I was recently asked as a Small Claims arbitrator to decide how to assess money damages in an apartment renovation dispute.
In this case, the apartment renovation by a local handyman came out badly. However, how much is the defendant (I will here call him “Handyman”) responsible for?
The plaintiffs (husband and wife, who I will here call “Dick and Jane”), hired Handyman to do a renovation in their apartment. They asked him to scrape and sand the wood floors in the entire apartment and to sand and paint the kitchen cabinets.
Handyman was recommended to Dick and Jane by a neighbor. They hired him without any discussion other than Handyman’s price of $2,500. He said that he could start the next day. Dick and Jane paid him in full on that day.
In two short days later, Handyman “wrecked the place”. Dick and Jane took turns telling me stories, complete with photos, of the deep grooves that he carved in the wood floors and the paint that he dripped on the kitchen cabinets.
Dick and Jane asked me to grant them judgment for $2,500 against Handyman.
They then asked me for an additional $2,500 against Handyman (they were suing him for $5,000), because they claimed that they had to hire another person to fix the damage that Handyman had done. They offered no proof other than what they said.
To see my decision click on the link below. Decisions