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Ask Debra Your Own Question
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 99465
Experience:  Lawyer
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We had some plumbing work done and called a big company in

Customer Question

we had some plumbing work done and called a big company in Edmonton named Mr Rooter. The field rep came over and tried snaking the lines in our basement to no avail. He then checked the pump in our septic and found it was burnt out. As he couldn't get a replacement for 2 days, he told us not to run water (which we shut off ), or put anything down the drains. Although a major inconvenience over the weekend, we agreed. Not 15 mins after he left, we started getting sewage up through the floor drain in the basement. When we called him, he said that there was nothing he could do for that. I should mention we paid him for his services, $600 by credit card.
After starting to clean the mess up, it happened again. We thought it may be our lines draining out from where he had snaked them. I immediately called my insurance company who called a clean up company (Servicemaster). They were here most of the night cleaning up the mess. The next morning, my wife and I heard water running in the septic. I checked inside and saw liquid spewing out from the pipe. 5 mins later, we had a massive amount of waste come up through the floor drain this time flooding the entire basement.The service rep had cut the line to the pump and left it uncapped. I immediately called the township and they arrived within 30 minutes. He immediately shut off the valve at the road to the main sewers. He asked who cut the line as the pump has the back flow valve on it preventing sewage from coming back in. He said that any reputable plumber would know better. He couldn't believe someone would leave it like that. Another company I called to replace the pump a day later said the same thing.
Now my insurance company is covering the loss of contents and the restoration...but my question is can I go after Mr Rooter for what I paid them as well as my deductible? As well, are they liable for the stress and inconvenience this is putting my family through?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.
You can go after Mr Rooter to put you back in the position you would have been in had this not happened. So you can sue for the deductible and also for any out-of-pocket expenses you incurred that you are not being reimbursed for by your insurance. You cannot successfully sue for stress. You can sue for inconvenience though that is hard to quantify though I would certainly think you would get something for this. Your next step would be to send the a demand letter, demanding compensation at an amount you set (explain how you got there) and giving the a deadline to pay. Tell them if they fail to comply you will commence legal proceedings and then will be seeking interest and your costs. You can sue in Small Claims Court and can self-represent and if it gets that far you can always post on the site again if you find you need some help and I can assist you further.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should I also demand the amount the insurance company deducts on the contents for depreciation?
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.
Yes for sure.