Wanted: Lawyer recommendations

Discussion in 'New York Tri-State' started by ClydeM, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. ClydeM

    ClydeM F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 4, 2003
    Wayne, NJ
    Full Name:
    Clyde E. McMurdy
    From an earlier thread, Back in January I dropped off my running car at a pay parking lot next to Newark NJ airport. I returned to find the car wouldn't start. A local Ford dealer diagnosed a seized engine.
    The parking lot refuses to do anything about the damage.

    I contend a bailment condition exists & they are responsible.
    The car was worth about $5K prior to loosing the engine. The engine diagnostics would have been $3k and the recommendation was to replace the engine for $5K. A second opinion confirmed this.
    So I turned the car over to a charity who confirmed the car needed a new engine.

    This scenario is not my lawyer's forte. Anybody have any recommendations for a good lawyer in the area? I am hoping a nicely drafted letter from a "strong" law firm will rattle their cage enough into talking.

    thanks in advance.
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  3. rafo

    rafo Karting

    Jun 6, 2005
    For you to have a case, assuming a bailment condition exists (which is probably does) you need to show how the other party did not use reasonable care.

    If they took possession of your vehicle, parked it, and you came back to the same car but the engine didnt start, then how can you blame them? If the car didnt start due to a dead battery or if the tire went flat, would you blame them too?

    I'm sorry for not answering your question (lawyer recommendation) maybe there is more to this story, but if this is the whole story, then I think you should let it go.
  4. ClydeM

    ClydeM F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 4, 2003
    Wayne, NJ
    Full Name:
    Clyde E. McMurdy
    After some phone calls (Thanks for the recommendations) I've come to the same conclusion. Simply, It would be very difficult to prove they blew the engine though improper care or negligence. They drove a running car in, I towed away a dead car out.

    Ya know, it is possible an evil fairy might have been belched-up from the bowels of the earth & decided it was time for the car to die. Poof. Done. (Cynicism aside)

    The expenses to bring in experts & track down others who have suffered similiar problems (Yep, there are more), court fees, lawyer fees, etc just doesn't add up to the $5K. It just really sucks.

    Thanks for those who responded.

    BTW: I'll never park at AviStar again.
  5. FasterIsBetter

    FasterIsBetter F1 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2004
    NoNJ/Jupiter FL
    Full Name:
    Steve W.

    The one thing that you must prove, as I think you've already figured out, is causation. Did the mechanic that looked at the engine give you any reason why the engine seized -- apparent over-revving, etc., or some diagnostic showing the failure that caused it from the on-board diagnostics? Absent some proof that THEY caused the damage, the mere fact that it gave up the ghost while in their possession would not be enough to prove liability in court, IMHO, especially since the fine print on their ticket probably contains a broad waiver of liability.

    Because the amount in controversy, $5000 value of the car, is low, you could sue them in Special Civil, which is like small claims court (up to $10K limit). But again, unless you can point to them doing something wrong with the car, it is unlikely you would win. If you have any proof that it was caused by their abuse of the car, you can file yourself and pursue it without a lawyer.

    Wish I could give you better news, but without something to say that THEY did it, you're SOL.


    DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not intended as legal advise but is only a general statement of the law for informational purposes only. If you believe that your rights may have been violated, consult an attorney who can advise you regarding your particular situation. ;-)

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