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Am I responsible for vandalism to other's car parked in my parking lot ?

by JoAnne
(Palo Alto, CA, USA)

I work at a private university in California and have received notice of an auto claim from outside party "When vandalism occurreed in our university parking lot."
The letter states" "In the state of Calif., a party legally liable is responsible for damages they cause."
Our university did not commit the act of vandalism and I do not think we should pay this claim.
What do you, the experts, say ?


Hello JoAnne.

The best way to do this is to contact a lawyer in your area. Please do not rely on this information as we are not experts or lawyers in California.

My understanding of the "general" legal liability is as follows:

It is unlikely that you are liable unless the University made statements or represented that they will assume responsibility for damages. Usually, parking lots are "assumption of the risk" type of thing for the people parking there.

We are not aware of any law that can make someone responsible for negligence that they did not commit. If you are receiving a letter that is quoiting the law, the best approach is to pulled out the code and see exactly what it reads. Sometimes the language is quoted incorrectly.

If the letter is not giving you a quote to an statute in the actual code, then it is probably that they are trying to see if you pay without double checking.

In any event, consult with a lawyer and turn this into the university insurance carrier. They will take care of this (decline payment if you do not owe it)

I hope this helps,


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