If I recently attended a lien auction at a storage facility and won, if the unit contained barrels filled with hazardous material undisclosed am I liable?

The auctioneer told us that the barrels were filled with printers ink, but we later verified that it was no longer useable and is definitely hazardous material.mWe tried to work things out with the storage facility but they said it was our problem. Our contract says if we don’t clean out the unit, it will be considered abandoned and we lose everything inside and our cleaning deposit. Called a private hazmat company and they quoted us $5000 to have the barrels removed.

Asked on August 2, 2012 under Business Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This is one of those things...

Shows on television glamorize buying homes and storage units at auction.  In reality it can be much less glamorous.  When you bought the unit, you agreed to clean it out.  Period.  The quote from that hazmat company seems very high.  You should shop around. Sorry I don't have better news.


Best of luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.