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Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  30 years of experience
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I live in Alaska. I took a four wheeler into a shop. During

Customer Question

I live in Alaska. I took a four wheeler into a shop for repairs. During that time they were broken into and my motorcycle was stolen. The value is about $1500. They say they are not liable because I signed a work order stating that they are not responsible for theft or damage. Who is liable?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Gerald, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

Thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

The repair shop may still be liable. The anti-indemnity provision in the work Order is NOT valid or enforceable. You may have to sue the repair shop to obtain a judgment against them. But the clause they are pointing out to you will not be a valid defense for them. Such terms are viewed as void as against public policy and are also "terms of adhesion" because the agreements are one sided.

Being in possession of your property the repair shop was obligated to take reasonable measure to secure the property. If they can demonstrate that they in fact did take proper precautions to secure the property, but the property was none-the-less stolen then they may have a proper defense. In which case your insurance (if any) should cover your loss. Normally. however, the repair shop 's insurance would cover such losses. (It may be they do not have insurance and are mistakenly relying on their ineffective waiver clause).

In any event, file a claim with your insurer if you have insurance. Otherwise you will need to sue the repair shop.

Here is an Alaskan case that discusses liability when one person is in possession of another's property:

http://law.justia.com/cases/alaska/supreme-court/1963/312-1.html

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Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.