If I recently had my entire household goods shipment stolen from the moving company I used, what type of lawyer do I need?

I moved from UT to MA and used a  moving company based out of CA. 3 months later the moving truck showed up in empty. The driver said my things were probably still in CA. I have had no contact with the moving company in 2 months. Their website is also closed. I know who owns the company because he is running another moving company. I would like to sue the owner. How?

Asked on December 11, 2011 under General Practice, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Any attorney with a general practice or one who specializes in consummer fraud could help you.

Note, though, that you might not be able to sue the owner...if the company you did business with was a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC), it was a separate legal entity, distinct from the owner; and the owner is not liable for its debts or actions unless he either guaranteed the obligation or you can "pierce the corporate veil." Piercing the corporate veil means to show that the corporation or LLC was a pretext and the owner just used it, not as a legitimate business, but as a vehicle for committing fraud and/or acted so as to eliminate all distinction between himself and the business. This is very hard, and is only rarely succcessful. While you should definitely consult with an attorney in detail about this situation, if the now-defunct company was an LLC or corporation, it may be impossible to reach the owner's assets.

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