What to do if I recently hired a moving company to move my household things from one apartment to another and my TV was damaged?

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What to do if I recently hired a moving company to move my household things from one apartment to another and my TV was damaged?

During the move my 52 inch TV was damaged. There are visible streaks on the screen and the TV does not work. The moving company said they are not liable as I did not take the optional insurance. I was not verbally offered the insurance and, even if I got that, the coverage is minimal. I have filled out a lawsuit to file a lawsuit in a local court over disputes less than $10,000 but before I go ahead I want to get advice if the moving company is in the wrong and they are liable. In my mind they should be but want to get a legal perspective.

Asked on December 24, 2012 under General Practice, California

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The moving company is liable 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 mentioned above), breach of duty (failure to exercise due care), actual cause, proximate cause, and damages.

Actual cause means but for the moving company, would your TV have been damaged?  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 cost of repair or replacement of your TV.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting a TV repair shop whose charges are comparable to other repair shops in the area or if the TV has to be replaced, finding a comparable replacement.  If you were to select the most expensive repair shop you could find or the most expensive replacement TV you could find, you would have failed to mitigate damages and your damages would be reduced accordingly.

Whether or not you had purchased the moving company's insurance is irrelevant and does not alter the fact that the moving company is liable for negligence.


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