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I am sorry to hear about this situation.
To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one.
While a company would not be liable for third party actions on its premises, in this case, it may be. If the storage company did not use the standard of the industry to safeguard the items, then they can be sued for negligence and breach of contract.
Generally, the elements of a cause of action sounding in negligence are: (1) the existence of a duty on the defendant's part as to the plaintiff; (2) a breach of this duty; and (3) an injury to the plaintiff as a result thereof (see Akins v Glens Falls City School Dist., 53 NY2d 325, 333 ; Ingrassia v Lividikos, 54 AD3d 721, 724 ; Alvino v Lin, 300 AD2d 421 ).
Under New York law, an action for breach of contract requires proof of (1) a contract; (2) performance of the contract by one party; (3) breach by the other party; and (4) damages. Rexnord Holdings, Inc. v. Bidermann, 21 F.3d 522, 525 (2d Cir. 1994) (applying New York law).
The statute of limitations to file such a suit is 6 years (going of breach of contract) per N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 213(2). However, one wants to file any suit as soon as possible, and within 3 years if possible (negligence statute of limitations may be subjective and this is the first cut off point for it).
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