For the first time, I was exiting the storage facility where my 40 feet motor home was stored. The gate suddenly closed causing significant damage to my motor home. The facility’s insurance
company refused to accept legal liability because they say there was no proof of negligence. My insurance company concluded I was not at fault. There could only have been two reasons why the gate closed prematurely: 1) the gate system malfunctioned, 2), the pre-set timer used to close the gate remained opened for only 10 – 15 seconds, insufficient time to allow vehicles the size of my motor home to exit safely. As a result of testing, the facility manager claims the gate operated properly and as a defense, alleged I drove my motor home into the gate. Photographs taken at the scene of the incident clearly show I did not drive into the gate. As I was passing through the gate, the gate began closing, completely out of my view, and with no alert system in place to let me know it was closing. As designed, gates at many facilities will open based on a signal from the ground weight sensor as you approach the gate and a pre-set timer to allow the gate to close. I plan to resolve this matter in small claims
court. My case is based on the fact that even if the gate did not malfunction there were no procedures in place to advise tenants they need to exercise extreme caution when passing through the gate or the facility did not ensure the gate timing was sufficient to allow large vehicles to pass through. When signing the initial contract
approximately 2 months earlier, the facility manager did not address the gate operation except to issue a key pad code to open the gate and responded to my question that the gate will remain open until vehicles have pass through. I intend to introduce witnesses that will testify to the fact that the facility manager does not advise tenants of the need to take extra precaution when exiting and entering the facility with a large vehicle. There was no warning or alert system in place to let customers know the gate was about to close. There are warning systems in all gates in storage facilities that I subsequently visited in the area. They use horns, light beams, buzzers or other sound devices, etc, that are designed into the gate system for that purpose. Do I have sufficient grounds to make the case that the facility was negligent by not having, policies
and procedures, and a warning system in place that would have aided in the prevention of my loss?