Q: Can I sue a rehab facility for misplacing or “accidentally disposing” of my mother’s bag containing her necklace?
My mother wore the necklace all the time. During the Coronavirus lockdown of her facility, she put it in the side compartment of a luggage bag, because I wasn’t allowed to visit to pick it up. When I picked up her belongings after she passed, the bag was missing.
A: You will need a competent attorney to evaluate your possible Case of Conversion. Evidence that the necklace existed and was stored in a certain place will be necessary. Heresay will not work. The value will have to be shown, which will probably be questioned. Your standing will be important. If there is an Administration of the Estate, it will be the Personal Representative's duty to pursue it or not. Otherwise all Next-Of-Kin might prosecute it. Ascertaining the exact Defendant and how to serve it will be necessary. It may not be worth the trouble. An Action To Recover Personal Property might work, but it will be tough.
Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer
For what it's worth, one option, though not a legal one, might be to post a reward for the necklace in the facility (if it's within the rules of the facility, they allow it, and it's within any kind of applicable regulations). With the heightened sanitary measures being exercised everywhere today, it's very easy for things to be inadvertently discarded. People who work at nursing homes and rehab facilities tend to be hardworking, kind, and compassionate, and if the piece has sentimental value to you, they would likely empathize with your wishes to see it again. I hope the bag and necklace turn up. Good luck
Anthony M. Avery agrees with this answer
I apologize for the poor wording of my earlier post. Earlier, I wrote, " … one option, though not a LEGAL one, might be to post a reward... "
While it's probably evident on its face, I didn't mean to suggest the act of doing that would be illegal. I only meant that the suggestion was more PRACTICAL than LEGAL in its nature. I'm sorry for not catching that at the time I wrote it. Good luck
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