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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50495
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have just left a engineering company I used to work for

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I have just left a engineering company I used to work for due to progression in my career,
But 3 weeks prior to leaving I had a machining error while working there, (the accident occurred due to an operator error) which led to a component not working properly on the machine.
On my final day of working there they said they are going to send me a bill for the machine component.
Do I legally have to pay for the 'bill'

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

How long did you work there, and were you a permanent member of staff?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I worked there for 2 years and 10 months
I was a permanent member of staff.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court until the end of the day so I will prepare my advice and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. The company could try and argue that if you were negligent in your actions, any damages or losses incurred by them should be compensated by you. This is the common law tort of negligence which would usually apply to such situations. However, the employer is probably going to have some insurance that covers them for such incident so you should check if that is the case. Also sending you a bill means nothing – this is just a request by them for you to pay what they believe you owe them. You can easily refuse to pay this and let them take it further if they want payment. Only if they go to court and win can they force you to pay. So at this stage there is nothing that compels you to pay them – you can decide whether to do so or just to avoid any requests by them until you know that an official court of law has decided you have legal liability.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have should they take this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

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Many thanks, ***** ***** I will provide more details. There is nothing stopping them from trying to issue a claim against you. Assuming that the total value of their claim is below £10,000 this would go in the small claims court. It is a relatively informal process there and designed for smaller disputes and unrepresented parties. You will get the chance to have your case heard by a judge who will make a decision. If you happen to lose then you will not be responsible for the other side’s legal fees as each side pays their own. You will at least know then that a court of law has decided they are in the right and are owed the money they have claimed for. You could then try to come to some sort of an arrangement for repayment, for example if you cannot pay them in one go. But all of this is worst case scenario and hopefully they will not go that far. In the meantime there is nothing that they can do to force you to pay and only if they are successful in court can they do this