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Hello Kevin

I need some guidance. I left a trailer at a local business to have it loaded with fertilizer. When I went to pick the fertilizer up I was told it was not ready, and told to park the trailer on the lot and com back later when it was ready and loaded. I told the I would not be able to get back before they closed and could come back the next day. I was told by the plant supervisor to just leave the trailer and he would take care of everything and I could pick it up the next day. The next day when I went to pick up my trailer and fertilizer. my trailer was no where to be found. The business has facilities they could have secured the trailer in overnight but apparently failed to do so.

When I asked where my trailer was, I was basically all but totally ignored for quite some time(app 30 min) and finally left to report the trailer stolen at the local sheriffs office.

Later the manager came to find me and said things go missing out at the plant all the time and it was not his responsibility. Basically he said he didn't care.

Basically I feel I left the trailer in good faith and they were negligent in not securing it. Do I have any options? I was told to file a claim in  the JP small claims court. Are the any case law references to this type of loss?

Jay

Answer
Jay,

Sorry to hear about your problem.

Ordinarily, they might not be liable for the loss, however, because the manager specifically told you that "they would take care of it" changes the spectrum. At that point, it became something in their "care, custody and control" and therefore their responsibility. Especially if this is something that has happened before.

JP Court would actually be your easiest and quickest way to resolve the issue. You don't have to have an attorney and you get to just tell your side of the story to the judge.

Make sure you double-check for any signs that are up on the property regarding release of liability and also any receipts you may have from prior purchases that may have disclaimer language on them. Those may be the only things that come back to bite you.

Hope this helps.

Kevin Hromas
JD, EGA, RPA, PLCS, HCRI-R/C, CPIU, WIND® Umpire
Kevin Hromas & Associates
... A Division of US Insurance Information LLC
www.KevinHromas.com

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Kevin Hromas - JD, EGA, RPA, PLCS, WIND Umpire

Expertise

Insurance related issues for both commercial and residential property coverage. I am a licensed, executive general adjuster currently holding a Texas resident P&C license (614250), New Mexico non-resident all lines license (248774), Oklahoma non-resident P/F/M license (A299561), Florida non-resident P&C license (E117051) and a National Flood Insurance Program certification (06040100). My areas of expertise involve property and casualty issues in both residential and commercial policies with regards to claims practices and issues. I deal extensively with Lloyd's of London commercial policies and various domestic carriers for residential policies.

Experience

I am a licensed, executive general adjuster currently holding a Texas resident P&C license (614250), New Mexico non-resident all lines license (248774), Oklahoma non-resident P/F/M license (A299561), Florida non-resident P&C license (E117051) and a National Flood Insurance Program certification (06040100). My areas of expertise involve property and casualty issues in both residential and commercial policies with regards to claims practices and issues. I deal extensively with Lloyd's of London commercial policies and various domestic carriers for residential policies. After a 20 year career as a General Contractor, I was employed by Allstate Insurance as an adjuster in Texas, holding various postitions within the property claims department. After leaving Allstate, I specialized in handling losses associated with major catastrophes through-out the country. (Hurricanes Isabel, Charlie, Wilma, Katrina, Ike, etc., hail storms, floods.) I am currently retained as an expert by multiple insurance defense firms in Texas for issues in litigation in regards to claims issues and practices. I am also a certified Umpire for formal appraisals.

Organizations
Member - Society of Registered Professional Adjusters Fellow - Council on Litigation Management Member - Property and Casualty Association Member - Texas Independent Insurances Adjusters Association Member - National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters Member - Houston Claims Association Member – Windstorm Insurance Network Member – Association of Property & Casualty Claims Professionals

Publications
Claims Magazine (www.ClaimsMag.com and then search 'Kevin Hromas' for a full listing of articles and quotes.) www.ClaimsPages.com, www.ProAdjuster.org, www.KevinHromas.com

Education/Credentials
JD - University of Houston Law Center - 1992 BA - Southwest Texas State University - 1980 AA - South Plains College - 1977 PLCS - Personal Lines Coverage Specialist

Past/Present Clients
Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London, Fulbright & Jaworski (Law Firm) Bracket & Ellis (Law Firm) Thamm & O'Briant (Law Firm) Sheehy, Ware & Pappas (Law Firm) Walker, Wilcox and Matousek (Law Firm) Financial Guarantee Underwriters

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