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Old 02-17-2001, 03:23 PM
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|One the way home last night i stopped to help a old man with a 280s mint looking. the car had just stopped and the bat was dead i gave it a jump and it died i figured it was the alternator so i let it sit for a while and charge the battery sp he could make it to the gas station. i gave the guy my number if hey ever wanted to sell the car well i got a call he says i ruined his alternator and that he wants me to pay or he will sue me. What should I do.

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Old 02-17-2001, 03:50 PM
Lebenz's Avatar
backwoods member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862
No good deed ever goes unpunished

To your question, you may be able to damage a diode on the alternator, but probably not the alternator itself.

You have to wonder about some folks. Lets see...he has a charging system problem. That’s why his car is dead on the side of the road. You helped him. He now wants to blame you for the charging system problem. As if it was your fault he’s on the side of the road. Try, really, really, really sincerely, to talk some sense into him. If that fails, let him sue you. You can probably counter sue him for a frivolous suit if need be, and if you want. He’ll have to respond to the frivolous counter-suit before you have to respond to the suit. You’ll win on both cases. He’ll pay for your lost time from work, etc., in addition to his crappy charging system. Unless he's a real dick, he's not going to sue over a $500 $800 item. If he is a real dick you'll have to go through the motions no matter what, because that's what dicks do to other people.

There are also good Samaritan laws that might protect you. Check with your city/state about this...

BTW I am not a lawyer nor pretend to be. Just some common sense…

Best of luck, tread lightly!


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Old 02-17-2001, 04:11 PM
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ok thanks i will call my dad's laywer tonight. I fought with him on the phone and i will be going to court I just wnated to make sure it was not my fault.
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Old 02-17-2001, 04:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2001
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Another A******

I thought his battery was dead, so the alternator was probably dead before you stopped to help him. What a a****** this guy is.
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Old 02-17-2001, 05:14 PM
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Location: SE PA
Posts: 63
Properly connected jumper cables will never damage an alternator or it's diodes no matter how lengthy the jump. The guy is an idiot. He clearly had a problem with his charging system before you came along. Unless he's an attorney (and I do detect some potential indications of that) his lawsuit threats will end as soon as he talks to one. What he really owes you is an apology.
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Old 02-17-2001, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Maryland. USA
Posts: 180
Boy this kinda garbage justs fries my beans. Make sure you add "emotional duress" to your laundry list along with your attorney's fees.

Flippin' jerk.

Somebody tried that with me about 25 years ago. Same precise problem. Said see ya in court. He kept calling so my attorney sent him a very short letter about harassment, filing charges in civil court, FCC, blah blah blah. It stopped.

Oh by the way, What looks good on a lawyer?

A doberman. What looks good on your new "Diode Friend"?

Your lawyer.

Don't let the Bas!@#* get ya down.
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Old 02-17-2001, 05:23 PM
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Old 02-17-2001, 05:29 PM
Q Q is offline
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Have we learned a lesson here folks? I hate this whole victim mentality everyone seems to have.
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Old 02-17-2001, 05:49 PM
longston's Avatar
Another View. . .
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Location: Mark West, CA
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Senility Is A Sad Thing...

Don't blame this gentleman, he's old, and is most likely just reacting to some bad advice that was given to him either by a mechanic, or a dumb lawyer. Even if he is or was the scummiest barrister on earth, he should know that you can't sue someone for such an event and win...

Everyone so far has given you excellent information here. The best and most on track (by default) was from LeBenz.

Why not have your father call him on your behalf? Perhaps hearing from someone closer to his age who isn't a party to the event will help "clear the air", and get to the root of the matter.

The real questions here are: 1. Was he able to get the car started as a result of you stopping to help him, and consequently get to a service station? And, 2. Would be be suing a road service provider for the same issue after they had provided the same assistance you gave him at no cost?
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Old 02-17-2001, 06:30 PM
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i just called him and he hung up the phone so o well
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Old 02-17-2001, 06:33 PM
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some people can be such jerks! you try to do something nice and you get HELL in return. I'm sure this case will go nowhere if he dose file a suit. but talk about a pain in the ass just going threw the procedure. do me a favor and make this ignorant ass pay!
good luck.
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Old 02-17-2001, 06:40 PM
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He let you work on it as a good samaritin... it's his bag end of story. If it goes to small claims court the Judge will rip him a new one and maybe award you some money from him for your time. I am telling you this from experience. I used to help people out of ditches during snow storms. Once a tow strap broke and dented a guys car, He then sued me. In court the judge ripped his ass bad, I mean bad he basicly called him an ass&^%& himself and awarded me $100 for my time. The big thing was I never asked for or accepted monetary compensation. Don't worry about a thing this guy is just an idiot.
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Old 02-17-2001, 07:15 PM
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you know what the worst part is if i see someone on the rpad now i will probley think twice
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Old 02-17-2001, 07:29 PM
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Originally posted by Benzman500
you know what the worst part is if I see someone on the road now i will probley think twice
Yip times are changing big time. As a biomedical engineer I am trained in ACLS and everything, I even resuscitated a woman in a grocery store parking lot with a Defibrillator that was in my car that I was returning after a repair. I think twice now because of the liability, its a very sad, sad thing. As for me pulling people out of ditches I still do it, and the funny thing is I only do it because I like to drive around in Blizzards and play. I live and die by my attorney but I sure would like to do without. As for the car end of it he TUNDRA rocks in the snow I mean really unreal stuff!
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Old 02-17-2001, 10:53 PM
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Now that we established that you were dealing with a flippin jerk, I thought I would address the dead alternator issue. A co-worker (who has a ford car) has had bad experiences with his alternator going bad shortly after he has jump started other cars - he no longer jump starts cars. I have never experienced alternators going bad after jump starting other cars but I always follow the recommended procedure of connecting the negative clamp of the dead vehicle to the engine ground and not the dead vehicle's battery ground.

Hope the Judge slaps the jerk around.

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