We are not responsible...

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Holadem, Sep 22, 2003.

  1. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    ...for damage, theft, whatever.

    Does this phrase actually mean anything legally?

    My roommate's car got broken into while in our parking lot. They shattered his passenger side window and stole his stereo. The whole thing was caught on tape, but as it happens often with security systems, it's way too blurry for any kind of ID. The concierge was there, and never saw a thing on the monitor, he was reading or dealing with people at the front desk (another camera was monitoring him).

    Now the lease does say the building isn't responsible for any damage to the cars. The lot is gated, although it's wide open to any passerby. We pay $30 a month for parking.

    In college I worked at the bookstore's bag check for a few weeks and we had this big sign saying we are not responsible for any lost bags. I had always thought that did not make any sense. If we aren't responsible for stuff stolen on our premisses, who the hell is?!

    I think the "we are not responsible" is one of those phrases that mean very little legally and easily fall apart under any kind of scrutiny. Including those few words on the lease or posting them in places like parking lots, bag checks, coat checks etc... costs nothing, and if it deters even one claim for compensation, then it's worth it for them. Am I right?

    --
    H
     
  2. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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  3. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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  4. David Baranyi

    David Baranyi Stunt Coordinator

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    I hope the people suing the airlines, the airports, and the Port Authority of New York for "lax security" on September 11th are reading what Joseph had said.
     
  5. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    IIRC anything you sign like this can be fought in court on the basis that you signed the lease (or left your bag at the front) under duress. How? Well, the claim is that you were forced to sign the lease because if you didn't, you could not park your car there (you could not shop at the store if you kept your bag), therefore any contract that you signed while under duress should be null and void. Now, I'm probably really over simplifying this but your best bet is to talk to a lawyer.
     
  6. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Richard, but can't the counter argument say that you aren't forced to do those things? You aren't 'forced' to leave your bag at the door, you have every option to go back and leave it in your car. Or you could park your car someplace else, you aren't 'forced' into parking it there.

    It may not be easy to do those other options, but you DO have those options so how can anyone claim they were under duress?


    Holadem, sorry about the unfortunate incident...
     
  7. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    I was talking to a lawyer friend that had a case where his car was broken into in a parking lot. Damaged and everything. Of corse the not responsible for damaged or stolen property sign was there but after 18 months of court they ruled in his favour.Because he paid to park there it made the lot owners liable. If it were free parking then he would of lost.
     
  8. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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  9. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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  10. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    Just to add. It works in favour of the criminal too. One place where we caught a theif on our security cameras(I installed) walked because we did not have proper signs stating cameras on premise and our footage was dismissed.
     
  11. david stark

    david stark Second Unit

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  12. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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  13. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    the only good example I can think of is a valet service, on the back of the card they give you it will say "we are not responsible.."
    I think (and I am way far from a lawyer) in this case you'd need to prove that handing your car over constitutes a bailment, but with the apartment parking lot I think he's hosed.

    his best bet is probably to speak with a lawyer if the value of the gear is enough to be worth it. Free advice is worth just that [​IMG]

    maybe it's time to invest in an alarm, I've always found that a blinking LED is enough to frighten off the average smash and dash thief. My old apt. complex had 6 cars broken into in something like 3 months, mine was never touched, and I'm probably the only one with something worth taking in the car (it was int he ghetto...)
     
  14. Kevin Thompson

    Kevin Thompson Stunt Coordinator

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    So if the thief was injured during the comission of this vehicular break-in, who would he sue--the car owner, or the owner of the real property?
     
  15. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    or the manuf. of the hammer used to smash the window? [​IMG]
     
  16. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    In college, the student bookstore had a duel policy of "no backpacks" and "we are not responsible for theft...yada yada. Basically, due to complaints, one of the policies had to go. You literally had nowhere to put your bag (you are walking on campus and dont have access to your car/home) except the front of the door, but no one is going to stop anyone from stealing your bag since every patron that walked out would pick up a backpack before the walked out. Eventually the store suggested you leave your pack at the door, but they let you carry it with you while in the store if you chose to.
     
  17. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    > Hence the "not responsible" sign - which is just as good in court as a "No swimming", "No trespassing" or "Beware of dog" sign in a case involving someone who willfully ignored the warning and suffered the consequences.

    Those signs won't protect you when some kid drowns in your pool or gets bitten by your dog. Not in a country where someone can break into your house, injure themselves, & sue you for their "pain & suffering".

    But the signs probably do fool some people into & not bothering to see a lawyer.

    One of my favorite warnings is on most software. It basically says the software isn't necessarily good for anything.

    And what about the concept that opening the software package constitutes acceptance of the user agreement (which might be inside the box). Anyone ever test that in court?
     
  18. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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  19. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  20. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    So does "bailment" mean taking care of stuff?
     

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