Is a car repair shop liable for the value of my vehicle if it is stolen from their lot?

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Is a car repair shop liable for the value of my vehicle if it is stolen from their lot?

Asked on July 8, 2015 under Business Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

They are liable only if at fault in some way, typically by not providing the reasonable standard of protection that repair shops normally would: e.g. keeping keys locked up; having a locking fence or gate; having lights; having an alarm. If they were negligent, or careless, in not having a reasonable level of security, then they may be liable. But if they did have reasonable security, they would not be liable, since in that case, they did nothing wrong, and they 1) are not resonsible for the criminal acts of third parties and 2) do not insure their customers. This is why it is generally a good idea to have theft insurance on your vehicle: to provide a mechanism for compensation when there is no one at fault for a loss.


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