Should I eat the damage, or pursue repairs to my siding?
May 8, 2014 6:38 PM   Subscribe

Short version: my siding has a 3/4" hole thanks to a bobcat's spinning tire shooting a piece of gravel into it. I know this is the cause, but do no have a video to prove it. The bobcat operator's boss and his boss have "determined" (magically) that the bobcat did not cause the hole. Pursue, or eat it?

In several emails, I have outlined to these wonderful people how I came to the conclusion that it was the bobcat.

1) The hole was not there in the morning. The hole was there in the afternoon.
2) The bobcat was working there that day, and witnessed to be working in a direction that would point its back end at the wall in question.
3) The bobcat was witnessed having difficulty gaining traction on the gravel bed, and its wheels repeatedly spun.

Short of having high resolution cameras monitoring all areas 24/7, there is no way that concrete proof could ever be had.
posted by CKmtl to Law & Government (7 answers total)
The most you can reasonably do is ask them to take care of it. If they say they didn't do it then your most reasonable course of action is to eat it. All in all, it's not cancer. Live and let live.
posted by Murray M at 6:47 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

You do not have a video showing it happened. You (presumably) do not have objective proof that the hole was not there in the morning. You are very likely to be right ... but it's your word against theirs and, objectively, your word is not worth more than theirs. So fix it and move on.
posted by aroberge at 6:54 PM on May 8, 2014

In the US, in small claims court you don't have to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt." Does it work similarly in Canada?
posted by Houstonian at 7:05 PM on May 8, 2014

Do you happen to have a recent photo of that part of the siding, pre-hole? Or a neighbor who would testify that the siding was hole-free recently, whether in writing, video, or in person?
posted by amtho at 7:26 PM on May 8, 2014

Response by poster: amtho: no, unfortunately. It's not the most photogenic wall to use as a backdrop for photos, and this all happened back in March when central Alberta was just barely coming out of being snowbound.
posted by CKmtl at 7:40 PM on May 8, 2014

You don't have evidence, you have a theory. You might really really like your theory, but you don't know that it's correct. I can't see how you could pursue this legally and hope to win.
posted by jon1270 at 8:25 PM on May 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

What type of siding? Some are cheap to fix, some less so. The answer to your question and the remedy you pursue really depends on how much you want justice vs. whether it is worth your time to pursue the matter into small claims.

That said an easy avenue is to send a certified letter to the company detailing the circmstances. Often the workers are afraid of getting in trouble with management so they will try to bully you. Any licensed company has a bond and they pay insurance for exactly this type of thing, it's a part of doing business. Further, if it does go to a claim on their bond it may raise their insurance rate, similar to if you have a bad driving record - and it may damage their reputation. The cost for the company in question to send a representative to small claims court is likely more than the cost of sending someone to fix the hole in your siding.

I worked construction for almost a decade, write them, they will reluctantly send someone out to repair the damage. It is cheaper for them in the long run.
posted by vapidave at 8:50 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

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