July 13, 2022

Parking lot attendant gave my car to someone else

Dear Consumer Ed:

I left my car in a parking garage with an attendant. When I went to pick it up, I discovered that my car and my car keys had been given to someone else. What is the parking garage’s legal responsibility in this situation?

Consumer Ed says:

A parking garage generally has a duty to take reasonable steps to care for property that is in its possession and control. If the parking attendant mistakenly gave your keys and car to someone else, then the parking garage should attempt to recover your car and keys from the other person on your behalf. If your car cannot be recovered, then the parking garage may be liable for the value of your car and personal property that was in your car. If you haven’t already done so, you should file a police report, as the person who took your car should have been aware that he or she was taking property that did not belong to them. Deliberately taking property that is not yours could be a criminal act. To learn more about your legal rights in this situation, you should consider contacting an attorney.

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