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HelloThis is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard. So the painter put furniture outside in order to paint an interior and was the dresser ruined or just the property inside? Were you told the furniture would be moved outside?
Have you discussed this with the painter?
If yes, what is the response?
North Carolina follows contributory negligence. Under this rule, whenever a person is found to share any responsibility at all for his or her injuries/damages, the person is barred from recovering compensation for those injuries. This means that if a plaintiff in a personal injury action is found to be even as little as 1% at fault, then the plaintiff will get nothing from the defendant, despite the fact that the defendant still is 99% at fault for the plaintiff’s injuries.Therefore, if the painter advised you the furniture would be placed outside and you did not take steps to protect it or your stored property then you have no legal recourse.If however, you were not advised and therefore no opportunity for you to take steps to protect your property, then you could have legal recourse.That is why I asked the questions I did.
In North Carolina, the General Rule for the measure of damages is that amount of money which will restore the plaintiff to the position that he would have been in, if the defendant had not wrongfully injured the plaintiff. So you need to come up with an amount that you feel will make you whole again.
If it's going to cost $3000 to restore the photos that that is what you will base you suit on. As to how to prove it, well that would be your word against his and you can call his helper as witness.
I suggest, you will want to have at least 2 to 3 estimates. And that you consider writing him a letter with copies of the estimates and copies of your ruined photos and make a demand for the payment. IF he does not respond or says no then consider taking him to court.