Got a question for people about damaged and stolen items

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DammitJanet, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is just a question...something I am wondering about that I heard about and am trying to figure out what the law is.

    Ok...say someone takes their car into a mechanic shop to have it fixed. Lets say for the sake of facts that shop has a several bay shop surrounded by a lot which is fenced in with 6 or 8 foot high chain link fence which is locked at night.

    Say this person takes the car in over a year ago to get the car fixed but it is taking time because they cant afford to fix it all at once and the mechanic is nice enough to let them leave it on his lot and just pay a bit each month until they can get it all paid off. (I dont know if it is fixed or if it is not completely fixed)

    Obviously with the number of cars a mechanic is fixing in over a years time, he cannot put this one car into his shop every night. This car will just be sitting inside the fenced area as if it is being stored.

    Lets say that one night someone breaks into his fence...climbs it, cuts it, or somehow gets into the lot and damages several of the cars left on this lot that are left for repair or have been repaired and are awaiting pick up. Who is at fault besides the hoodlums who did the deed?

    Lets also mention that the idiots who took their car in for repair and left it for that year took their insurance off it since they wouldnt be driving it for that year! Yeah...can we say dumb!

    I am pretty darned sure the Mechanic had a sign up saying they werent responsible for items stolen from vehicles. I have never been to one that didnt have that sign.

    Personally, I think the mechanic didnt do anything negligent so he may not be held liable. Especially since he allowed them to leave the car so long. Now if the car was outside a fence, maybe it was negligent.

    What do you think?
  2. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I don't know what laws are there etc. But here I can't see the garage being liable. Even if it was in the area inside the fence. Mind you perhaps the garage has insurance in place for vandalism to customers property but given the sign they have up, it seems unlikely. It would be presumed too that most who go to a garage for repairs have their own insurance. If the shop did have insurance, I can't see any reason the person whose car was damaged couldn't file a claim via that route. However if the shop does not have that insurance, I'd think the person who removed their own insurance would be really morally in the wrong to pursue damages from the garage.
    I could be overlooking a different train of thought of course. I just figure if I go to Walmart, or the hardware store or the movies, and come out to find my car vandalized I have no legal or moral right to pursue costs from the business who owned the parking lot. And I guess I'd just really kick myself for not being insurance.
    Whoever this happened to, that's a lousy break Janet. Especially since finances were tough enough to require a year to pay the vehicle repair bill. I'm sorry this happened.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    If I was the mechanic, I wouldn't fork over anything to replace or compensate for it. But ultimately my guess is that it would depend on what was in writing- the last signed agreement.
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Even if the mechanic has a sign up, I imagine he could be held liable for the damage if the courts decide his fence wasn't enough of a deterrent to prevent vandalism. Keep in mind, I'm in California, where people sue over their own stupidity all the time...and win. It sounds like the mechanic was doing this guy a favor, so in my opinion the guy ought to just hush and remove his vehicle rather than fuss about it. Personally, if I had a vehicle that needed that much work that I'd leave it sit at the mechanic's for over a year, I'd take the thing to Pick-a-Part and be done with it.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Mechanic should have insurance for his shop. It should cover it.

    Sadly trying to be a nice guy may be coming back to bite him.
  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I guess it would depend on the laws in your area. If the mechanic is a good guy, maybe he'll see if his insurance will cover it, but if not they are SOL. They should have kept the damage/theft portion of the ins on it. If they talked to their insurance person, they would not have had to keep the liability. My dad has an old mustang. He keeps the basic damage ins, because it's in a garage and has been for years and years. He doesn't drive it, but is able to insure it.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well found out today that the mechanic's shops insurance is having to pay for the blue book value of the vehicle because it was completely stripped and considered totalled. They were offered $4k and keep the car or $5k and the car is the insurance companies. Guess which one they chose? Car was a 2003 Nissan Sentra. Some folks get all the luck. I swear I am gonna go send my car to a mechanic when it is time to buy a new car.

