Is myemployer liable if my car was vandalized twice while parked in the company parking lot?

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Is myemployer liable if my car was vandalized twice while parked in the company parking lot?

I bought a new car 2 months ago. Since that time, it has been vandalized at work in the privately owned lot twice; prior car never had an issue. The first incident was a hit-and-run that resulted in our sideview mirror being damaged. We assumed it was a parking issue and filed a police claim for the hit and run but made no qualms about it. The second was a theft. The thief smashed the passenger side window and stole a gun (registered and legal) and a GPS system. Another police report was taken. There is a camera but it does not cover employee parking. I was told it happens often. Isn’t there some liability?

Asked on April 21, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The mere fact that damage occurs on a business's property does not automatically make it financially responsible.  For liability to attach, there needs to both be some duty to have protected your car as in where the owner takes on the responsibility of protecting cars (e.g. it is gated and patrolled or described as secure).  However, lots that anyone can walk on to do not generally create this duty. There may also be liability for fault based on negligence (e.g. suspicious person's where allowed to come onto the property for a period of time, etc).

Without more detail of your case, it's hard to know.  Was this a secure lot or not?  The fact that there were cameras would seem to indicate that is was (or at least that it was supposed to be). And certainly the fact that this was a second occurrence is noteworthy.  Again, without more facts of the case its hard to speculate.  You should speak with an attorney directly as to your specific rights.


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