The Springfield lawyer’s car wash experience is a prime example of complex liability issues

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – A Springfield attorney says he is considering legal action against a local car wash after his car was damaged during the cleanup.

The car wash says the fault lies with the driver who was in front of it at the time of the accident, not the company itself and the matter may need to be litigated to determine a solution.

“Not only did my car not get cleaned, it actually got wrecked in the car wash,” said Clayton Ballard, a longtime customer of Blue Iguana Car Wash in East Sunshine.

Ballard, a local business lawyer, had his car inside the automatic car wash tunnel when an SUV in front of him ran off the track that guides cars through the various cycles.

“I have no idea if it was something she did or if the car wash caused it,” Ballard said. “The car behind me was also forced into my rear bumper. They finally shut things down. They asked the female driver in front of me to back up and she (again) backed into my car, which was the second time my car was damaged.

An estimate determined $2,200 in damages which Ballard says is not what angered him.

It’s the fact that the car wash refuses to accept any responsibility for helping him fix his car.

“They didn’t even refund my money for the car wash,” he laughs. “They told me they would.”

We contacted Blue Iguana’s attorney to request a response to Ballard’s situation and were told that our request would be forwarded to the owner. We have received no follow-up.

Ballard, however, filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and got this response from Blue Iguana:

“The client was involved in an accident involving 3 cars. Inside a car wash tunnel, when there is an accident, the front driver is at fault. What happens is that the attendant asks the driver of the vehicle to keep their hands on the steering wheel, feet on the brakes/pedals and windshield wipers, as well as put their car in neutral. The front driver did not follow these instructions and ran her vehicle off the conveyor, damaging a piece of our equipment and causing the accident that occurred. The assistant manager who called this client attempted to provide him with the client’s contact information so he could exchange insurance information, but he did not listen and instead stated that he was a lawyer and that he would hire a lawyer, which ended our conversation. Insurance companies should fight against that, not against that customer. The front driver is and was at fault. Mr. Ballard should contact this driver to have his insurance company pay for the damage. The front driver had custody and control of her vehicle, it was only when she refused to follow the instructions given to her at the entrance that the accident occurred, our equipment was working properly, no other damage had happened to any other guest throughout the day.”

“Why should it be my responsibility to go through all this information myself?” Ballard replied. “In my opinion, they are liable for damage to their property. They should be responsible for my car and if they think the other driver is at fault they can sue them.

“It’s not just one of those black and white areas and I think that’s what’s causing some consternation,” said Jacob Lewis, a local tort attorney. A member of the law firm Strong, Garner and Bauer, Lewis says people should know that just because something happens in a business doesn’t necessarily make the business owner liable.

Not knowing the specific facts of the car wash case, he spoke generally about liability cases and cases where companies are generally held liable.

“It really depends on the facts of each scenario,” he explained. “Does the product have a defect? Was it properly assembled and installed? Was there something wrong with the actual property that the owner knew about but didn’t fix? Have company employees been negligent? These are potential categories that you would consider. It depends on the circumstances. »

Ballard says he didn’t get the other driver’s information because a Blue Iguana employee interviewed them both immediately after the incident and he assumed the company would work out the details. After raising the possibility of litigation, the car wash did not return calls or provide information.

“It’s also troubling to me that they’re declaring the other driver to be at fault,” he added. “It’s a legal conclusion. It’s not really up to them.

This blame game and lack of facilitation of an outcome for the clients involved is why Ballard is considering legal action.

And why is he making it public?

“It probably happens to other people,” he replied. “And I feel like the customer is at a disadvantage because the companies are trying to dictate the rules. It doesn’t feel right to me because even if they gave me their insurance information, that’s something they don’t. They should look after their customers and file a claim for me So I would say buyer beware Know what you are getting into If something is wrong don’t accept it .

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