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Loren
Loren, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  30 years experience representing clients .
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Is the company reliable for this car damage

Customer Question

A customer often
parks his car at a Westcar Parking Centre.

One day he parks his car at the a parking Centre. He enters the car park, presses a button at the boom gate and is issued with a ticket printed with the words

“Issued subject to condition…displayed on the premises”

These conditions are displayed on every pillar of the car park, stairwell and in the elevator. When he returns to pick up his car he found that a light fixture had fallen and damaged his car.

Is the company liable for the damage to the car?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 4 years ago.

Need a little more info to help answer your question please;

 

1. what does the condition displayed on the premises say?

 

2. was this the first time that he was issued a ticket with this disclaimer on the ticket?

 

3. was there any visible evidence that the light fixture was loose?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi,

I am sorry but actually this is one of the questions from an assignment...

and that's exactly what was in the paper...

so 1. it doesnt say what exactly was displayed on the premises.... i assume it is what is normally found in a parking lot.

2. i assume it is NOT, since it says this customer is a regular of the parking lot. means, he has been to this parking many times before this.

3. it doesnt say in the paper, so i assume no/or the customer was just not aware of the loose light fixture.

Thank you so much.
Expert:  Loren replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

I will assume that the light fixture was part of the garage.

There are a couple of theories worth examining. First, is this a bailment situation in which you transfer possession, but not ownership of your chattel? The courts tend to look at whether you park it yourself, who holds the keys, whether the lot is enclosed, etc..

In this situation, ther probably is not a bailment created.

Next, is there recovery under a negligence theory? The parking lot is a business and the car owner is a customer. There is a duty of care owed to the customer or invitee to inspect and repair hazards on the property where your customers are.

Therefore, the fact that the owner had a duty to inspect the light fixture and repair it would indicate to me that the parking lot is liable for the damage.

If you find this helpful, please click on "ACCEPT".

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi,

thanks for replying.
but i have a question

the customer is a regular of the parking lot. it can be assumed that he has read the "conditions" that are posted around the parking lot many times before. does the "conditions" protect the parking lot from this liability, if there really is a condition saying the parking lot is not liable for any damage? or is that unjustifiable since the owner of the parking lot should always take care of its customers?
Expert:  Loren replied 4 years ago.
The waiver of liability is irrelevant to this situation. All business owners owe a duty to their invitees to inspect the property and correct or repair hazardous conditions.

In this case the cause of action would be in negligence theory. The owner of the parking lot owed a duty to the car owner and breached that duty.

The courts generally hate those types of take it or leave it waivers and if you could give them any thing to hang their hat on they will find the lot owner liable.

If you have any follow up I will be happy to continue after you click ACCEPT

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