What are my rightd if my wedding dress was destroyed in a fire at the dry cleaners?

I dropped my wedding dress off at Dry Cleaner A to be cleaned after our wedding. Dry Cleaner A sent my dress to Dry Cleaner B (a bigger plant) to be cleaned. That plant was destroyed by a fire set by an arsonist with my dress inside. Although Dry Cleaner B originally had me fill out an insurance claim form, turns out they were only covering customers that dropped their items off directly at their plant, not customers that had dropped their items off at Dry Cleaner A’s for a cleaning. Dry Cleaner B tells me to sue the arsonist or file a claim against Dry Cleaner A’s insurance company since that’s where I originally dropped my dress off for cleaning. Who is responsible for my dress?

Asked on October 15, 2014 under Business Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It is possible that no one other than the arsonist is responsible, unfortunately. A person or business is generally *not* responsible for the criminal acts of unrelated third parties, so just like you would not be liable is a random criminal shot one of your house guests on your front lawn, a business is most likely not liable for the loss of your dress due to arson.


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