    Years ago something similar happened to me and I didnt get one dime. I had an early 70s MBG-GT that I had bought and it needed a bit of work. That is my dream car by the way. I took it into the local VW shop and they put it out back in their fenced area waiting to get to it. Someone came in and slashed the rag top and stole the radio. Well over night it also snowed and the interior was ruined because no one noticed it for a few days until I came back. I was just SOL.
  8. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    That freaking sucks for the mechanic because now his insurance premiums are going up on him. All over doing a favor for someone. They (car owners) should be held liable for removing insurance from their vehicle regardless of not driving it. At least made to have had what we call here in Ontario PLDP insurance (basic - covers collisions and damage).
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well evidently there was just a case on Peoples Court right now saying this very same must be true! I think it must be the idea the of the fact that it is not the fact that people just broke in and took objects like junk you left in the car...they can tell you to take your possessions out of the car because they wont be liable, but if someone actually vandalizes the car and steals things you cannot remove from your car like airbags and stereos and seats...well, then you can expect a merchant to take care to make sure that your vehicle is returned to you in the shape you gave it to them in.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    And Ohio wants to BAN pit bulls and is KILLING the ones of people who don't carry 100,000.00 in liability insurance, walk them on lead WITH a muzzle and fence their yards with 8' privacy fence?

    YOU find a muzzle that will fit my freak on a leash. Yet Rottweilers, Dobermans, Shepherds, Dogos Argentinos, Presso Canarios - ARE allowed?

    Yeah - I'm telling everyone Casper is a Chihuahua mix. No one breaks into MY fence.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I had a lady worker over last week or the week before...cant remember now my mind gets fuzzy as far as time goes these days. She saw Nina aka autistic girlie in the yard and of course was afraid to get out of her car. Meanwhile, Nina was cowering in the yard afraid of this new lady...lmao. I had to tell the woman that the dog was way more afraid of her than she was of the dog.

    So lady comes in the house and my tiny fur ball is inside doing his best to act like the Walmart greeter. "Hey!" "Here I am! Pant Pant Pant" "Look at me!" I will jump on your lap.

    I finally took him and threw him outside.

    Lady starts telling me how she has a 23 month old little girl and how she wants to get a puppy for the baby and how she is thinking maybe a little dog...maybe a chihuahua. However her husband wants a big dog. I told her...listen...Chihuahuas are pitbull's that have been put in a shrink machine. They are meaner than a pit bull ever thought about being. If a pit was as mean as a chihuahua at their size...omg! Talk about a killing machine. She said yeah, she has seen how yappy and snarly they are when she is in people's homes. I told her that they can be fine dogs for older people but toddlers? No way would I trust one. I told her about the one that bit Keyana. I think that convinced her. She said her husband was thinking about a rottie. I told her about my Heidi. She was a great dog. I told her if she gets a really good puppy and it has a good temperment and they raise the baby and the puppy up together, a big dog will be great with a toddler. They learn to put up with everything a little one dishes out. She said they are going to raise the dog in the house so I told her that would be ideal. The dog and the toddler would be siblings and would be so close. No one would ever get close to that child.

    I figure they probably have a rottie by
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Only you janet! lol
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LOL Star...I never did figure out why that Lady came to my house. We talked about dogs and animals and her kid and snakes and what she should use for the rat she thinks she has in her house. She thought it might have been a possum but when I described the possums I had...well, that changed her mind real quick when I said mine had some white on them. Her critter was all brown...lmao! Yeah...Im figuring rat.

    I dont mind a bit she didnt want to talk about me. I dont know why these people are coming here anyway. The others ask these real stupid questions over and over again. I dont answer anymore clearly than I am going to. I just hem and haw. I aint gonna tell them a darn thing.
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    When my daughter was little we had a Rhodesian Ridgeback. We lived in the boonies of Florida, and nothing was getting near that kid, not local wildlife, not neighbors, not cousins, not even our dog's brother, and we never had door to door salesmen. They pulled up the driveway now and then, saw growling dog and bone shards littered everywhere (20 acres of woods across the road used by poachers often, and dog would drag parts home), and would promptly reverse.