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Stored property destroyed in fire!

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Property was being stored at a friends home. He agreed to store our possesions until we moved into a new apartment. The freinds home was destroyed by fire they were insured. Some items had been sold by friend before fire happened and now this friend and his Father (actual property owner) are not communication with us on any restitution. Pretty much eveything we had was destroyed including family momentos. Waht would be our legal options?


Gary [email protected]


Senior Member
To give you a real answer would require more information as to the EXACT terms on which you stored your property there (for example, was there anything that might be regarded as a payment made -- which converts the storage into a "bailment for hire" and usually imposes higher duties on the one holding the property?), to know the details of your state's statutory and case law on bailment (which I do not), and knowledge as to what the "friend" put into the claim for his insurance losses, and he was paid for.

In most states a non-paid bailee is NOT responsible for ordinary losses that occur, at least without his negligence. However, if he was paid for your goods by his insurance company, he'd be liable to you for that amount. He is not entitled to unjust enrichment. AND if YOU had homeowners insurance in effect, it would likely cover your goods while in temporary storage at the friends.

Depending on the actual value of the goods, a trip to Small Claims Court may be needed.

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