If my daughter’s rental has a poorly designed underground parking garage and damage has been caused to 2 cars as a result, can the landlord be held liable?

UPDATED: Nov 12, 2013

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If my daughter’s rental has a poorly designed underground parking garage and damage has been caused to 2 cars as a result, can the landlord be held liable?

We have now damage two cars in that garage, hitting a badly placed large cement pole. There are other damaged cars parked there (I know it’s not just us) and we personally know of 4 other people who have hit that pole. The last time, it cost $2500 to fix the car, and I have to stop filing insurance claims because they might drop us. I talked to them and the were not helpful, they haven’t even tried to do something to protect the tenants cars, except to post signs that say “move to the left” which in my opinion, means they know there is a problem. Can I sue for damages?

Asked on November 12, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, you most likely cannot sue. Even if you believe the garage is badly designed, your daughter (or whomever was driving) is still liable or responsible for the damage, since that person drove into the concrete pole, which is a stationary object. That is careless, or negligent driving, to run into a stationary object, just like it would be negligent to run into a wall, a parked car, a tree, etc., even if any of those things were closer to a parking space than would be ideal. A car's driver is expected to avoid stationary objects, and to not drive into a space which is too small or which they cannot navigate.

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