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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73814
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Can I make a claim on a restaurant where my phone was stolen

Customer Question

hi, can I make a claim on a restaurant where my phone was stolen in their premises
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: london
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: emailed the company & I have a crime reference number from the police
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: we were approached while sat down at a restaurant. A random women was antagonising us & took my phone. The staff were no help
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

How long ago was this? Please also explain the situation in some more detail; what exactly happened and was it reported to the police at all?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Hi Ben, thanks for your help. This happened on Saturday 29th May 2021. We purchased food from a restaurant and were sat down eating when a women entered the restaurant. She was not wearing a mask (this made us even more uncomfortable) she approached us at our table trying to sell us something, she was doing this to all customers. Meanwhile she leaned over the table and took my mobile phone. The staff were not even aware that the women entered the restaurant. I noticed it was stolen 2 minutes after & alerted the police asap. They came and toon cctv and provided me with a crime reference number
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
The case has now been closed as they cannot find the women’s details through the cctv. I was hoping to be able to put In a claim as we trusted that restaurant and had my nearly £1,000 mobile stolen . The women should not have been allowed to enter or approach us while we are dining in. I really do hope you can help me! Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Unfortunately I cannot call you as I have no mobile phone since
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you so much
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

To be honest I fail to see how you can hold the restaurant responsible for this legally. You must be able to show that they were negligent in what they did and that they owed you a duty of care which they breached negligently. To you I may look like this sit e case, but legally it is unlikely.

You cannot say that restaurants have a legal duty to prevent anyone not dining there to come in and approach their customers. You can appreciate that most restaurants will not have someone standing on the door to check every person that comes in and whether they have a legitimate purpose to do so. If someone wants to come in they probably will and eventually they may be questioned about their reasons for being on the premises and asked to leave but you cannot legally say the restaurant was negligent in allowing them to come in the first place and not doing anything about it, especially not being able to foresee that they will steal your phone.

If you were to make a claim, you will have a rather difficult time in showing they were liable, although there was nothing stopping you from trying to pursue them for compensation.

If a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation arising out of a dispute between them, they can potentially do so by making a court claim. However, as legal action should only be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without the need to involve the courts. It is therefore recommended that the following steps are taken in order to try and resolve this:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time – 14 days is reasonable. They should be advised that if they fail to make contact to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for compensation. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this without the need for legal action. There are numerous templates available online for such letters and a simple search will bring up a list of useful results.

3. If the letter before action is also ignored, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome. There will be a fee payable, which depends on the amount that is claimed. The other side will eventually get a copy of the claim and they will have a limited time to answer it. They could accept it and pay what is owed, they could accept it only in part and defend the rest, or they could outright reject it. They could also completely ignore it, in which case judgment will eventually be entered automatically against them. Also, it is worth noting that the simple act of submitting a claim could show the other side that this is being taken seriously and prompt them to consider negotiating a potential solution to stop the claim progressing further, such as offering full or partial payment of the amount sought in the claim.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you so much
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 days ago.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this then please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be glad to help. All the best