Can we sue a moving company for losing all of our stuff due to their negligence?

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Can we sue a moving company for losing all of our stuff due to their negligence?

The driver left the container in an unsecure part of the parking lot and it got stolen. Company failed to notify us of the incident until we asked. They never gave us an actual delivery date but made us get a delivery address to avoid further charges. Movers charged us by weight but never weighed anything in their own words. Movers never explained any terms or conditions and failed to tell us our rights and responsibilities on the day of pickup until today. They have yet to give us any information regarding their arbitration program and that’s after asking them about it 3 times.

Asked on August 6, 2012 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The language in the agreement regarding arbitration will determine whether or not you can file a lawsuit or whether your exclusive remedy is arbitration.

If you are able to file a lawsuit, you can sue the moving company for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable moving company would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (of due care), breach of duty (failure to exercise due care), actual cause, proximate cause and damages.  Actual cause means but for the moving company leaving your personal property in an unsecured area, would it have been stolen?  If the answer is no, which appears to be the case, actual cause has been established.  Proximate cause means are there any unforeseeable, intervening acts which would relieve the moving company of liability?  If the answer is no, proximate cause has been established.  Damages means the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit.  Your damages would be the replacement cost of your personal property that was stolen.


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