Again, this type of judgment is unusual and apparently arose as the result of a number of missteps along the way. The moral of the story has resonating value: Facility operators should take a step back and ask themselves, “What would I have done?” or maybe “How are my managers trained to deal with this situation?”
Certainly, the question should be asked, “What does my lease say about storing sentimental or emotional items?” or “Does my insurance cover wrongful sales?” By asking these questions, storage operators can better prepare themselves for the risks they face each time they lease a unit. Although this was an expensive lesson for this particular storage operator, what you can learn from this case will save you money in the future.
Scott Zucker is a partner in the law firm of Weissmann & Zucker, P.C., in Atlanta. He specializes in business litigation with an emphasis on real estate, landlord-tenant and construction law. Mr. Zucker is a frequent lecturer at national conventions and is the author of Legal Topics in Self Storage: A Sourcebook for Owners and Managers. He is also a partner in the Self Storage Legal Network, subscription-based legal services for self-storage owners and managers. He can be reached at 404.364.4626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.