Can I sue storage unit for damage to personal property due to sprinkler system going off

Asked over 5 years ago - Burlington, NJ

i rent 3 large storage units at a storage sight. i have no insurance on my contents in the units. the sprinkler system went off during christmas holiday and we were contacted the next day when they opened. ther was about 6 inches of water on floor and the unit that was under the one unit that had the sprinkler is drenched. the manager offered a new unt and a free month. my stuff is ruined. the contract states they are not liable. is there anything legally i can do?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Kevin W. Davidson

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . The owner of the storage facility will not be liable for damage to your property unless the damage was caused by their negligence - that is to say that if the sprinklers were triggered by a fire or smoke that they did not negligently cause, or if they simply malfunctioned for unforseen reasons, the owner of the facility will not be liable for your damages.

    If, on the other hand, you can demonstrate that the owners or an employee of the owners did something to cause the sprinklers to go off, such as holding a lighter up to a sensor just for fun, then you may have an argument that they are responsible.

    The specific language of the contract clause waiving liablity can be important, but if it was a purely accidental event, you are likely out of luck.

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