Is a service center legally responsible for damages to car?
Question Details: We took my girlfriend's car to a "reputable" service center to have the oil changed. They removed the air filter and asked if we wanted to have it changed there. I told them that we did not that it had already recently been changed. A month later, the car started shifting funny and idling rough. I took the the car to a dealership and found out that the air filter had not been put back into the car and had caused the problems that we were experiencing. Can we take the bill from the dealership to the service center and hae them reimburse us for the cost?
Yes, they are liable since their negligence or carelessness caused the damage: whenever anyone causes damage to your property through negligence, they are liable for the costs they thereby cause. However, bear in mind that if they refuse to voluntarily honor their obligation, you would have to sue them for the money: only a court judgment or order can force someone to pay amounts which they should but refuse to. So you would have to decide if litigation is worthwhile, especially since you'd have to bring someone (e.g. a mechanic) in from your dealership's service department (i.e. likely pay them for their time) to testify that the failure to replace the air filter caused the problem (the court requires testimony from an "expert" as to technical issues, like the cause of engine, etc. damage--they will not accept your testimony as lay people, and you cannot simply repeat what the mechanic told you, since that would be unadmissible "hearsay" testimony).