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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70416
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My partner is being harassed at home by a woman who works with

Customer Question

my partner is being harassed at home by a woman who works with her.it involves a car door that was damaged by a gust of wind when she gave my partner a lift home.as she left the car,the very strong winds blowing caused the door to open harshly,like a sail action,which caused a degree of damage to the door hinges.the woman whose is causing the trouble has freely said to all that she knows it was an accident,but wants her repair bill of £651 paying by my partner anyway.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi,jo..we need to know where we stand on this,legaly..ie,can we be taken to court and forced to pay for repairs to a car that was caused by an act of nature and she seems unwilling to seek her insurance to pay any bill.also,the bill seems outrageous anyway.how on earth can a gust of wind wreck acar door,i wonder..both her and her partner have just appeared on our doorstep demanding we pay her bill or she will go to small claims copurt ect plus be confrontational at work..

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
How much damage did it cause ?
I'm just offline for about 30 mins but I will pick up soon.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

not aware of how much,jo..she thrust a folded bill in her hand but didn't go into detail of alledged damage.my partner says as the door got caught by the wind and flung open,she heard a noise of some sort from the hinges..?..did you want me to contact the woman concerned to request detail?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hello..?..are you no longer there,jo?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The difficulty with this is really twofold.
Firstly, she is not under any obligation to put this through her insurance and one can understand why she might not want to. It will lead to an increase in premium and your partner would potentially be liable for that. Even if she did the insurers would only sue your partner so it doesn't really dispose of the issue.
Secondly, this isn't necessarily an Act of God. At least, clearly the wind was. However, this isn't wholly caused by wind. She could argue that it was caused at least in part by your partner's failure to control the door which was ultimately opened by her. To escape liability on the basis of Act of God it has to be the sole cause of the damage.
Further, the fact it was an accident is no defence. Of course, it was an accident. Nobody is suggesting this was wilful damage. But people are liable for accidents if caused by negligence.
However, she can only claim the value of the repair. The door may well be damaged beyond repair and may need a replacement. Car repairs can be expensive although nearly £700 does seem at the higher end of the scale. You could ask her to prove she has mitigated her loss by trying to find the cheapest available.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi,jo...are you saying that my partner is liable for the whole cost?..the fact that the wind pulled the door from her hand isn't negligence on her part,surely?would a modern car door be destroyed by a passing strong wind...if the woman involved takes it to court,can you say how long a small claims would take to set up..?the womans aggressive harassment,both by her and her lesbian partner,of my partner at work and now at our home will NOT be tolerated..confused by all this..can we offer a partial payment..?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
She could try to defend on the basis that it was an Act of Gods but I suspect a court could say that it was not wholly an Act of God since she was holding the door.
The small claims court depends on listings in the area but usually about four to six months in total.
You can offer a lesser sum. She might accept that.
Obviously I haven't seen what she is doing but if it is just asking to be paid then that is not harassment.
I wouldn't get involved in this. If you are male then you are vulnerable to all manner of allegations and it is not really your problem. Much better to leave it your partner to sort out.
Jo C. and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi,jo..sorry for the delay in answering further,work commitments..i have just returned home to find a county court claim form on the doorstep.in it,the other woman is claiming all the excess of the repair to her car door plus costs(£125).in this way,she avoids apying anything at all herself for what was a complete accident caused by nature..also,if we do settle the amount,is it true what you mentioned before that the insurance will then sue my partner for the whole amount because we having accepted ALL responsibility by paying the excess..?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem about the delay.
I rather thought she might sue.
The insurance company will sue her either way in truth. She is clearly claiming the excess and she is probably going to win I'm afraid.
You could make an offer on a no admissions basis but then you just get back into the same position with the insurance company.
However, this is not your problem. You are not to blame for this and you shouldn't be dealing with it. You must protect yourself.