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you absolutely have a case. If she did the additional work done without your authorization, or your knowledge that it would be done, then she will bear most, if not all, of the loss.
Now it's possible that the judge could find that it would be an equitable for you to benefit from her mistake, and say that you have to pay her the fair market value of the increase.
This is what's known as "unjust enrichment".
But the main question would be why she did these additional repairs.
Was she acting like this camera was hers?
In short, it might be something that the judge says that she did this without any reasonable expectation of reimbursement, since you did not know or agree to the additional work done, and that you have no responsibility to pay her for that.
And at most, you would have to pay for the increase in the fair market value of the camera, not the entire amount of the work done.
That's a very good point and exactly why I'm concerned. I simply loaned her a camera body to help her start her career. She also sent me an email stating the camera body and other accessories were being loaned to her. She sent the camera out for repair and decided to have additional work done without my authorization. I would not have authorized the repairs.
Is there a statute or something I can reference?
I completely understand, and while the judge may order you pay for the increase in the value to you (since you're arguably getting a better camera than you lent) it won't be the full amount of the work done.
No. This is common law (not statutory).
But small claims court is more equitable anyway...
That is, they typically make decisions based on what's fair rather than statutes and case law.
Do I need to worry about discussing the situation with mutual friends and contacts?
No. Just make sure that you stick to the truth.
Great. Thank you for your help.
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