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NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

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  • NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

    I live in NY and my wife and I had a piano and some books in storage. It was not self storage but rather a warehouse that came to the house and picked up the piano and books and took them to their warehouse. Should we want to go to look through our stuff or pick something up the warehouse required us to call them to make an appointment and pay $75. When Sandy hit the warehouse flooded. We called after the storm to check on the status of our things and they stated that they only received 1 foot of water and the piano was on a dolly so it would not be damaged but the container that the books were in might have taken water but we could come look to see for ourselves. When we went we saw that the books were ruined and that the piano had water damage. (I have my suspicions that the piano was never kept on a dolly since it has a foot of water damage which is how much they stated they received). The storage contract says that they are not held liable for acts of god but I wanted to know if I could still hold them liable since there was forewarning of that area flooding, my access to my belongings was limited by them and it does not appear they took any reasonable steps protect the belongings or at least limit the damage.

  • #2
    Re: NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

    I wish to inform you that if your piano is damaged for acts which are not acts of god then you can claim compensation because then it is negligence and fault of warehouse and thus you can claim compensation. You may send a demand notice that as your piano was not damaged because of acts of god thus you should be paid compensation. If they do not pay compensation then a lawsuit can be filed.

    AFF

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

      You should hold yourself liable for leaving it there, when you had news of an impending natural disaster.
      Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

      I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

      Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

        Originally posted by Disagreeable View Post
        You should hold yourself liable for leaving it there, when you had news of an impending natural disaster.
        I feel that I have a reasonable assumption that when goods were left there that they would be taken care of and all reasonable steps would be taken to store them safely

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

          Originally posted by Rataxes View Post
          I feel that I have a reasonable assumption that when goods were left there that they would be taken care of and all reasonable steps would be taken to store them safely
          They were. A natural disaster occurred.
          Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

          I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

          Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

            Originally posted by Rataxes View Post
            I live in NY and my wife and I had a piano and some books in storage. It was not self storage but rather a warehouse that came to the house and picked up the piano and books and took them to their warehouse. Should we want to go to look through our stuff or pick something up the warehouse required us to call them to make an appointment and pay $75. When Sandy hit the warehouse flooded. We called after the storm to check on the status of our things and they stated that they only received 1 foot of water and the piano was on a dolly so it would not be damaged but the container that the books were in might have taken water but we could come look to see for ourselves. When we went we saw that the books were ruined and that the piano had water damage. (I have my suspicions that the piano was never kept on a dolly since it has a foot of water damage which is how much they stated they received). The storage contract says that they are not held liable for acts of god but I wanted to know if I could still hold them liable since there was forewarning of that area flooding, my access to my belongings was limited by them and it does not appear they took any reasonable steps protect the belongings or at least limit the damage.
            First of all, the type of damage to your belongings should be covered under FEMA so you can apply for federal aid to replace your damaged goods. Yes, such a storm is an act of God and unless their insurance policy (doubtful) covered such hurricane/storm surge damage, they cannot be held liable.

            Government disaster programs have in the past had a certain amount of grants for damage to personal effects. At one time, $5,000. So apply through FEMA for assistance replacing your damaged property is my suggestion. WIth the fact these items were documented in storage, proof of loss should be easy to establish.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

              Originally posted by Friend In Court View Post
              First of all, the type of damage to your belongings should be covered under FEMA so you can apply for federal aid to replace your damaged goods. Yes, such a storm is an act of God and unless their insurance policy (doubtful) covered such hurricane/storm surge damage, they cannot be held liable.

              Government disaster programs have in the past had a certain amount of grants for damage to personal effects. At one time, $5,000. So apply through FEMA for assistance replacing your damaged property is my suggestion. WIth the fact these items were documented in storage, proof of loss should be easy to establish.
              Uncle Sugar to the rescue. They just approved 50 billion to pay for the stupidity of the masses.
              Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

              I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

              Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

                Originally posted by Friend In Court View Post
                First of all, the type of damage to your belongings should be covered under FEMA so you can apply for federal aid to replace your damaged goods. Yes, such a storm is an act of God and unless their insurance policy (doubtful) covered such hurricane/storm surge damage, they cannot be held liable.

                Government disaster programs have in the past had a certain amount of grants for damage to personal effects. At one time, $5,000. So apply through FEMA for assistance replacing your damaged property is my suggestion. WIth the fact these items were documented in storage, proof of loss should be easy to establish.

