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Off topic: Is a Canadian hotel liable for losing my laptop?
Thread poster: Justine Sherwood

Justine Sherwood  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:14
Dutch to English
+ ...
Apr 17, 2003

Sorry, this does not really have to do with translation but maybe there is someone who can help me out. On a trip to Canada last week my laptop was stolen whilst checking into a hotel. The bellboy had it on his trolley while we checked it. Despite the fact that 3 bellboys were guarding the trolleys someone could still snatch it. The hotel says they\'re not liable. I think they are as it was negligence on the part of their staff. I have tried looking up Canadian law on the internet to see how I can tackle the problem but the only other PC I have is so slow, it\'s driving me mad. Does anyone here know anything about Canadian law. Thanks in advance!

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Bob Kerns  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:14
Member (2002)
German to English
Was the laptop insured? Apr 17, 2003

If your laptop was insured your insurance company should pay up and it\'s then their problem to determine whether the hotel is liable.

Just a personal opinion. I\'m not a legal expert but that\'s what I would do if my (insured) laptop was stolen.

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Jane Lamb-Ruiz  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
stolen laptop Apr 17, 2003

I think you need to push the issue with the hotel. They may not be liable in general BUT when the laptop is in their direct care i.e. being looked after by their bellboys, I think you will find that they are responsible. You need to tell them you are going to sue. They will prefer to pay that have to pay their lawyer. You can even say this to them. To pay their lawyer will cost at least as much and probably more than buying you a new laptop. I would demand to speak to the hotel manager and say this directly to him. I am sure he will see that this is reasonable. If the bellboys can\'t be trusted with the luggage, the hotel should not provide bell boys. Also, tell the manager you are thinking of taking this story to some travel magazines/online sites and ask him for the name/address of the hotel\'s top honcho. Then write a letter to him with CC to the top honcho, outlining the steps you plan to take. A well-written letter threatening press exposure works wonders....

Don\';t take no for an answer. The hotel should pay for the laptop...

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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:14
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

Totally agree with Jane Apr 17, 2003

Write to the Managing Director of the hotel(chain) and ask him to refund you, otherwise you\'ll sue.


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:14
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Sorry to hear that Apr 17, 2003

I so much agree with Jane and Mats,

And also tell them (the hotel managment) that the most valuable thing that you lost was your WORK on your computer (which IMO is priceless).


p.s. I hope you had a backup.

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José Luis Villanueva-Senchuk  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
Go for the hotel - they bags were under their control/supervision Apr 17, 2003


Sorry to hear about the incident.

I would follow Jane\'s tip PLUS I would write to the Ombudsman from Condé Neste Traveler magazine. Once you have the letter, cc it to the hotel management. From personal experience, CN Traveler has lots of lobby power. The address is:

It will be ideal to attach a letter from the hotel to you where they say, on paper, that they do not intend to pay. Again, CN Traveler works wonders.

Positive energy your way!



[ This Message was edited by: Pepelu on 2003-04-17 15:52]

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:14
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
They should pay Apr 17, 2003

They should pay because your laptop was in bailment or under the care of the hotel\'s employees at the time it was stolen. Therefore, they are liable.

Here is a link to a Canadian site that states:

\"Limitation of liability of innkeeper for property of guest

3. (1) No innkeeper is liable to make good to his guest loss of or injury to goods or property brought to his inn, except where the goods or property have been

(a) stolen, lost, or injured through the wilful act, default, or neglect of the inn­keeper or his servant;...

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Justine Sherwood  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:14
Dutch to English
+ ...
Thanks! Apr 22, 2003

Thanks for all the answers so far. At the moment I have just sent a fax to the hotel manager and am awaiting his reply. In any case thanks a lot for all the ideas/links. I certainly will use them!

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Dipl.-Kfm. Bernhard Aicher MBA  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:14
English to German
+ ...
Can you prove ...? Apr 30, 2003

Do you have a witness to prove that the bellboys were guarding the trolleys? Can you prove that a laptop was on your trolley?


[ This Message was edited by: B.Aicher on 2003-04-30 12:57]

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Local time: 13:14
English to Chinese
+ ...
Keep us updated! May 17, 2003

sorry to hear your lost... I can totally relate to that. Your work and files are priceless!

I absolutely agree with Jane\'s approach. Hopefully you\'ve got some satisfactory compensation.

Keep us posted with the outcome!


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