Who is is ultimately responsible for damage to stored property?

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Who is is ultimately responsible for damage to stored property?

Our house was flooded about 15 months ago. When repairs were carried out, all of our furniture, fixtures and fittings that survived were removed and stored by the builder’s own contracted removal company. On return of the items, there were a lot of things damaged leading to costs of thousands of pounds. We are being offered by their loss adjuster a small percentage as the removal company are underinsured.

Asked on October 18, 2016 under Business Law, Alaska

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The removal company is liable for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable removal company would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
If you reject the settlement offer from the removal company's insurance carrier, your recourse is to sue the removal company for negligence.  Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the costs incurred for replacement or repair of the damaged items.
Additional information is needed to determine the liability of the builder.  The builder is liable for negligence if the removal company was acting as the builder's agent or as the builder's employee.
If the builder and removal company entered into a contract for the removal of your property, then you are the third party beneficiary of that contract and could sue the builder and removal company for breach of contract for the damage to your property..


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