Q: If a vendor/contractor damaged my property, can I claim against the person who hired the vendor?
I'm a commercial tenant in a mall struggling to open a small business in the midst of this pandemic. A neighboring shop owner in the mall hired or asked a vendor/contractor to remove some equipment from her shop and he took a piece of my equipment valued at $1,300. When he returned it, it was severely damaged. The shop's owner initially said she'd get him to replace my property and, if not, she'd pay for it herself. Despite my multiple requests, she has never given me the vendor's name, company, or contact info.
Now, a month later, the shop owner denies any liability. After I threatened to sue her, the vendor called me. But he's acting shady: playing games and evading responsibility. I believe the shop owner is responsible for compensating me and then she can try to collect from the vendor. I will not be able to open my shop until my damaged property is replaced.
Can I file a small claims case against the shop owner (or must I file against vendor)? Statute I can cite to justify?
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