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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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A friend of mine accidently dropped a heavy object onto my

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A friend of mine accidently dropped a heavy object onto my laptop when it was opened and damaged the hard drive. He replaced the hard drive, but prior to that, without my consent; had taken my laptop to a 'friend' of his to try and fix; only to have ruined it further by loosing all of my pictures during the process. Now, it is 4 months late, and he still is not going to do anything about it. I got two reports from professionals stating that my pictures were lost due to sever damage caused by 'the unprofessional person' trying to fix my laptop. I presented it twice to him, and he blew me off. I then have told him I will file a claim on his homeowners policy, and now he is even more livid. Am I doing this right?
I now live in the residence; and fear he will retaliate and force me out.
Can you explain how he dropped something on the laptop? Was he using the laptop? Was he moving things? Was it open or closed? Where was it located?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I had my laptop on kitchen counter to look things up. He decided to open cupboard above me, and a heavy jar of food fell out on top of the keys. He could see that my laptop was open, and he really had no reason to open the cupboard, as he knew it was crammed and stuffed with things.

Who stocked those shelves normally? I promise there's a reason for the questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

His mother (who had passed away); and him. He was there in town trying to get a grip on the estate mess; when he called me to come over and review all the work that needed to be done. (Hoarding issues). He had wanted to hire me to clean up the mess.


 


He is fully aware that he damaged the laptop, and only would pay for the new hard-drive. But what he did without my okay---is take it to a friend to try and fix, who was not a professional, and he further damaged the media contact causing loss of my personal pics. Now, he is claiming my laptop was 'crap' anyway, and he is not going to take care of it further.


(my laptop was not 'crap)

I understand now.

The question here revolves around "negligence" which essentially asks whether he did something a reasonable person did not, or didn't do something a reasonable person would.

In this case it seems reasonably clear that he messed up both in the initial damage, opening a cabinet above your laptop knowing it was cluttered and something likely to find out, and then taking it somewhere to be fixed without your permission.

You can certainly file on the homeowner's insurance and they should cover it since it is a result of negligence. However, it may be that his deductible is so high that the insurance doesn't actually provide any coverage but that is the best place to start.

Please ask any follow up questions in this thread.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The damage estimate from the professionals is $2400 to try and recover any if at all of my personal pictures.


 


With that price---the professionals are willing to work with the insurance company. I am not sure after that what damages I am entitled to should they not be able to retrieve my pictures or part of them.


 


Further, what happens if I file, and then am retaliated against.

What type of retaliation are you concerned about?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He will have me leave this residence that I moved into to do the help after giving up a residence that I resided in prior to coming here. He will become very upset and angry towards me on it. I then will be homeless.

Is there a written lease of any kind?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

NO. he has no intention of that. He knows I am in my late 60's and that it is a wait list of about 5-10 years just to get into reduced living with my disability income. I am prepared I guess.

There really is no way of stopping him then since without a lease the court presumes it is a month to month lease and therefore you aren't guaranteed to be there past next month.

It is hard to recover any monetary value for pictures. You can ask for it but the judge doesn't award much. You can recover whatever it costs to get an expert to recover them, just not much of a value for the actual pictures if they can't recover them.
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