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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22407
Experience:  37 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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2 years ago our launch had a new sternleg fitted but not

Customer Question

2 years ago our launch had a new sternleg fitted but not before the manager of the marine engineering firm had a look to see if this was repairable after discussion with him we decided to purchase a brand new sternleg which he fitted to the Boat and agreed because of that there would be no charges for his services to date, the manager has just left and the owner has called to say there is an outstanding account. where do we stand legally.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

The manager has the power to bind his employer, and if you were told there is no charge for the services, then they are bound by this. If the owner suggests otherwise, you have a choice of either reaching a settlement, or of disputing this somewhere like the Disputes Tribunal and you would have a defence to any claim by saying that you were told there was no other charge for the services. But the owner cannot unilaterally decide that there is to be a charge, once his manager has decided to waive any charges.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the owner has been searching through old statements looking for any evidence of where and when the manager purchased the sternleg from the supplier he has asked us to find our record of payment for this, we no longer have the receipt as we sold the boat 20months ago and recently cleaned out our file, I have been going back through online bank statements looking for the same, we have changed banks and Im struggling to find this information easily, we may have paid it in 2 payments even and with out the statement cannot remember exactly how much the account was for. We are concerned what if we cant prove we've paid the account?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

It seems a bit unusual the owner is chasing a bill which I assume is at least 20 months old, and likely to be much older. The fact you have cleaned out records is why that makes his position a bit weaker but in the end it may come down to your word against his, and the delay will weaken his position

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