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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My bag with my phone and laptop was stolen from a locker at

Resolved Question:

My bag with my phone and laptop was stolen from a locker at the swimming pool. The thief broke into the locker which I had paid a small fee to use. Does the swimming pool have any liability?

They have said that they advise people not to bring items of value, however this seems ridiculous to me. If you did not have any valuable items why would you need a locker?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is this a public swimming baths?

Were the lockers faulty please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes it is public. I don't know if the locker was faulty, but clearly it wasn't secure. There were loads of people around, and someone was able to break the locker open and walk off with the bag.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, its not quite that simple. Just because somebody gained access doesn't mean its not secure. It just means that no system is full proof.

Generally speaking, a venue is not responsible for the acts of third parties.

You could argue here that they are bailees of the items because of the provision of lockers and so are under a duty to take reasonable care of them.

However, the fact that another person was able to open the lockers using one of the means that they do doesn't mean they haven't taken reasonable care. This is not a counsel of perfection. They just have to take reasonable steps and the provision of restraints might well be considered reasonable.

Also, the fact that they advice people not to bring valuables does not mean they are not liable. Obviously some valuables such as cash have to be brought by definition. Whether a court would accept that high value electrical items really need to be stored there is another matter. I think probably a court would conclude that a phone was reasonable as a mobile phone only has value if its carried with a person but whether a laptop was an appropriate item is another matter.

Its one of those things that could go either way in court and they may settle to escape a contested hearing.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69783
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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