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View Poll Results: Who pays for any damage or charges in a fair world?
Rain Man, Inc. pays all damage. Bad dishwasher move. 14 26.92%
Rain Man, Inc. pays most damage. Some shared blame. 8 15.38%
Split it down the middle. 3 5.77%
Landlord pays most damage. Some shared blame. 5 9.62%
Landlord pays all damage. Should've fixed the damn pipe. 17 32.69%
I like running in sprinklers. 5 9.62%
Voters: 52. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-24-2011, 07:09 PM  
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What's fair? (Water Damage Question)

Thank you in advance for your wise counsel (bowing with hands in prayer position).

What's the fair thing in this situation?

We're on the fifth floor of an office building, and have a kitchen in our space. The sink is clogged for some reason, and the maintenance guy pulled the little u-shaped pipe off and put a bucket under the drain. Supposedly they're going to do the anti-clog thing on Monday. I think this happened Thursday morning, but don't recall.

We put a note on the sink not to use it.

Now, the dishwasher is next to the sink, and one of our administrative people started it up. I don't think she knew that the dishwasher drained into into the same drain, so when the dishwasher drained it dumped the water out under the sink, which then ran around on the floor and made its way down to the fourth floor. At that point it set off a fire alarm, so the fire department came out. I don't know the extent of the damage on the fourth floor. I would suspect it's not major considering this is your typical office building with cheapish walls and ceiling tiles, but I don't know if there's also any kind of fire department bill for a false alarm.

The maintenance guy just came up and told me that the landlord is planning to hold us responsible for water damage.

I want to be fair about this, but don't want to pay a bunch of money if it's a landlord deal. What thinks you?

Last edited by Rain Man; 06-24-2011 at 07:18 PM..
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:13 PM   #2
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Your maintenance guy is kind of a moron. The water should have been turned off.
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Your maintenance guy is kind of a moron. The water should have been turned off.
Now that's an excellent point. I hadn't even thought about that.
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:28 PM   #4
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Yeah, the plumber should've just turned the water off. A note doesn't really cut it. Of course, the plumber can just claim that "you office people" told him to leave the water on so you could use the sink to fill up cups or something. Probably a no-win situation, so you might just have to bite the bullet and cover the damage.
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:35 PM   #5
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I'm not sure why he pulled the pipe for a clog, then left it off? As stupid as he was your emp still caused the damage and u are on the hook.
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:42 PM   #6
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I think you are pretty well screwed. At best, maybe the landlord is partially responsible for not getting on it right away (though I'd think 4 days and a sign is pretty good). If he's determined to ask you to pay for it, that would take a fight and in the end you'll have a pissed off landlord.

It was an accident, no one intended the water damage to happen, the maintenance guy wasn't bright, but your minion should not have turned on the dishwasher.

If the damage is not outrageous or horrifyingly expensive (or covered by insurance if it is), just pay it, be done with it, and have a happy landlord.
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:47 PM   #7
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so, is DaFace mopping the floor on a friday night?
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:55 PM   #8
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Simply shutting the water off may have not been an option. Since it is a office building the water line may have been in a tower line formation thingah mahjiggy. Meaning if they turned off the water to you, they would have had to turn off the water to all floors above and below you at that point.

But I guess you could try to use them not shutting the supply off as a negotiating tactic if things go badly. But still they probably wouldn't absolve you of much of the damages anyway.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:02 PM   #9
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This is officially starting to suck.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:06 PM   #10
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:26 PM   #11
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I put shared blame but if your landlord is a dick or a ****, like most landlords are, the fight may be just as expensive or more expensive then the cost of the repairs. Maybe diplomaticly try to split the blame,but have them pay more, state your case and work up from there. But I have a bad feeling about this.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubberSponge View Post
Simply shutting the water off may have not been an option. Since it is a office building the water line may have been in a tower line formation thingah mahjiggy. Meaning if they turned off the water to you, they would have had to turn off the water to all floors above and below you at that point.
Another good point. Ultimately, though, whether they couldn't turn the water off or there were shutoffs right under the sink, the fact that an employee turned on the dishwasher and caused the leak would probably be the deciding factor in any litigation. The plumber may have been a dumbass, but he didn't turn on the dishwasher.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:40 PM   #13
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Sorry dude. I think you're on the hook for this one.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:47 PM   #14
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Sounds like you're on the hook for it. If you have insurance it might cover it. Water damage claims are extremely expensive. As a store owner of a carpet cleaning company, I have some experience w/water damage.

Good luck. Hopefully, there is little damage. Check your policy, if you have one.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:55 PM   #15
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I'm much more knowledgable about personal lines insurance than I am about commercial insurance, but I cant imagine your BOP wouldn't pay for it if you didn't have some dodgy cheap crapola insurance policy. (If you were not intentionally trying to cut corners on insurance, and your policy does not cover a flood due to a plumbing mishap where your employee is at fault, fire your insurance guy. That looks like a pretty basic claim to me, its not like the river flooded, this is a plumbing water damage liability claim.)

It may come down to whether the damage vs your deductible makes reporting the claim worth it or not, but either way I don't see how you get out of this.
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