Who’s reponsible if I took my motorcycle to a repair shop and while it was in their custody it was stolen?

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Who’s reponsible if I took my motorcycle to a repair shop and while it was in their custody it was stolen?

Would I have a good case due to the fact that it was stolen out of their shop and they did not keep my key in a safe place. The first key came up missing and the second key was stolen out of the lock box that was left open by one of the employees.

Asked on December 3, 2011 under Business Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you should indeed have a good case. While property, such as a motorcycle, is in the hands of a repair shop or service, that shop or service has an obligation to exercise reasonable care to protect it.  While the shop would likley not be liable if it had done everything right--they are not automatically responsible for the crimes of unrelated third parties--if, as you indicate, someone carelessly left the lock box open, that lack of care could make them liable. If they do not pay voluntarily, you will have to sue them, but as indicated, based on what you have written, would seem to have a good chance to prevail. (Note: there's always a chance of losing--lawsuits are never certain.)


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