Christie’s warehouses are being sued for $ 23 million for negligent storage of art objects automatic translate
NEW YORK. The auction house Christie’s, may have to pay up to 23 million dollars for damaged art objects affected by floods in Brooklyn in 2012. The decision on this was taken by the New York Court of Appeal in March, and even earlier, in February, - the lower court. In total, the courts consider four cases against Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS). The organization is accused of gross negligence and inability to ensure the safety of art objects. On the side of claimants are insurance companies, in which damaged art objects were insured.
The amount of the claim from StarNet Insurance is more than $ 10 million for the damaged paintings of Leroy Neiman, Axa Art Insurance wants $ 1.5 million for damage to the private collection, XL Insurance calculates for 700 thousand US dollars for reimbursement of their expenses in front of the gallery Chowaiki & Co. In the fourth legal proceeding, the plaintiff is Boyd Sullivan, who claims $ 11 million for damage caused to his collection of art.
The central issue that the courts have yet to answer is whether CFASS can absolve itself from liability or limit its liability to a certain amount. In separate decisions in three cases involving insurance companies, the lower court initially ruled in favor of CFASS on the basis of the terms of the storage contract. XL Insurance appealed this decision. The lower court in its decision relied on two provisions of this treaty. The first stipulated that CFASS would not be liable for any damage. The court noted that this provision is invalid, as this would allow the CFASS to avoid any liability, including for its own negligence, which is not allowed under the laws of the State of New York. The CFASS warehouse was located in the flood zone and XL Insurance claimed that the company received advance notice of the hurricane approach and the possibility of flooding, and only because of gross negligence did not take the basic precautions such as moving works from the ground floor. The Court of Appeal decided that the lower court’s ruling on this provision was correct.
When the insurer pays for the customer’s claims, he is entitled to demand compensation from whomever is responsible for the damage. But the CFASS contract also contained a second provision, stipulating that XL Insurance waives the right to claim compensation. The lower court initially upheld this provision and ruled that XL Insurance can not sue the CFASS, but the appellate court subsequently invalidated this part of the contract, since it is nothing more than a regular attempt by CFASS to circumvent the law of the State of New York and to absolve oneself of responsibility. This decision allowed the resumption of claims from other victims who were initially refused. The peculiarity of the fourth trial was that Boyd Sullivan’s contract with CFASS contains a clause limiting the liability to 300 thousand US dollars. The lower court found this provision invalid, because, although the warehouses are allowed to limit their liability, it should provide for a restriction for each storage unit or unit of weight, not just the total amount. According to Christie’s attorney, the point in the processes is early, as CFASS will appeal these decisions.
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