheated immediately at extreme high temperature.

    Misdiagnosis by the auto shops head mechanic: “Catastrophic” engine failure – blown head gasket – extremely hot exhaust gases in the coolant.

    Estimate of repair to replace the head gasket was $850 plus parts, with no guarantee that replacing the head gasket would fix the problem. No guarantee that a new head gasket wouldn’t fail within the first few minutes of operation unless the cause of the head gasket failure was identified.

    3 weeks of turmoil and stress not to mention the purchase of a 12K truck, that I did NOT need to purchase.
  2. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    You can sue anyone for any reason you'd like.

    You've provided almost no details so I doubt anyone will be able to even guess whether or not your lawsuit would be a success for you.
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Of course you can sue.

    Did you really suppose there might be some law that prevents you from filing suit?

    And is that really the only thing you intended to ask?

    Rather obviously, opining about any given lawsuit's chances of success requires knowing at least some of the relevant facts.
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You can sue anyone for any grievance you believe you have.

    No one can handicap the outcome of any trial.

    Good luck.
  5. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    I suspect the shop would be willing to compromise with you given the obvious responsibility of the mechanic to remove the cap when the radiator was installed. If not then you can try small claims, however your claims need to be reasonable.
    You won't be successful trying to make the shop pay for the additional vehicle you chose to purchase. You can make that argument, but expect it to fail.
    The shop is responsible for additional damages that you can prove occurred as a result of the cap being left on the radiator. Damage should be minimal if the driver was being responsible and turned off the engine when it began to overheat, however depending on the engine and location of the sensors it is possible the temperature gauge was not reading accurately due to the blockage and the engine could have been run longer before a problem was evident.
    The head gasket makes sense, but only if the leak did not exist previously. I would expect a new water pump to be in order, and often a timing belt is done as preventative maintenance at the same time.
    I would try to get the shop to compensate for the repair of the head gasket as and replacement of the water pump and timing belt. Anything beyond that seems a stretch to me.
    In the end you should not have paid any more than the agreed amount for the original repair.

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