Civil/Commercial Litigation (Lawsuits)/Question


Our garage has a "pull up" door.  My wife "pulled up" the door to let some friends park in the garage and then "pulled down" the door afterwards. After the friends visit was over, my wife "pulled up" the garage door.  As the friends backed out, the garage door "clipped" the antenna on their SUV resulting in $100 damage.  Apparently, my wife did not "pull" the garage door up completely.  
My wife says she drives a "low" car and does not drive a "high" SUV and thus, cannot be held fully responsible. Consequently, she believes she should is only half responsible and should only pay $50. Should my wife pay the friends $100 for the antenna?

Hello wing,

Before I respond further to your question, I must make clear that I do not represent you, and cannot give you individual particularized legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created by this email. For legal advice, you should hire your own attorney, and follow their advice. My role with AllExperts is limited to providing general information and suggestions for educational or general knowledge purposes. Before you take any action, consult with your own attorney.

The question of "should" is better suited to the philosophy department, or friendship counselor office than a legal question.  As a legal matter, it is my opinion that if your wife failed to open the door properly, and a judge or jury determines that a reasonable person would do so, then your wife could be found negligent and liable for the damage.

Alternatively, if the parties agree to resolve their dispute by splitting the damages among them, that settlement agreement would appear not only reasonable, but to act as an accord and satisfaction that would terminate the liability.  I suggest that if your wife is intent on paying half that she may do well to do so in writing, certainly not with cash, and mark on her payment "Full and Final settlement".

I hope this helps, good luck to you.

Morgan Smith
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Conciliation Court * Civil Litigation * Forfeitures * Construction * Family Law

Civil/Commercial Litigation (Lawsuits)

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Morgan Smith


Civil litigation (contract claims, landlord-tenant actions, forfeiture suits, residential construction defect matters), Family law (divorce, custody modifications, child support modifications, and pre-nuptial agreement), new business start-ups, civil forfeiture, asset forfeiture. Please do not submit your question as Private. It is my policy not to answer Private questions from members of the public here on AllExperts; I reserve that function to my private clients. Although AllExperts permits me to change your questions from Private to Public, it is my policy not to do that. I encourage you to resubmit your question as a public question. Your public question has the potential to help others with similar concerns. I suggest that you use a pretend name and otherwise alter sensitive facts that make you inclined to treat your question as Private, and submit your question to me Publicly.


I've been practicing law in the State of Minnesota since 1995. I've worked in skyscraper firms, and now my own small firm in Minneapolis. Past answers from my earlier participation on AllExperts is posted at:

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