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Can the business whose parking lot a customer's vehicle was stolen from be held liable for the resulting monetary loss incurred?

Kansas City, MO |

Parking lot has surveillance cameras
Business usually has security personnel on sight
Attempted auto theft occured there earlier same day
Business was fully aware of earlier attempted theft and potential of future danger
Customer's vehicle was locked, window was broken out and vehicle stolen
Actual theft was recorded on business' surveillance video
Business had suspect information from previous auto theft attempt that day
Business failed to inform customer of previous attempt and / or thefts
When customer requested business to notify police that vehicle was stolen they contacted their own security personnel first
Customer has liability insurance only on stolen vehicle
Reports of other thefts from same business parking lot have now become known
Customer frequents buisiness

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Attorney answers 2


These are hard cases, so it is best to talk with a local attorney. The good thing for you is the prior notice, The only problem could be low damages.

Good luck.

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.


often, businesses such as parking lots or garages have disclaimers on the backs of the tickets or on the contracts which attempt to limit the liability of the business for such claims. Some of these limitation of liability clauses are valid, and others are not. Still, it may be worthwhile to ask to make a claim against the business's insurance. There is a legal theory that one has no duty to anticipate a criminal act, but under the facts provided, there was notice of such criminal activity, which may make the parking lot liable.

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