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larry frank

I have a coin operated washer and dryer in an apartment complex laundryroom in Sacramento CA. I have a verbal agreement with the owner to have these machines here and he gets 50% of the income. Someone vandalized the washer taking the money and the resident mgr saw the machine vandalized. The washer was layed on it's side causing water to leak all over and causing H20 damage to the apt. units on each side.I have insurance as does the owner. My insurance has denied liability claiming not responsible due to criminal act of another(vandalism). He is now sueing me in small claims court. Does he have a valid claim?


Senior Member
I do NOT understand how your insurance company can walk away from this claim IF you had the right kind of insurance. This is precisely what the company SHOULD cover.

As to whether landlord has a case against you, that may depend on the exact nature of the agreement, if any you had with him, and whether you were strictly liable or just liable for negligence. Perhaps the absence of a cut off valve is negligence, but perhaps he should have installed it.

My suggestion is get a lawyer to give you some advice as to how to defend yourself and/or go after your insurance company. Also, IMMEDIATELY notify them in writing of the suit, say you expect them to defend you and you think they have been operating in "BAD FAITH" (frequently they have an obligation to and will defend you even if they claim they are not responsible for the underlying event under a "reservation of rights" and see what happens.)

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