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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4816
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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My 16 year old son is currently enrolled in a local tech school

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My 16 year old son is currently enrolled in a local tech school for auto repair, which requires him to have his own tools and tool box.At the end of his sophmore year which was this past June we went to the school to pickup his tools for the summer.Upon arriving at the school we saw his tool box had been vandelized and all his tools had been stolen.The value of the tools and box is around $800.00.The school claims that they are not responsible for the theft and are doing nothing to help us out.We had a state police officer come down to the school and filled a report but nothing was ever done.My question is ther anything I can do.I have to replace his tools for his shop but I refuse to leave anymore tools at the school without someone sighning something to guarantee that if this were to happen again the school will be responsible.I had marked all of his tools prior to him starting his freshman year,I have even checked with local pawn shops to see if any of his tools happened to show up.i just recently talked to his shop teacher he had last year and he told me he did not want to get involved.Any advice would be appreciated.Thanks Kevin

Chris T., JD :

Good evening. I'll be assisting you with your question.

Chris T., JD :

Where in the school were the tools? Were they inside?

Customer:

yes tools were inside the shop at the time .

Chris T., JD :

Do you know how they were vandalized? Do you know if the shop had a history of vandalism?

Customer:

The tool box was beaten up with a ball pean hammer and was forced open.I asked the shop teacher if the shop had ever had this happen before and he said no.

Customer:

The tool box was locked and was verified to be locked by scool security officer.

Chris T., JD :

That is a problem. Legally, the school's liability is severely limited by the criminal act of another person. The only way around that is if they knew the premises had a history or burglaries, etc., but did nothing to protect the contents, or, at a minimum, warn the people. But, under most circumstances, the school has a defense that the damage was caused by the criminal acts of a 3rd party, and that they should not be liable.

Customer:

So what do I do about bringing in another set of tools if I cant be guaranteed that this wont happen again

Chris T., JD :

Is it possible to take the tools home every night?

Customer:

No, you are talking about a roll away box with a 8 drawer chest.I also live about 20 miles away from the school.

Chris T., JD :

It is very unlikely that they will sign anything to guarantee the safety of the tools. They probably don't want that kind of liability. Have you looked into insuring them?

Customer:

I have not looked into insuring them,even if I do that is more money on top of the $800.00 I am already out.

Chris T., JD :

Insurance on something $800 would not be very expensive, but yes, you would be out more money. I know it isn't ideal, but I can tell you that the school is not going to be liable, based on what you've said. You will have to take matters into your own hands if you want to protect yourself against more theft.

Chris T., JD :

I'm sorry for the bad news, but I have to give honest answers. If I didn't, you could pursue what would likely be a fruitless lawsuit, which could cost you hundreds of dollars.

Customer:

What gets me is that if the schools tools or equipment had been stolen they probably have insurance to cover there loss.

Chris T., JD :

Their insurance most likely only covers their property.

Customer:

So basically I am screwed.

Chris T., JD :

I don't think you can sue the school for the cost of the tools. So, to be blunt, yes.

Customer:

I appreciate your time.Thanks Kevin

Chris T., JD :

Sorry for the bad news.

Chris T., JD :

But, I'm sure you'd rather me give it to you straight.
If I can't do anything else for you, please remember to "rate" my answer before you go.

Chris T., JD :

Is there something else I can do for you?

Customer:

All set Thanks

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