Salmon Arm  

Mechanic loses claim for unpaid work, must pay owner after RV stolen

No pay after RV stolen

A Salmon Arm mechanic has lost on two counts in a decision by B.C.'s Civil Resolution Tribunal.

George Douglas, who operates Grease Monkey Autowerx lost his claim for unpaid repair work on a motorhome after it was stolen before it could be returned to the owners.

He also must pay owner Gordon Hurrie's $1,000 insurance deductible on the vehicle – plus interest and tribunal fees.

Douglas was hired in May 2022 to repair the motorhome.

"Douglas says he completed the repairs, but the motorhome was stolen before the respondents could pick it up and they refused to pay the repair invoice," the tribunal decision states.

He sought $4,876.79 for the unpaid invoice.

Meanwhile, Hurrie claimed Douglas never provided any proof he performed the repairs, such as receipts or work logs. Since the motorhome was stolen, they were unable to confirm the repairs were done.

Hurrie also claimed Douglas failed to keep the motorhome safe while it was in his possession.

In the May 8 decision, tribunal member Megan Stewart said evidence in the dispute amounted to a "he said, they said" scenario.

After the Hurries booked the repairs, they were advised by an employee of Douglas there would be a few weeks' delay in getting the needed parts. On July 15, Douglas contacted Hurrie telling him the motorhome was ready for collection, but Hurrie couldn't pick it up that day.

The motorhome was then stolen sometime over the weekend of July 16 and 17.

Stewart ruled that Douglas provided no evidence supporting his claim for the invoiced amount, and, while he submitted that he holds parts that have been removed from vehicles for 30 days, he did not offer to show them to Hurrie.

The inconsistency showed a "lack of credibility," Stewart wrote in dismissing the claim.

On the insurance deductible counterclaim, Stewart found Douglas did not take reasonable care of the vehicle.

A copy of Hurrie's insurance claim showed a $44,000 total amount claimed and a $1,000 deductible.

Douglas said signs on his premises state vehicles are left at the owner's risk, however an employee indicated in a text message on a separate occasion that the key would be left "in the side compartment for the sewer hose."

On the weekend it was stolen, Douglas claimed the motorhome was left at his shop, but separately said he "cannot control the actions of people outside my business in a parking lot across from a homeless shelter."

Douglas was ordered to pay the $1,000 for the insurance deductible, interest of $23.38 and $125 in CRT fees.

He was given 30 days to pay.

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