IS AN AUTO SHOP LIABLE FOR PROPERTY STOLEN FROMA VEHICLE WHILE IN THEIR CARE?

MY VEHICLE WAS PARKED ON THE SHOP’S PROPERTY IN AN UNSECURED LOT WAITING FOR TRANSMISSION REPAIRS. IT WAS TOWED BY THEM TO THEIR SHOP ON 7/8/10 AND WHEN I PICKED THE CAR UP ON 7/21/10 I FOUND THAT MY PORTABLE GPS DEVICE HAD BEEN STOLEN FROM THE GLOVE BOX. THEIR WORK ORDER STATES THAT THEY ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE. BUT WASN’T IT NEGLIGENT OF THEM NOT TO FENCE IN THIS LOT TO ENSURE THAT A CUSTOMER’S CAR IS SECURE? WOULDN’T THAT NEGLIGENCE MAKE THEM LIABLE? FURTHERMORE, NONE OF MYUWINDOWS WERE BROKEN.

Asked on July 23, 2010 under General Practice, Oregon

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The legalities that covers your set of circumstances is known under the law as a "bailment".   Specifically, it is the delivery of personal property to another in trust for the execution of a special project in relation to the goods. There is a contract, express or implied, as to the services rendered.  The ability to recover for property stolen in the car while it is in their possession will depend on your state laws, which will take in to account many factors.  The work order may be one of them.  Whether or not they can transfer responsibility back to you or is the order is considered notice - those are for an attorney in our area to discuss. I would consult with someone.  Did you consider putting in an insurance claim and maybe having the insurance company go after them?  Good 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.