If neighboring business leaves business unsecure and my business gets bulgarized as a result is the other business liable?

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If neighboring business leaves business unsecure and my business gets bulgarized as a result is the other business liable?

Our business shares a dry wall with another business. The other business left their back

door unsecure and as a result my business was bulgarized. The thieves came in through

the drywall from neighboring business. The insurance company does not cover money that was stolen. I have asked neighboring business to reimburse us for the deductible and cash which was stolen. I have written a letter formally giving them 30 to pay for damages.

Are they liable for said damages since they left their business unsecure.

Asked on October 19, 2016 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

They are most likely not liable: there is no general legal duty to secure one's own property and/or business. Therefore, to establish liability, you would have to show that it was reasonably foreseeable (or logically predictable) that IF they left their back door open, 1) they would be burglarized; 2) the burglars would then cut through the drywall between them and the adjacent business (yours) to steal from the adjacent business. 
1) is probably something you can show or establish: leaving a door open can lead to *that* space being burglarized. But it is VERY rare for burglars to cut through drywall to steal from an adjoining location. Therefore, you most likely cannot show that 2) is reasonably foreseeable, and if not reasonably foreseeable, they would not be liable, since people and businesses are not liable for unforeseeable consequences.


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