Saint Paul, MN asked in Consumer Law for Minnesota

Q: My vehicle was broken into while at a repair shop. Who is responsible for damages and theft?

The repair shop claims to have locked my vehicle, but my vehicle has no evidence of being broken into. Which makes me think whoever had broken into the vehicle must had access to my vehicles keys OR the repair shop failed to lock my vehicle.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Jonathan Matthew Holson
Jonathan Matthew Holson
Answered
  • Rogers, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: It depends on the contract that you signed with the repair shop. Oftentimes, there is a disclaimer that removes any liability from the repair shop for lost or stolen items. I would take a look at that and see what it says. That should then drive your future approach.

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
Answered
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: An innocent third-party is not criminally responsible for the criminal act of another. There may be a wider set of circumstances, however, where an innocent third-party could be civilly liable for damages caused by a criminal act of another. I won't get into that here, since that would be a discussion of civil tort liability for criminal acts of another, and this is a criminal law Q &A.

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