If I pawned a 50″ 3D television and then paid to redeem it, is the pawn shop liable for damage it suffered while in its care?

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If I pawned a 50″ 3D television and then paid to redeem it, is the pawn shop liable for damage it suffered while in its care?

The TV was broken. The shop is telling me it is are not liable. Is this true?

Asked on January 28, 2012 under General Practice, Washington

Answers:

Daniel Bowen / Daniel D. Bowen, Attorney at Law

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A pawn is a form of bailment.  Since the pawn is for your and the pawnshop's benefit it is a bail for hirer.  I would write a demand letter asking for the cost of repairing the TV.  You then could consider brnging a small claims action to recover the cost of repairing the damage.

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the pawn shop for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care in this case that a reasonable pawn shop 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 which resulted in the TV being damaged), actual cause, proximate cause and damages.

Actual cause means but for the TV being in the possession of the pawn shop would the TV have been damaged?  If the answer is no, actual cause has been established.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable, intervening acts which would relieve the pawn shop of liability?  If the answer is no, proximate cause has been established.  Damages means the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for negligence against the pawn shop.  Your damages would be the cost of repairs to the TV or if the TV cannot be repaired, the cost of a replacement.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting a repair shop whose charges are comparable to other TV repair shops in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive TV repair shop you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.  The same applies if the TV is replaced.  To mitigate damages, you will need to purchase a comparable TV.  If you were to purchase the most expensive TV you could find as a replacement, your damages would be reduced accordingly.

You may be able to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  In addition to the cost of repairs or replacement of the TV, your damages should also include court costs such as the court filing fee and process server fee.


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