When something goes wrong and you want to bring legal proceedings against someone it can be difficult to work out who is the correct person to sue. In a recent case where a customer at a convenience store was injured when a refrigerator door came off it’s hinges and fell on her the customer sued the owner of the store and lost. She also sued the company that had a contract with the store owner to repair and maintain it’s equipment.
The customer lost her case against both the store owner and the repair firm because the faulty repair work was in fact done by an independent contractor who was contracted by the repair firm to do the work. The independent contractor was not an employee of either the store owner or the repair firm and conducted his own separate business.
The customer should have sued the independent contractor in that case. It is easy to be wise in retrospect however the case highlights how important it is to properly investigate and consider the underlying facts of each case before commencing any court claim. Once a case has been started one of the things your lawyer can do for you is ask questions of the other parties to ensure that all the appropriate people have been sued.