If my car was at a dealership and the service department got flooded, shouldn’t the dealer be responsible for damages to it?

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If my car was at a dealership and the service department got flooded, shouldn’t the dealer be responsible for damages to it?

Asked on September 17, 2011 under General Practice, New Jersey

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it should indeed.  You left your car to be repaired, correct?  It was turned over and entrusted to the dealership.  It is considered what is known under the law as a "bailment" which is a delivery of some personalty based upon contract between you and the other party and with a purpose and intent to return the personalty as agreed to in the contract.  Here you gave actual possession to the dealership and it was their responsibility to keep the item safe and in good condition.  You may want to call your own insurance company too to report the matter.  You may be able to make a claim on your insurance and then will sue the dealership on your behalf (called subrogation).  Good luck.


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