If Ivisited a business and had property stolen. can I sue the business?

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If Ivisited a business and had property stolen. can I sue the business?

About 3 weeks ago, my family and I visited an indoor inflatable play facility for a church party. On that night my camera was stolen. I have tried in vain for the past 3weeks to contact the owner to view the security tapes but to no avail. I finally got a person on the phone today only to be told that the tapes only go back 2 weeks. So, either someone from the facility took my camera or they are completely incompetent. What are my rights? I didn’t sign a waiver from injury or theft? Can I sue them for the cost of my camera since they refused to allow me access to the tapes?

Asked on December 14, 2010 under Business Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You probably have no right to sue. You could only sue if (a) someone working for the facility took the camera or (b) the facility had in some fashion taken it on themselves  to guard or watch your property--the mere fact that property is stolen at someone else's location does not, without more, make that person liable for  the loss. Since it's very unlikely the play facility took responsibilty for your belongs (more likely, they had some notice saying they are  NOT resonsible for personal property), that leaves (a). Certainly, if you believe that an employee stole, you can sue...but you'll have to be able to prove that. Merely saying that you think they did or that they are being uncooperative (note: they have no duty to cooperate) will not do it. If you don't have or don't think you'll be able to get concerete evidence of an employee stealing, suing would waste time and potentially open you up to a countersuit, depending on circumstances.


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