Can I sue my storage unit company for a faulty ceiling that caused my personal items to mold?

My fiancee and I hadn’t actually been inside our storage unit in several weeks, but yesterday when we went to pick up our items to move to our new apartment, we found a gaping hole in the ceiling, and our personal items all moldy. We were told by the company if my parents had homeowners insurance that we didn’t have to use their personal insurance, but my parents’ insurance conveniently doesn’t cover storage units (which we were told that it would).

Asked on March 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You should be able to sue the storage unit company. They assumed a duty to safeguard your belongings as a bailee (someone who cares for the property of another--in this case, in exchange for payment). The failed in that duty by having a large hole in the ceiling; that failure potentially makes them liable for the cost to clean/repair or replace the damaged items.

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