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Thread: Can a parking garage be liable for damages when they neglected the facility? Florida

  1. #1
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    Default Can a parking garage be liable for damages when they neglected the facility? Florida

    My car was damaged (front bumper pulled off) when I parked in a spot that had a concrete parking stop that had the bolts used to secure the slab to the garage floor sticking 3" from the top of the slab.

    The facility is saying it was my fault for pulling in too far to the space. I say that parking stops don't usually have a bolt sticking 3" from the top. The pictures I snapped CLEARLY show that I would have had ample clearance for my front bumper IF THE STOP HAD BEEN properly maintained.

    I am absolutely livid and want to take the company to small claims court but am looking for some legal advice as to whether I stand a chance in haites.

    Thanks!!
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    Last edited by jilski; 08-24-2011 at 02:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    Exclamation Das ist in der Doktor!

    Then consult with an attorney,
    and take a better picture with you.
    Good Luck.
    .._____________________
    ~ Free advice is like a public defender,
    …you get what you pay for. ~ drr

  3. #3
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    You'll have a tough time with it. If you read the back of the parking ticket/receipt they gave you, it usually absolves them of damage, even from their own negligence. Normally you'd have to prove gross negligence, and that would normally require a lawyer.

    It sucks, but that's likely how it would go.
    I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.

  4. #4
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    Certainly talk to a local attorney. The boilerplate language on the back of the ticket saying "nothing bad that happens is our fault" may mean something legally, or it may not. That sort of thing is very state specific. However it costs the parking lot people very little to include that language on the back of the ticket, and even if it turns out to be legally meaningless, they are not out anything important. Even scare crows sometimes work.

    Not my area of expertise, but FL is not a big fan of employee rights. It would not surprise me to learn that they are also not a fan of consumer's rights. Everyone assumes that a lack of law favors the big guy. Not always true. Absent actual state law to the contrary, that means that the old "common law" is in play. A pre-printed ticket that is received after you enter the lot is arguably iffy under the old common law standards for contracts. Of course, FL could have written a statutory law validating the parking lot "contract" redering common law ineffective. Or not. Which is why you really need to talk to a local attorney who actually knows what FL courts who have looked at this particular issue in the past decided. Which they have.

    Or you can play Wheel of Fortune in small claims court, where the law is more or less whatever the Judge-du-jour says it is. I have worked for one employer who was 100% right legally, and we still lost in small claims court. The "judge" says he did not care what the law said, he thought the former employee needed the money more then we did. My boss came close to stroking out, but it did not change the verdict.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
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  5. #5
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    You can take them to small claims court without an attorney but your chances
    of winning are probably not high. Generally you park in a parking garage at
    your own risk. There are usually signs and/or it is on the parking ticket that
    they are not responsible for any damage to vehicles.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

  6. #6
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    DAW's post was not there when I started mine - he got his off first. OP, you
    can talk to an attorney, of course, if you believe it is worth it. I don't know
    how much damage money wise was done to your vehicle.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

  7. #7
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    Default More Information to Consider

    Quote Originally Posted by Betty3 View Post
    DAW's post was not there when I started mine - he got his off first. OP, you
    can talk to an attorney, of course, if you believe it is worth it. I don't know
    how much damage money wise was done to your vehicle.

    Thank you all for the suggestions. I just wanted to add a little more color aka details:

    The parking garage in question is attached to my downtown office building. It is open to the public and used by the employees in the attached building. I asked my HR Manager and she looked at the master contract the office signed and it DOES have the obligatory disclaimer "we are not liable for anything".

    I guess I have my feathers ruffled b/c the building management showed total disregard for my complaint. I actually had to have men from my office to 'lift' my car off the concrete block because I couldn't back out without it ripping my bumper off.

    The car is a Mercedes C series and nothing is inexpensive on the car. 600 dollars to reattach the bumper, replace the ambient temperature sensor, and repair the 'crack' it left me.

    You can see in the pictures I took the bolt protruding from the slab (I do have better images). I think I am going to file a suit in small claims court and roll the dice. Perhaps the judge will have mercy on me.

  8. #8
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    Good luck to you.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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