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I have a claim pending with Edison company for the failure

Resolved Question:

I have a claim pending with Edison company for the failure of the neutral bus line at the pole, resulting in high power surges to my house.   While I was able to repair many items, I did lose 2 TV's and the garage door opener.   Since the items could not be repaired we had to replace, and of course technology being what it is, we could not replace with the same type.   Edison states that California law requires him to settle at ACV, rather than replacement cost. Since this was entirely their fault, I feel they should make me whole, not partially whole. Please advise.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 8 years ago.



They are correct that under CA law, you are only entitled to ACV, but in my opinion, the dollar amounts that they are claiming they owe you for the ACV are very low. California courts have decided that actual cash value, unless otherwise specified in the service contract, is the fair market value of an item. Fair market value can be loosely defined as the amount that a knowledgeable, willing buyer would pay and that a knowledgeable, willing seller would take for an item, neither being under unusual pressure to buy or sell. I believe if you take this company to small claims court, you could get more money out of them as the "ACV" for these items; however, you will probably need to do a little research on ebay or otherwise to determine what similar items in used condition are going for. If you are successful in your small claims action, Edison will likely be responsible for all your court costs and fees for bringing the action. You may want to send them a certified letter after researching the items, with copies of all your documentation (including anything you find on the computer or elsewhere that would be indicative of the true ACV) and to also let them know that if they do not meet your demands, you will be initiating litigation. A letter like this is a good thing to have if you do end up going to court because the judge will want to see that you tried to settle this matter for a fair price and that Edison was the one being unreasonable.


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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
You gave me another option to research the fair market value, however the two TV's in question while both under 5 years of age, are no longer being made. I will do my best on E-bay to see if there are any sellers. Garage door openers usually are not sold used, as they have malfunctioned and are no longer serviceable, as was my case. We would not have had to replace the TV's due to digital as we are on satalite service. Our total out of pocket expenses were $2268, they are willing to give $1083 for our loss--plus the fact that the surge took place on the night of 11/1 through the afternoon of 11/2.
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 8 years ago.



I understand your frustration. If you feel that they are not giving you the fair market value of these items, your remedy under the law would be to take them to your local small claims court and ask for more money. It will be up to the judge to look at all the facts in evidence and determine whether the price they are offering you is ACV or if it is too low. But your original question was whether they had to pay you ACV or replacement costs under CA law and the answer to that is that they are only liable for ACV. However, the ACV is what is up for debate.


I would appreciate an accept for helping you. You can always ask additional follow-up questions. Thank you and Happy New Year.





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