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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 12908
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney
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I am a resident of Miami Beach Florida. I recently moved from

Resolved Question:

I am a resident of Miami Beach Florida. I recently moved from one apartment do another within Miami Beach. The moving company that I have used I have hired before and they did a good job. They may be because I know the owner of the company who has been involved hands on with each move. My last move involved taking the contents of my apartment and putting them in a storage unit until my current apartment was ready.
Facts:
My mover does not use an inventory sheet listing the contents being moved and their condition.
I did not accompany my mover to the storage unit. He is and two employees put my belongings in my storage facility.and later he dropped off the key. I went to the storage facility one time to look for an important document. It didn't want to look at my belongings because personally it is emotionally hard to see my furniture, paintings, and memories put in a 10x10 unit.
When I was moving into my new apartment, I gave the key to the owner again. I own my business and the way in which my company is structured of a network any of my clients that need a product or service if locally then I work with the same individuals. Locally, movers, painters, electricians. Hence, I have referred 5 of my clients in the past 5 months for his services.
When he was to move my belongings I sent him an e-mail outlining which items must be brought to my apartment and which can remain in storage.
He did not move me into my apartment. He had three young individuals do the work. I do have some valuable artwork and delicate furniture. The movers surprised me and arrived ten minutes before I did. My painter and handyman that were working in my apartment let them in. In fact when I arrived they were 90% complete.After reviewing and organizing my apartment and then going to the storage unit for the boxes and items that his young indiviudals neglected to bring I sent him the following email below:
The following e-mail was sent to him today. Please note I did advise him one week after the move that some items were missing.
Alvaro:
Thank you for your voice mail earlier this week.
Below is my initial request to you of which items you or your movers were to bring to my home.
It is clearly outlined which items to leave behind:
I do not want any boxes labeled photo albums
I do not want any boxes labeled with books
Leave the head board of the bed in the storage unit.
Bring the mattress and bed frame. I don't want to sleep on the floor.
I do not want the long entertainment center that is painted white or something like that. It has three drawers with three storage spaces painted in black.
All paintings as instructed were left in the unit. The ornate chair was left in the storage unit. Six boxes that I needed were left in storage. They were not mentioned to leave behind. Your guys never called me when they arrive at the storage unit. You and your movers conferenced me in on a call that they went to the wrong storage unit. You called me to confirm the location of where my storage unit was located. It was the place that you recommended that I move my belongings. While on the phone with your team, you expressed your frustration to them to "listen better to instructions."
They did not call me from the storage unit as they told you they did. When I arrived at my apartment, they were 90% finished with the move. I was gone for twenty minutes. It amazed me how fast they finished. My handyman was here and simply instructed them to put the materials in the middle of the room.
Your movers put my belongings on belongings. They put they file cabinet on my office chair. It was not me or my handy man who instructed them what to do which resulted in the tear of the chair at its seem. My handyman continued to paint and do his projects. Your guys were left to make their own decisions. When they finished the move, I paid them the cash and tipped each individual I believe $20.00. The move took them from location to location a little over an hour.
When they left, they called me an hour later and said that they forgot to return to me my storage key. They said they would bring it the next day at 5:30. It was until several days later that I called you and asked you for the key. You put it under the door of my neighbor. After the move to my apartment, I went to my storage unit for the second time. When I arrived, I looked for the boxes, paintings, and reviewed which items I needed to move to my smaller unit. When I arrived, it was there that I noticed that your movers put heavy boxes on my expensive chair. (end of email)
The last thing I wanted to do was get him on the defensive. He ended up blowing up at me and simply asking me "How much do I want" He way screaming and yelling at me telling me his employees never make mistakes.
QUESTION: Do I need proof that I owned the items and proof of their condition prior to the move? He said I need to prove I owned the paintings and condition of the furn.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello. My name isXXXXX am a Florida licenses attorney and I will be happy to answer your question.

I am very sorry to hear about your unfortunate situation.

Can you tell me if any items suffered damage and what is the amount of the actual damages caused by the negligence of the movers?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I do not have an estimate yet. I did not plan on the situation becoming so hostile so quick.


 


Three paintings are missing.


2 of the paintings are signed serographs by Richard Estes. I do have one of the paintings here. They stored three of them. The one that was left in the storage unit the plexi glass is broken. This breakage was there when they moved it. I am going to get an estimate tomorrow by the owner of an art gallery. They were a gift to me by my aunt's deceased husband. They are three out of a aseries of 8. The other 5 are in nyc. I am estimating that each painting is worth about $5000. I received an estimate from Sothebys about ten years ago in NYC.


 


The other painting I have no idea of the worth. It was a gift also. It is an authentic newspaper advertisement of Cinderella when released by Walt Disney.


 


My office chair I really don't care about the damage to it. $200 office chair ripped I am not concerned about.


 


The chair fabric that is ripped I bought when i worked in NYC as a sales manager for Ian Schrager or Morgans Hotel Group. It was bought prior to it going on auction to the general public. I have certified papers of Iauthenticity as being a copy of a Louis XIV. I remember that I asked the auctioneer prior to it being sold to the public how much a chair similar to it was an he replied $25,0000. The chair I bought was simply the frame and worn out seat cushions and had minimal fabric. I bought the frame at a discounted rate of $2500 and spent $4000 to have it restored. (crazy huh??) It is priceless to me because I was hired as the only sales manager in the history of the Morgans Hotel Group with no sales experience in hotels. I came from Wall Street. Several years later I became ranked #4 in the world. That is why the chair means so much to me.


 

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Dear XXXXX,

Thank you for your follow up.

It appears that your damages might be well over $15,000 and it is doubtful that either the moving company owner or his insurance company would agree to amicably settle on such a large claim for damages due to their negligence / conversion.

If the moving company does not settle amicably with you, then you would have to consult and hire a local attorney and this attorney will evaluate your case for a potential lawsuit against the moving company and their insurance company for damages.

If a lawsuit is filed on your behalf in the local circuit court, you would have to prove by clear and convincing evidence the prior ownership of any missing / damaged items, the fact that the items were damaged by the negligent actions of the movers or were missing stolen by or due to the negligence actions of the movers.

I wish you the best of luck!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So you are basically saying that I have no recourse of action. Although my friends etc., can say that I owned those paintings and that they saw the boxes on the valuable chair that the mover has no obligation to pay me for any damages? Shouldn't it be his obligation to provide an inventory form prior to the move confirming each item and the condition? What if he did steal my items or his workers did and yet still I have no claim against him?


This does not sound correct to me. If the amount lets say was $3000 would I then have a case?

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Dear XXXXX,

Thank you for your follow up.

Only your local attorney can evaluate your case and review all the facts and evidence and advise you whether you have a case, I can only provide you with general answer to your legal question.

The burden to prove damages and your claim would be on the plaintiff which would be you, so you would have the burden to prove by clear and convincing evidence all the allegations and claims for damages.

If your claim for damages is under $5,000, than it can be filed with the local Small Claims Court and the rules are simplified in the Small Claims court, so it would be much more feasible for you to pursue a small claims court case on your own without a local attorney.

I am sorry about providing this bad news and I know it might not sound fair, but the law is the law and I have professional obligation to provide each JustAnswer.com customer with correct information, even if the answer is not favorable to the customer.

I wish you the best of luck!
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Satisfied Customers: 12908
Experience: Experienced Licensed Attorney
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