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Suing for Property Damage


Negligent actions don’t always involve physical injuries. Sometimes the damage is solely to real or personal property. Property damage does not have to be accompanied by physical injury in order for you to bring a lawsuit for negligence.

Lawsuit Filed After Valet Gives Keys to Wrong Person

In July 2017, a man entrusted his $300,000 Ferrari to the valet service at a St. Petersburg resort and golf club. But when the man returned for his car, he discovered the valet had given the keys to someone else.

According to the valet, a man and woman asked for the keys to the Ferrari around midnight. They told him that the ticket was in the car and that they would bring it back. But the couple sat in the car for “quite a while” and never returned with the ticket. They drove off.

Police pulled the Ferrari over because the tail lights weren’t working and because the driver was having “difficulty” operating the car. Officers discovered cocaine in the car and ended up arresting both the man and the woman. While the man claims he didn’t “steal” the car — since the valet handed him the keys — he faces charges of grand theft.

The Ferrari’s owner recently filed a lawsuit against the resort’s parent company, Marriott International, and the valet service for negligence and gross negligence, claiming that he “spent significant sums” on repairs, car inspections and legal fees and that the car had diminished in value.

(Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care that results in injury. “Gross negligence” means that the “defendant’s conduct was so reckless or wanting in care that it constituted a conscious disregard or indifference” to the victim’s life, safety or rights.)

Compensation for Property Damage

It’s easy to focus on personal injury and wrongful death when it comes to personal injury lawsuits.

But negligence liability under Florida law applies to both personal injury and property damage. In fact, state law includes “replacement value of lost personal property; loss of appraised fair market value of real property; costs of construction repairs, including labor, overhead, and profit’ and any other economic loss that would not have occurred but for the injury giving rise to the cause of action” within the meaning of “economic damages” that are compensable in a negligence lawsuit.

Courts usually base property damages on the reasonable cost of repair. However, sometimes property damage can’t be fixed. In that case, the court will examine the fair market value of the property when the accident or other negligent activity occurred. 

Contact Us Today

Contact a Jacksonville personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if your property was damaged because of someone’s negligence. Our experienced attorneys will help you assess the reasonable cost of repairing that damage and the fair market value of your property before the damage occurred. We will then help recover the compensation that you are entitled to.

The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.



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