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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 23848
Experience:  Attorney with 14 years experience in various consumer protection areas
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I have a legal suit against me by a paint shop that we worked

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I have a legal suit against me by a paint shop that we worked together restoring my car. We agreed that I buy the materials and remove the paint. The agreed price was $3000. After it was done the shop said the price was $7000. The shop never gave me a written estimate as required by law. We has a arbitration hearing and they awarded the paint shop $3500 settle the case. Should I go to trial and see what happens. Thanks. Carter, Illinois
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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We has a arbitration hearing and they awarded the paint shop $3500 settle the case. Should I go to trial and see what happens.
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If they actually did the work and this is just dickering about price, then you would have to determine whether the $500 difference between what you agreed to pay and what they were awarded was worth yout time and effort to dispute. To me, if they wanted $7K and then got $3,500 I would count that as a win if they had to do work over an above what they originally estimated. This is common in restorations where they run into problems that they didn't plan on and weren't anticipating.
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For $500 it wouldn't be worth the time and trouble to take it to trial for me. But that is just me and you may decide it is worth it.
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However, if you are appealing the decision, it could come back with a higher award than the $3,500 they were awarded so you have to factor that into your decision. If you appeal you will likely have to hire an attorney to assist, so that is a cost that would also be incurred whether you win or lose and it would likely cost much more than $500 to hire an attorney to pursue this.
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If you are asking for my opinion, I would cut my losses and pay the $3500 rather than pay an attorney a couple thousand and risk a higher award.
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Thanks
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 23848
Experience: Attorney with 14 years experience in various consumer protection areas
Barrister and 6 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry, maybe I did not make it clear that I have already paid the shop nearly $4,000. Now they were awarded $3,500 extra. The law requires a repair shop to provide a written estimate and I never got one. There is no contract between the shop and I because we worked together on my car as a project. Thanks for your time. Carter Campbell, Illinois

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ah, ok that makes a big difference. I misunderstood your comments to mean that they were awarded $3500 total, not in addition to money you had already paid.
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That makes the case a bit more difficult to decide. If they ran into a lot of extra work that they didn't anticipate when they gave you the estimate, then they might be able to recover for the extra work under the doctrine of "in quantum meruit" or " as much as he is entitled to". This is a legal doctrine that says that a person should be compensated for their work even if it is not explicitly spelled out in a contract.
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You would likely incur attorney costs of at least $2,000-3,000 in fighting this with no guarantee of winning or having the award reduced. So if they had to do more work than was originally anticipated or agreed on, I would opine that it wouldn't be worth the cost of hiring an attorney to fight this because you would be out your attorney's fees whether you win or lose.
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Thanks
Barrister

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