General Etiquette > general

Thatz Not Okay: damaged laptop

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The first LW has a pet cat with a known tendency to knock over drinking glasses and spill them. LW's roommate is aware of this before she moves in and verbally agrees it is best for them to not leave glasses around unattended to prevent accidents. Roommate leaves her laptop next to a glass of water out in a common area overnight, the cat spills it and Ruiz her laptop. Roommate is insisting LW pay to replace her laptop. The columnist responds that LW needs to pay up for the damage caused by her cat. Lots of commenters are disagreeing bc Roommate knew the situation when she decided to move in, she was the one who left the water out, etc.

What do you think?

This is a tough one.
The Roommate was warned about the cat, though, so to me, it's on the Roommate to replace her own laptop. Accidents happen, and to me leaving a glass of liquid next to electronics is just begging for something like this to occur, especially with a pet around.
If I, a human, had knocked water onto someone else's belongings, I'd try to compensate them, depending on the circumstances.

I think she should pay to replace the laptop.  Everyone knows that pets will do things like scratch up furniture, "mark" territory, shed, stick noses in food, and knock things over, so yeah she was forewarned to be careful, but that doesn't meant the owner isn't responsible for the damage caused by the pet.

Well, I don't have a cat but if my baby knocked over a drink and wrecked a laptop (well, when he did, LOL), I cried and whined and complained "you knew there was a baby!", and then forked over the money to fix it  ;) Because as frustrating as it is, you are still responsible for what your cat/dog/baby did.

This is exactly the kind of thing renter's or home-owner's insurance is for. I do not think the cat-owner owes the roommate anything. She was warned, and it isn't cat-owner's responsibility to go around making sure roommate's stuff is put away or that her glasses are empty or cleared away. That's the only way she could have prevented the accident - by making herself responsible for expensive gadgets (or dirty dishes) that are not her own.


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