How do I go about suing a company responsible for a larceny they assisted with?

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How do I go about suing a company responsible for a larceny they assisted with?

Public storage cut locks for an unauthorized person and allowed them to steal mine and my friend’s items. Insurance that I paid for will not cover it because It wasn’t a breaking and entering. Police ruled it off as a larceny. Items are either damaged or not recovered.

Asked on January 25, 2016 under Business Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the storage company for negligence for allowing an unauthorized person access to your storage unit.  
Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable storage company would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the value of the items that were damaged or stolen.
Negligence would be the preferred alternative as it would be easier to prove instead of claiming that the storage company itself is liable for conversion which is theft in a civil case.  Conversion is intentional and your damages would be a forced sale (the value of the items taken or damaged).
As for larceny, that would apply to the person who stole the items from the storage unit.  It would be difficult to prove that the storage company itself committed larceny.  Larceny is a criminal act which would be subject to criminal prosecution instead of a lawsuit.  The person who stole or damaged your property could be sued for conversion (theft) in addition to being prosecuted by the district attorney in a criminal case of larceny.
 


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