Had my 30K service done on my Miata. Mechanic changed transmission oil even though it was not due. I picked up car and drove it home. Next day car would not go in reverse and could not get out of my driveway. Towed car to Aamco. Found out from Aamco that the first mechanic had taken out wrong bolt for tranny fluid and part dropped into the tranny causing loss of reverse and 5th and 6th gears. Cost me $1500 to take tranny apart and remove the bolt. Aamco showed me Mazda notice on removing wrong bold causes loss of gears and told me to go after first mechanic for costs of repair. First mechanic said he did not remove wrong bolt and not his fault for loss of gears so no refund. I asked a 3rd mechanic who agreed with Aamco diagnosis. Question now: should I take the mechanic to small claims or just write it off to bad luck?
You have two sources that agree on who is at fault, which is the mechanic that did the job. Get notorized documentation from the AAMCO office and the 3rd mechanic if possible. Take statements and the bill to an attorney. I think the guy will settle.
It does appear to be the fault of mechanic #1, but why on earth did you not take the car back to the shop that did the 30K service? You would have been much more likely to get it taken care of then, and by the time you go to court neither you or anybody else will be ahppy with the results.
Small claims court likely can handle it, but they are different in different locations. Give them a call or contact your personal attorney. $1,500 May be a little high to justify his involvement other than to send them a letter that might prompt them to take care of it.
It looks like you are a winner. Once they get the notice that you have filed with the court, they might want to pay you for their mistake. Get the opinions in writing and you might have something going on.