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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12067
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I took 2 chairs from a person in 2010 in order to look at

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I took 2 chairs from a person in 2010 in order to look at repairing them. I failed to do so.
We lost touch. He contacted me in 2011 by text , I do not remember , again in 2013 , I do not remember. I did try him but got no answer , I have no record of this.
In 2015 the chairs were thrown out , now he has got hold of me and wants the chairs back or their value.
Am I liable?

Yes, you are responsible. You would have to give the chairs back or give the value. You should claim your public liability insurance if you think this could be a high value claim. Happy to discuss.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
At the time I was a sole trader building up my practice as a maker. A long time has passed in my defence , and as I could not reach the person at the time I could not be expected to store the chairs indefinitely . Is this not valid . The chairs were also extremely badly damaged , there was no indication of their value. Value of his claim is £405.00
As now I have a Vat registered limited company a days labour in the workshop would run to 280.00 plus vat plus materials to repair the chairs , Is that submissable?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have no desire to continue protracted correspondence that leads nowhere and even less to pursue this through the courts, but your persistent attempts to absolve yourself from responsibility by failing to acknowledge that your emails to me from 2010 were via my present email address and my texts to you in 2011 and 2013 were from my present mobile number to your present mobile number, doesn’t inspire confidence that this might be settled amicably. (see my comments below)
In conclusion please be advised that I am not prepared to continue further correspondence unless and until you accept sole responsibility and liability for your failure to repair or return the chairs, leading to my having to purchase two replacements. This is a precondition for considering any ‘solution’ you might suggest, but please also be advised that I am not prepared to engage in protracted haggling with you.
Malcolm This is his last correspondence
Hello Malcolm,I again express my sincere apologies , I am in no way doubting your texts were sent successfully from your phone to me.
A long time has passed and I have changed my own phone on 4 occasions since 2010 so have no record now of any of this.
(Your mobile phone number that I texted you on in 2011 and 2013 is the same number you are still using)
As far as email is concerned I am sincere when I state I communicated to your defunct email.
As I have investigated I see your other email there also.
(YOU emailed ME at my present email address in 2010)
At the time I would have no reason to investigate further if the delivery status came back as undelivered.
My presumption would not be to look for another email address. I am not that way inclined.
(There was no need for you ‘ look for another email address.' as all you needed to do was use my existing, ie present email address, which you used to communicate with me in
2010. In short, NOTHING HAS CHANGED since then!)
I would point out I tried to call but got no answer.
(My present mobile number has been in operation since 2009. There is no record of missed calls, voice messages or texts from you)
I cannot prove this I accept that.
I would say that if you had tried to call me on several occasions I would have answered and would have returned your chairs.
What has occurred has not been underhand or malicious , just an unfortunate series of events.And you have left it a very long time since your last communication. (Which you failed to respond to!)
( But you HAVE persisted in attempting to blame me for YOUR failure to repair or return the chairs, particularly since you acknowledged that you had damaged one, possibly
irreparably by removing the top veneer)
I have to stress that the level of damage was significant and if it had been capable of my workshop practice to repair properly then the cost of one mane and the workshop would be £280.00 plus vat plus the cost of the materials. I believe this to be a conservative estimate.
(But it clearly wasn’t within the capability of your ‘workshop practice to repair (the chairs) properly’ so you should not have removed the top veneer unless it was, or sought expert
advice before doing so. In the circumstances you’re hardly qualified to make an accurate estimate for the cost of repairs.
I do not wish to go through the small clams court and hope you may find a way with me to settle this matter between us.
If you will agree in principle that we may find a solution to this I will make my proposal later.
(It depends what you mean by ‘in principle’. As things stand any proposal for a ‘solution’ lies solely with you)
As I am disturbed by this situation I am seeking legal advice and hope to have all that to hand later today so that we can look at that together.
(Your ‘seeking legal advice’ is of course your prerogative but you will I hope appreciate that such advice would be offered to you alone and would play no part in whether I decide to
pursue a claim in court}Thank you ,
Kieran Shellard and this is my email to him with his notes against me. Do I have any defence ? Or am I solely liable for his full amount in the eyes of the law? This will answer my question in full , I would appreciate your attention on this as soon as you can.
Thank you Kieran Shellard
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His notes appear in brackets.

Given that there was no acknowledgement for what looks like over five years from you to him, it is likely that his claim is time barred. Can you check that you didn't acknowledge his claim for a period of over five years. If so I think the law of prescription applies and his claim would not stand up in court.

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