PLG Obtains $80,000 Settlement in Case Against Storage Facility for Wrongful Sale of Unit
UPDATE June 24, 2020: As a result of the post below, Piccuta Law Group, has been contacted by dozens of storage facility renters across the country with similar stories. First, we are unable to help individuals in states other than California or Arizona. Second, and more importantly, the below result was a rare exception as this was a small family-run storage facility. As a result, the contract/rental agreement the client signed did not limit the facility’s liability.
Almost all major storage facilities, or any storage facility with an up to date contract, have a limitation of liability. Most often, it limits the amount of what can be stored in the facility to no more than $5,000. As a result, this is the most that a potential client could recover from a wrongful sale or damage to the contents of the unit. When the amount is this low, it does not warrant attorney involvement. As a result, we have not worked on a storage unit case since and will not be taking on any storage unit cases in the future. Please contact an attorney in your local area who specializes in business disputes or consumer disputes if you believe you have a claim against a storage facility.
On July 9th, 2018, Piccuta Law Group attorney, Charles “Tony” Piccuta, secured an $80,000 settlement against a local storage facility for his client. The client had leased a storage unit at the facility where she stored many of her possessions and collectibles. The client had never missed a payment in the approximately eight years she had leased the unit. Nevertheless, the client received a phone call from the owners of the facility notifying her that they sold all the contents of her storage unit at an auction sale.
The storage facility owners claimed that the sale was a mistake and that they had intended to auction off another unit that was behind in rent. The client, who was an antiques collector, claimed that several antiques and valuables were stored in her unit. She also claimed that she had irreplaceable sentimental items such as family photographs and her son’s baby pictures. Piccuta demanded that the client be made whole and paid the entire value of the contents of her storage unit. However, Piccuta was informed that the owners of the facility did not have adequate insurance to cover the loss and only had $10,000 in coverage for a situation involving a wrongful sale.
Piccuta refused to accept the $10,000 in limited insurance for the loss. Piccuta then demanded that the owners personally contribute their own funds in addition to the insurance money. When the owners refused to do so, Piccuta filed a lawsuit to pursue full recovery from the owners. The lawsuit that Piccuta filed contained claims for breach of contract, conversion and negligence. A mediation was scheduled early on in the case due to the request of the attorneys for the owners. During the mediation, Piccuta was able to negotiate a settlement of $80,000—eight times more than the initial offer. The owners agreed to pay $70,000 of their own money which included an upfront lump sum payment of $35,000. The remaining amount will be paid in installments and is to be secured by a deed of trust recorded against a property of the owners.
Even though the Piccuta Law Groups specializes in accident injury cases and civil rights cases involving the use of excessive force by law enforcement , our attorneys are willing to take on any case where someone is damaged due to the wrongdoing of another. If you or a loved one experienced an injury, either physical or monetary, due to the fault of someone else, contact the Piccuta Law Group today. Our attorneys are available now to discuss your case and advise you of your options.