OPINION ISSUED FEBRUARY 19, 1988
DENNIS L. GOODWIN
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS
Claimant appeared in person.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
Claimant seeks $877.13 for his tools and other personal property
were in respondent's
vehicle when the vehicle was stolen on July 23 or July 24, 1986
Claimant alleges negligence on the part of respondent for failing
properly secure its garage.
The garage is located in Mudlick, Lewis County.
The claimant testified that he is an Equipment Operator 3 for
respondent. Respondent's 1986
Chevrolet half-ton pickup truck was parked in an area enclosed by
six-foot, chain link fence
with a lock gate. At the time of the theft, some individual cut the
fence, entered the yard, and
stole claimant's property with respondent's truck. Claimant stated
it is standard procedure to
leave the keys inside the trucks. This was the case during this
incident. Claimant stated that he
was not required to keep his tools in the pickup truck.
Respondent contends that the gate was locked and that the area was
bordered by a chain link
fence and that claimant made his own decision as to leaving the
the truck. Claimant
testified that some employees placed the keys to the trucks in the
office. There apparently was
no standard policy as to where the keys belonged once the truck was
parked inside the gate.
The Court believes that the claimant, by failing to lock the pickup
truck and leaving the keys
therein, was negligent. The record fails to reveal negligence on
part of the respondent. For
that reason the Court denies this claim.