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TexLaw
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I recently went to Richmond to visit friends and family and

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I recently went to Richmond to visit friends and family and while I was down there I had my car serviced at Jiffy lube. They did a premium oil change and rear end service (changing the differential fluid) on my car. I left jiffy lube and went to firestone to get tires which they didn't have any in my size. So I planned to change them when I got back to pittsburgh. Once I hit the highway I heard this weird grinding sound and I pulled over. I smelled a something burning and I thought it might have been my tires rubbing against the back panel because the jiffy lube associate stated they put more air in my tires. So, I decided to bring my car back to jiffy lube and show them what happened and asked them to check the tires to see if it was grinding somewhere. Immediately he said "let me check the differential fluids" he went down there for about 10 mins and came out and said "I added more fluid to the differential lets see if that works" I let the other associate drive me car and he said "No, take this to the shop now" I went back to firestone and they told me "Your differential went bad" I want to sue jiffy lube for the cost of fixing my car (almost $1500), and as a result i missed 2 days of school and it cost me a lot. I spoke to 2 other mechanics who said that if they didn't put enough or any fluid in my differential that it would cause it to go bad instantly. The only problem I have is that the mechanic who did fix my car can not officially say it was jiffy lubes fault because when he received the car there was fluid in it, but I did bring it back to jiffy lube before I brought it to the shop. Do I have a case?
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you with your legal question.

This is definitely something you can sue Jiffy Lube over. You can sue for "negligence", which means that Jiffy Lube had a duty to perform the differential fluid services in a reasonable manner and that they failed to do that and caused you damage. The fact that you do not have a mechanic to say that Jiffy Lube did it for sure should not be an insurmountable issue. This is because of the legal principle of "res ipsa locquitor", meaning "the thing speaks for itself" (i.e., that the nature of the damage done is obviously from Jiffy Lube's failure to perform(. The damage occurred prior to them refilling the differential with fluid, not after.

The type of damages which are recoverable are your direct economic damages only. You are not permitted to recover any mental anguish or other "soft" damages because the law only allows this when there is a physical injury to your body. So, you can recover for lost wages, but you cannot recover for lost time at school unless you can calculate the actual daily cost of tuition for the two days you missed as a direct result of Jiffy Lube's actions.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am credited by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Kind regards,
Zachary
TexLaw and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Zachary,


 


Thank you so much for your insight. What would be my next steps should I approach the store manager, get a lawyer? I have never sued anyone before so I would like help with this process.


 


You have been extremely helpful.


 


Best,


Henoc

Thank you for the positive rating!

Your first step should be to send a demand for payment to the Jiffy Lube manager in a certified letter.

In the letter, you would describe exactly what happened, when it happened, the name of the Jiffy Lube employees (if you know), and attach documentation from Jiffy Lube and the repair services you incurred as a result.

You end the letter stating that you demand payment within 30 days, or you will file a lawsuit.

Because the amount is relatively small, I would not recommend hiring an attorney (it will cost you as much as the damage to hire one).

Instead, if Jiffy Lube does not pay you, you should file the lawsuit in the small claims court. You said you were visiting Richmond, where is it that you actually live?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No I live in pittsburgh

Unfortunately, as with any lawsuit, you must sue where the court has jurisdiction over the defendant. This means that you would have to file the suit in Richmond, VA. Jiffy Lubes are franchises and each location is owned individually by the local owners. In other words, you would be unable to sue in Pittsburgh, even though there are Jiffy Lubes in Pittsburgh.

Here is a guide to filing a small claims lawsuit in Virginia:

http://law.richmond.edu/academics/clinical-programs/ip-clinic/pdf/doclib-memo-plaintiffs-small-claims-checklist.pdf

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much! this was extremely helpful.

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