OPINION ISSUED OCTOBER 25, 1985
LAWRENCE D. JENKINS
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Claimant appeared in person.
Robert D. Pollitt, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.
On May 6, 1984, a 1971 Ford LTD Sedan belonging to the claimant,
Lawrence D. Jenkins, was stolen from his residence in Salem, West
Virginia, by two escapees from the West Virginia Industrial Home
for Youth. At the time of the theft, the vehicle was unlocked and
the keys were in the car. Claimant seeks $800.00, the value of the
In order for the claimants to recover in this case, negligence on
the part of the respondent must be shown to be the proximate cause
of the loss suffered by the claimants. Lepera v. Dept. of
Corrections, 13 Ct.Cl. 49 (1979).
No evidence has been presented to show that the respondent acted
in a negligent manner. Claimant has asserted that respondent was
negligent in permitting the escape of the youths to occur; however,
there is no support of that assertion in the record.
The Court is of the opinion that negligence on the part of the
respondent has not been proven. Even if such negligence had been
shown, it would not be considered the proximate cause of the loss
of claimant's vehicle. Claimant testified that the keys had been
left in the vehicle. As this negligent act was the proximate cause
of the loss of the vehicle, the claim must be denied.