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Where do we stand - compensation?


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Hi Caggers, a friend of mine has a son who went to a concert held at a leisure centre. As he was there for 4 hours he did not want to look after his bag containing his wallet with his / their address in, bank cards, his camera, house keys along with other non important items so decided to place it in one of their lockers. Having locked it he enjoyed the evening, until on returning to the locker, although it did not look forced all of the contents had been removed. Immediately he reported it to the reception staff giving a discription of its' contents and left it in their hands. He also reported it to the police, got a crime reference number and again left it with them. Sadly due to some important items noteably information of address and house keys, at 2 a.m, my friends had to call out a locksmith to do the obvious. This expense was claimed against the house insurance, therefore increasing their premiums, not by much, however increasing. Now my question is, according to the police there is no camera surveillance in the locker area and no clearly visable signs stating "left at owners risk" How do my friends construct a letter requesting some claim against the leisure clubs indeminity insurance for the items that were stolen whilst under lock and key and under the leisure centres supervision in a highly sensitive area open to abuse?

any help would as always be appreciated :confused:

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest BaseJumper

Kraken1, thanks for your question, i was going to tell them that i have no answers, however, firstly there is no signs of left at owners risk so i pressume they must hold insurance for loss of equipment left under their charge especially as it was under lock and key in their lockers. and secondly due to the loss the parents have claimed on household insurance for the lock change at home, any pointers would help, it is trickey i know and it could be a case of unlucky, but i tried for them, and it is not like me to give up, things need putting in place to protect innocent people and that could be hitting them where it hurts in the pocket.:mad:

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I used to manage a health club and we had something similar - it ended up being paid as a 'gesture of goodwill'

 

Basically the person cited no signage of things being left at owners risk, also negligence of staff members for not performing regular checks basically the changing room check sheets had not been signed off - now we all knew that was a cleanliness checksheet but the actual sheet said changing room checks - they then said someone could surmise that security checks could be involved in this and they hadn't been performed.

Also as our lockers were £1 (non refundable lockers) they said they had paid for a security service that was compromised and therefore the service they paid for had not been provided.

 

My head office made them an offer on their claim to negate negative publicity - it's worth a shot they can only say no.

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I think that Andie's approach above is the best tack to take if the circumstances are similar. Stress the absence of damage and that it seems like an inside job. Talk about vetting procedures for staff, who has keys, who was on that night etc etc. ask for witness statements and make it easier for them to offer a small goodwill gesture rather than fight it out.

 

Of course, if they read this they will get stubborn and fight on...human nature...

 

Otherwise I think that it will be difficult to make a claim stick unless you can show that they have been negligent in some way. The absence of signs stating that stuff is left at the owners own risk is not enough. Likewise, even if there are signs this would not excuse any negligence on the part of the centre.

 

If pushed i'd probably look to some sort of contract claim rather than negligence, maybe argue that they were bailees or similar. cite the Lotus cars case (Lotus Cars Ltd v Southampton Cargo Handling pic [2000] 2 Lloyd's Rep 532, CA) but it isn't clear cut. That said, always fun to throw some precedent around and the fact that the precedent is only vaguely correct, current or relevant doesn't stop a true cagger from doing so... In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. Hope that the centre can get bamboozled...

 

again, if they are reading this, you're screwed. :). A bluff don't work if they've seen your hand...

 

Also, remember that you won't be able to claim for losses that have been covered by an insurer; only the insurer can do that unless they assign the claim back to you.

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