Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Parking lots owners responsible for vehicles left in their care

Decision applies to both paid and free establishments

(Inside Costa Rica) - Following the decision by the First Circuit Court last week, owners of more than 180 parking lots, must provide additional security for the parked cars as they are now responsible for any loss or theft of the vehicle left in their care.

Last week the court decision only mentioned parking lots operated by shopping centres and supermarkets, however, the decision applies to all parking lots,

There is a possibility for appeal to the Constitutional Court which may reverse the decision, however, as it now stands, private and public parking lot owners and operators are fully responsible for any damage or loss to vehicles on their property.

Most of the public parking lots, supermarkets and shopping centres all have signs warning customers that they are not responsible for damages in the event of a loss. The court decision nullifies any such warning, placing the responsibility on parking lot owners to carefully watch over the vehicles left in their care.

The court decision resulted in a complaint filed by a man identified only as Streber following the loss of his vehicle in the Hipermás San Sebastián store lot and management refusing to deal with him.

Representatives of WalMart Costa Rica, who now owns Hipermás, as well as the Mas x Menos, Palí and Maxibodegas chain of supermarkets, refused comment on the decision.

The Asociación de Parqueos (Parking Lots Owners Association) assures that thanks to the court decision there will be more security in parking lots, free and paid.

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