Can i sue the shopping center?
2 attorney answers
Washington courts have been reluctant to find criminal conduct foreseeable. See, e.g., Jones v. Leon, 3 Wn. App. 916, 926, 478 P.2d 778 (1970) (criminal act "was so highly extraordinary or improbable as to be wholly beyond the range of expectability"); Shelby v. Keck, 85 Wn.2d 911, 541 P.2d 365 (1975) (defendant's criminal act was not reasonably foreseeable); Christen v. Lee, 113 Wn.2d 479, 496, 780 P.2d 1307 (1989) (criminal assault not foreseeable).
Nivens v. 7-11 Hoagy's Corner, 133 Wn.2d 192, fn 3, 943 P.2d 286 (1997)
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You can sue. But your lawsuit likely will be quickly dismissed.
The store does not have any legal duty to safeguard your vehicle from being stolen.
The store may have to do more if the store has an extensive history of criminal activities on its premises.
If you had car insurance on an existing vehicle when you bought this new vehicle, you should check whether your existing insurance also covers the new vehicle for a few days.
If you have not filed a police report, you should file one. Most stolen vehicles are recovered. Some recovered vehicles are in good condition as some car thieves just want a way to get somewhere.
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