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: 71048
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Good afternoon. My daughter has had her £250.00 leather

Customer Question

Good afternoon.
My daughter has had her £250.00 leather jacket stolen from a nightclub cloakroom, either by a member of staff or they gave it out to another person to steal. Although they state this is almost impossible as the cloakroom ticket has a number and initials on it so that can't happen!
She paid the cloakroom fee and held onto her ticket safely all night, upon trying to retrieve her jacket it was 'lost'.
There was a disclaimer notice on the wall stating a £65.00 limit on claims items.
Although it was completely their incompetence that lead to this theft and my daughter did absolutely nothing wrong at all, is this disclaimer legally binding?
Many thanks help.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Was it a visible notice?
Did they have any qualification to it?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm not sure I will have to ask my daughter if it was visible.
What exactly do you mean by 'any qualification' to it?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Did the sign say only that or 'as far as reasonably possible' or some other limitation.
What are they saying about it when she speaks to them?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She said the sign was visible but did not read it in great detail, 19 year olds out clubbing with friends rarely do read the small print!
They asked us to send in details of the jacket, where it was purchased, cost, as we no longer have receipt, the jacket is over two years old, so no one keeps receipts that long. We also sent a picture of her wearing said jacket and an email from the manager of the store where it was purchased stating that they sold that particular brand and the price point.
No communication since then, just sent a cheque for £65.00 which was not an agreed settlement.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Disclaimers like that are subject to a reasonable test in court. Actually I think overall that a court probably would say it was not reasonable. Not many over coats cost less than £65.00.
The difficulty with this situation is estimating the value of the coat. Clearly they are liable. They were the bailee of this jacket and they lost it. She no longer has the receipt and anyway it would not be worth it's retail price.
It is a difficult situation really. You could just issue for £250 and they may settle. They will not want to spend manpower on this and the difference is really not that great. If they do then that is wonderful.
If they do not though then you would have to go to court and prove this. The minimum you are going to get is £65.00 since they accept that they owe that. If a court accepted the jacket was worth £250 at the time of purchase they would probably reduce the cost to at least half to reflect the fact that it has had 2 years use. However, that is more than £65.00.
I would suggest getting a solicitor to write to them but that will cost £100 plus VAT and it is just not worth it given the profit margin here. You could always send them a letter before action yourself giving them 28 days to pay. That is not so effective as a solicitor's letter but not so costly either.
Can I clarify anything ?