My Car was Broken into While Parked in a Bar (Business Establishment) Parking Lot, Can I Hold the Bar Liable for the Theft?

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“My fiance and I were at a sports bar when our 2000 F-150 was broken in to. A set of golf clubs, a brand new leather jacket, and the cd deck was stolen from the inside. The auto insurance will only cover damage to the vehicle, and we don’t have renters insurance. Is the bar held liable in any way? Could their insurance pay for the stolen items? There were no “park at your own risk” signs.”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

If you were parking on the lot of the sports bar, it is theoretically possible that you could recover from them under a “premises liablity” theory. As a business invitee there is a duty owed to you. The lot owner had to use reasonable care to maintain the premises in a safe condition, including making an investigation to find out about dangerous conditions on the lot. He also would be required to warn you of any hidden dangers that he should have known about that you could not have figured out on your own. If the premises owner failed in his duty to you, and you otherwise acted reasonably, then you may have a case against them. It may be a difficult case to prove, and the amount you are seeking may make it difficult for you to get an attorney involved.



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Author: House Attorney

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