Legal Question in Consumer Law in Florida

Cost of replacing damaged carpet by cleaning company

The carpet in our home was damaged by a carpet cleaning service and had to be replaced. The insurance company claimed to only have to replace all continuous carpet stopping at all door frames. All of the carpet in our house is continuous. On this, they drew up a claim which covered only 1/2 the square feet in our home and also the depreciated the carpet by its five year age. Their offer covers only 30% of the cost. What we need to know is, can we pursue a small claims action against the cleaning company for the balance. Would these same exceptions that the insurance company applies, also be applied by the cleaning service so they would also not have to pay anything further. The exceptions of stopping at the door frames & depreciation. We expect for them to cover the balance of the damage that the insurance company is not paying for. They have compared this to an auto claim, you get what the insurance pays & sue the driver for the rest.

Thank you.

Asked on 11/15/02, 12:04 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Alexander M. Rosenfeld Rosenfeld & Stein, P.A.
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Re: Cost of replacing damaged carpet by cleaning company

If the insurance company pays you, it will be subrogated to your rights to pursue the cleaning company. So you must elect from which entity to seek recovery. The measure of damages is the difference in value of the carpet prior to the damge and the value afterward. Condition and depreciation are factors to be taken into account.

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11/18/02, 6:33 pm

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