                Their insurance does not cover flood. What I don't understand is that once a transfer of possession has taken place (which it is my understanding that it is since it is not a self storage place but rather a place where they store your goods) why their liability does not go beyond their insurance. To me it is the same as anyone else possessing your property for the moment they are liable to take reasonable steps to protect it. For example if I rent a car and get into an accident my liability can extend beyond my insurance. If there is a flood and the car is washed away i am not liable but if I leave the windows open during a storm and the inside gets damaged I am liable for damage to the interior. Unless I misunderstand the law when possession changes hands so does liability.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

                  Originally posted by Rataxes View Post
                  Their insurance does not cover flood. What I don't understand is that once a transfer of possession has taken place (which it is my understanding that it is since it is not a self storage place but rather a place where they store your goods) why their liability does not go beyond their insurance. To me it is the same as anyone else possessing your property for the moment they are liable to take reasonable steps to protect it. For example if I rent a car and get into an accident my liability can extend beyond my insurance. If there is a flood and the car is washed away i am not liable but if I leave the windows open during a storm and the inside gets damaged I am liable for damage to the interior. Unless I misunderstand the law when possession changes hands so does liability.
                  Apparently, because you signed a contract agreeing to those terms.
                  Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

                  I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

                  Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

                    " The storage contract says that they are not held liable for acts of god but I wanted to know if I could still hold them liable since there was forewarning of that area flooding,"

                    You agreed to it. That early warning was for you too - did you even stop and think hey I'm not covered for this I better get my stuff out?

                    Think more carefully before you sign next time.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

                      Originally posted by Rataxes View Post
                      Their insurance does not cover flood. What I don't understand is that once a transfer of possession has taken place (which it is my understanding that it is since it is not a self storage place but rather a place where they store your goods) why their liability does not go beyond their insurance. To me it is the same as anyone else possessing your property for the moment they are liable to take reasonable steps to protect it. For example if I rent a car and get into an accident my liability can extend beyond my insurance. If there is a flood and the car is washed away i am not liable but if I leave the windows open during a storm and the inside gets damaged I am liable for damage to the interior. Unless I misunderstand the law when possession changes hands so does liability.
                      And it is for this reason one purchases their own insurance for items in a storage unit.
                      "If it ain't in writing, it never happened."
                      "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."
                      "You can never make the same mistake twice, because the second time you make it, it's not a mistake, but a CHOICE."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

                        Forewarning of a hurricane, earthquake, tornado does not equate to being able to take adequate precautions against damage. Obviously, you have never been through a natural disaster before. Look at some of the photos of Sandy's destruction -- the flooded subway tunnels -- the houses washed off their foundations, cars and boats washed great distances from where they were moored or parked -- garage doors blown off and 8' high waves washing through houses. A construction crane that could not be taken down in time, teetering above the sidewalks and traffic of downtown Manhattan.

                        Be realistic! What did you expect the storage company to do? Get moving trucks adequate to haul out everyone's storage and move it a state or two away?

                        One can either take the appropriate action which is filing a claim with FEMA for repair, restitution of property damaged during the hurricane or gnarl, gnash their teeth and end up twisting in the wind trying to hold a company responsible that cannot be held liable.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

                          I have most assuredly been through a natural disaster before and have taken the proper precautions to make sure things in my home are not below a typical surge for a hurricane. The building warehouse is not damaged an did not receive even a typical surge for the area. As I stated the building received only 1 foot of water so an act as simple as taking my stuff off of the floor and putting it on a dolly(which is where it should have been in the first place) would have saved it from damage. I would not expect them to be able to prevent damage in the case of multiple feet of water, damage resulting from 1 foot of water is not a non preventable occurrence.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

                            Originally posted by Rataxes View Post
                            I have most assuredly been through a natural disaster before and have taken the proper precautions to make sure things in my home are not below a typical surge for a hurricane. The building warehouse is not damaged an did not receive even a typical surge for the area. As I stated the building received only 1 foot of water so an act as simple as taking my stuff off of the floor and putting it on a dolly(which is where it should have been in the first place) would have saved it from damage. I would not expect them to be able to prevent damage in the case of multiple feet of water, damage resulting from 1 foot of water is not a non preventable occurrence.
                            Nor is having enough sense not to live in areas that experience hurricanes. Yet people do it.
                            Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

                            I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

                            Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: NY-Can I hold a storage company liable for flood damage

                              Seems pretty straightforward to me. The storage company said - upfront - they were not liable for damage due to acts of God. I think there are few greater acts of God then a hurricane. Now you can quibble over details of how high off the ground things should've been stored, but where does that end? 2 feet? 3 feet? Must everything be stored on the second floor of the storage unit to be deemed safe? A good lawyer would probably point out that if you were so concerned about the security of your items in the warehouse that you should've paid a prior visit to determine if the storage method was up to your standards. If not it could be argued that the standards of storage only became important to you after the hurricane. Fortunately I believe you do qualify for the FEMA damage coverage. So maybe it would be a good time to work with the storage company for a positive resolution In that respect.

                              Comment

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