How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jo C. Your Own Question

Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69367
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
12826847
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

We recently moved house. Furniture has been in storage for

Customer Question

We recently moved house. Furniture has been in storage for approx 4 months.
When final delivery of long term storage items to our new house,Two items in particular were badly damaged. Staff who were taking items off the van were horrified at the lack of professional wrapping and care in storage to have caused this type of damage, as they all said they had regular training on this sort of thing. The staff unpacking us were not the staff who originally placed our items into storage.
A family Grandfather clock ( circa 1772 ) was not dismantled properly and was badly wrapped. Subsequently the Clock Casing and Movement were badly damaged due to the mistreatment of its handling and storage. Also a family Oak Court Cabinet circa 1890 carved by Ralph Headly, was split in the top part of the roof of the cabinet and damage to a piece of carving - again due to mishandling.
A visit by the area manager has confirmed, by the pictures taken at the time of delivery and the wrapping used as the items came off the vans - that all this was not in the way its staff are trained to handle and wrap these sort of antiques.
A visit by an independant clock restorer has highlighted and noted the damages and given an approximate valuation of the cost of repairs to be £1500 + vat (for the clock alone) - plus he said we should be reinbursed for the devaluation of the clock and Court Cabinet up 15% of their overall value.
The Area Manager of the removal firm - GB Liners Ltd - has said that in the small print of their T's+C's - it states that they do NOT reimburse for this de-valuation of antiques, as we accept damages could happen. But they wil pay for repairs using the traders they recommend. He instantly gave me the name of the restorers thay use and said to look them up on the internet. which we have.
Since then over a week has passed and no further communication has been forthcoming.
What legal standing can we make as these pieces are quite valuable ( the clock at retail price - in perfect condition is valued between £ 5500 + £6500).
As a result of the carelessness of the staff whilst our property was in their storage, these items are damaged and de-valued due to lack of care and attention to detail by the staff.
What is our position regarding making this removal company pay for the lack of care - despite their small print? Alexandra Bayliss
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Is there any reason you don't want them repaired?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


No - we would like the items repaired.


 


However the damage to the items', prior to the removals, has de- valued them - and reimbursement for the loss in value has been implied by the area manager as not something they will cover.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Its certainly right to say that they cannot just have a blanket disclaimer upon liability. All disclaimer notices are subject to a reasonableness test and some are just plain void.

The fact that they have a disclaimer in their T & C will not automatically mean that they are not liable.

However, the fact that there is devaluation does not automatically mean that there is either.

This is a contract and they are under an obligation to perform with reasonable care and skill. That does not mean that they have to get things perfect but just that they have to act reasonably.

You seem to be saying that they did not wrap them properly and there is an argument that is negligent care and skill. That is probably why they have offered to repair the items.

The question of devaluation is really one of remoteness. Its a consequential loss upon breach of contract which can be claimed but it would need to be within the reasonable contemplation of the parties at the time the contract was entered. It would seem that if they knew they were transporting antiques then it is within reasonable contemplation that upon damage there may be devaluation.

It is generally harder to claim for consequential losses but a disclaimer in their t & c will not be sufficient to avoid liability.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972


 


If they dig their heels in - what right do I have to make a point ? - the owner of GB Liners is quite cute when it comes to avoiding payments.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ultimately if they refuse then your only option is to sue.

The other problem with devaluations is quantifying the loss as there is always disagreement over things of that kind.

The fact of problems though should not necessarily mean that you don't sue. All cases have problems. It doesn't mean you can't win.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972


 


Could I go to citizens advice or would a solicitor be a better bet?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I wouldn't waste your time with the CAB.

How much is this claim worth roughly?

I will be delighted to continue with this but please rate my answer.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69367
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you - Both items are worth together in top condition at retail value £ 15000.00 should we wish to sell .


As you say how much is 'value lost' - just because of a few bits of damage - how much compensation is reasonable?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, thats a real problem.

You would have to have a valuation before and one afterwards and sue for the difference. That type of thing is always possible to challenge.

If its a sum under £5000 then at least you will be able to sue at the small claim court cheaply and self represent.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


thank you for your advice - much appreciated.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem.

All the best.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice