If a staff memeber of reception facility took my coat and put it in cloakroom,if it was taken, are they responsible?

At a wedding and member of staff asked if they could put my coat in cloakcroom. Reluctantly I said yes and the next day it was no where to be found. It was kept in an open room accesible to anyone, both guests and staff. I have contacted management regarding the issue and they are claiming not to be responsible what are my rights? Can I contact the police over this issue?

Asked on July 31, 2012 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, assuming the reception facility did not (and most do  not) guaranty that it would keep your belongings safe, you could only sue them for compensation if you can show that they were unreasonably careless. An open cloakroom is common, and would not by itself by unreasonably careless; therefore, they almost certainly would not be liable. Since your coat was likely stolen or taken mistakenly by a third party, the facility would not be liable or responsible for it. You can file a police report, but unless there is some evidence of which person stole it, there is nothing they can do but take the report.


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