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Law Pro
Law Pro, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 24870
Experience:  20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
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Im a used auto dealership in california, I had two vehicles

Customer Question

I'm a used auto dealership in california, I had two vehicles in a local mechanic shop overnight. One of our vehicles was stolen and wrecked 5 cars on their property before getting out onto the public streets and hit a newspaper stand. Individual got away. Turns out the mechanic shop has NO insurance. Who is liable for damages cause to vehicles including our stolen vehicle, our parked vehicle and 4 of the mechanics customers vehicles.

Thank you,

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 4 years ago.
Hi! My name is Fred and I'll be the attorney assisting you.

The mechanic shop is liable for all the damages.

A bailment is the act of placing property in the custody and control of another, usually by agreement in which the holder (bailee) is responsible for the safekeeping and return of the property.

Examples include securities left with the bank, autos parked in a garage, animals lodged with a kennel, or a storage facility (as long as the goods can be moved and are under the control of the custodian).

There is absolutely no doubt that the shop is liable. However, if they don't have insurance - then you have to look at your policy to determine if there is coverage.

Most times your policy would not cover this situation.

However you are not liable for the other vehicles being damaged.

So, under the circumstances you will have to see what, if anything you can negotiate with the shop.

But if it comes down to it - you may have to sue the shop owner and pursue the shop owner's assets.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer.. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

If you have any questions, about this or anything else, please ask for me, Law Pro, directly in the question and I will try to assist you as best I can.

For example, you would state, "This question is for Law Pro . . . (then on with your question).

I wish you the best in the future.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Since the shop owner has no insurance, is it possible to go after the shops landlord/property owner, for damages? I would assume the landlord would be negligent for not enforcing insurance requirements.

Thank you.
Expert:  Law Pro replied 4 years ago.
Regretfully, no. The landlord has no legal duty nor obligation to impose that the mechanic carry liability insurance.

Moreover, the landlord was not involved in the bailment nor a bailee.


I am sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers, even when an answer is not favorable to the customer.