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Stolen Property: Customer lost a valuable piece of property at our place of business.

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  • Stolen Property: Customer lost a valuable piece of property at our place of business.

    I am the owner of a small business that is set up as a corporation. A customer lost a valuable piece of property at our place of business. One of my employees found the lost item, but rather than giving it to a manager they set it down in an unsecured area. When they went back to retrieve the item, it was gone. The individual who lost the item is saying I am responsible, because my employee acted inappropriately by leaving their item unsecured.

    We have signs posted indicating we are not responsible for lost or stolen items. The victim believes my employee stole the item. Can I be held liable?

  • #2
    re: Stolen Property: Customer lost a valuable piece of property at our place of business.

    You generally are not responsible but once the employee took possession of the item then he did have a duty to take care properly, and having lost it again, he and you could be liable. It may be best to try to work out some agreement or compromise but if it has to go to small claim court you may try to argue it was lost and nobody really ever knew its status, owner etc.

    Beth Barton

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