• Report: #248991

Complaint Review: U-Haul - Republic Western Insurance

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  • Submitted: Thu, May 17, 2007
  • Updated: Tue, October 21, 2008

  • Reported By:Philadelphia Pennsylvania
U-Haul - Republic Western Insurance
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

U-Haul Damages My Property and Republic Western Insurance Fails To Pay The Insurance Claim Philadelphia Pennsylvania

*Consumer Comment: In agreement.

*Consumer Comment: I wonder if he really does...

*Consumer Comment: OK, I give up

*Consumer Suggestion: No Shortage of Jackasses

*Consumer Suggestion: No Shortage of Jackasses

*Consumer Comment: YOU are, Larry!

*Consumer Comment: YOU are, Larry!

*Consumer Comment: Once Again, A Wealth Of Misiinformation From Larry

*Consumer Comment: So who's the jackass?

*Consumer Comment: The Bottom Line

*Consumer Suggestion: Apathy and Ineptitude

*Author of original report: DONT TAKE "LARRY U-HAUL'S" WORD FOR IT, READ THIS FROM THE TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL

*Consumer Comment: Let's get the facts straight

*Author of original report: Sorry Larry.... Wrong Yet Again !!!But Keep Those Cards and Letters Rolling In !

*Consumer Comment: Who is kidding who?

*Author of original report: Sorry, But Your Response is Filled With Incorrect Information

*Consumer Comment: Court of Appeals

*Author of original report: First Attorney Files In Wrong Venue

*Author of original report: First Attorney Files In Wrong Venue

*Author of original report: First Attorney Files In Wrong Venue

*Author of original report: First Attorney Files In Wrong Venue

*Consumer Comment: Why Federal Court?

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People must get together and fight to remove U-Haul and Republic Westerns right to have exculpatory clauses in their storage contracts which protects them from liabilty even in the instance of their own negligence. The Attorney General of Texas knew this was a disgusting practice and already accomplished the task of forcing them to change these adhesion contracts and now it's time for other states to follow !!

This is why U-haul doesn't care if employees steal or damage storage renters property because unfortunately many US Courts will continue support them and protect their right to be negligent !

The Third Circuit Court Of Appeals recently denied a rehearing en banc in my case against Republic Western Insurance(a U-Haul sister company) even though they stated in their opinion that U-Haul ,and their self owned insurance company Republic Western,probably exhibited "Gross Negligence" and that the court "didn't condone" such behavior. The plaintiffs who were insured for $15,000 were awarded nothing even though the defendants stipulated in Federal Court to at least $15,000 worth of damage to Plaintiffs property. Plaintiffs were never paid and have now been assessed defendants appellate costs.

Background:

The case involves two plaintiffs who stored personal property of value in a U-Haul indoor climate controlled storage facility that failed to maintain their roof over a long period of time.

The Vice President of the District U-Haul even admitted in deposition that they were renting units to the public when they knew water was leaking into the building. The 24 hour onsite managers never even lifted the phone to alert the plaintiffs that their property was getting damaged by the heavy flow of water through two floors during rainstorms.

The plaintiffs, at the time of renting the units, had purchased insurance through the U-Haul sister company Republic Western who failed to properly adjust the case according to New Jersey Law. The U-Haul storage contracts contained exculpatory clauses which were specifically designed to protect U-Haul even if they were grossly negligent. It should be noted that Texas Attorney General John Cornyn sued U-Haul and Republic Western for these very types of fraudulent insurance practices right around the time this case was filed in New Jersey (approximately 2001). He forced them to remove many clauses including the one holding the consumer liable in the instance of U-Haul's negligence.

The storage renters granted U-Haul full access and promptly completed an initial inspection and photo session with U-Haul and Republic Westerns contracted adjuster GAB Robins. U-Haul quickly fired GAB Robins after the adjuster indicated in its report that U-Haul may be liable due to the obvious poor condition of the facility and roof as indicated in roof replacement estimates and reports.

The renters' attorney filed suit in Federal Court for Consumer Fraud, Bad Faith, Breach of an Insurance Contract, Negligence and more. The defendants' went adjuster shopping for over a year before ever making any formal request for a second inspection and finally settled on a mom and pop low ball adjuster who admitted in deposition that they were not experts in appraising many of the items in the claim. To prove a simple point, the lead adjuster who was allegedly valuing musical instruments spelled Bass Guitar "BASE" both on their adjusters report and when questioned later in deposition. This is the same adjuster called an "expert appraiser" in a letter sent by the attorney for the defense. Additionally, the second adjuster also admitted that they didn't inspect all of the items even though they were given two full days. Just to be sure, the plaintiffs hired five separate experts, three of them being published memorabilia experts who all valued the loss at nearly fifty times what the defendants adjuster came up with.

The case dragged out for approximately five years and the defendants were repeatedly allowed to thwart discovery on multiple occasions even though the judges approved the plaintiffs repeated discovery requests. Plaintiff's went to motions court over and over and yet U-Haul was given extension after extension without any good reason at all.

U-Haul actually perjured themselves when prompted to turn over claims/procedure manuals from the storage facilty. The 24 onsite managers clearly stated under oath that this information was in a physical "binder". Later on in the case, U-Haul only provided half a page from something unidentified(no page number or date of document) and a custodian of records sent a sworn statement claiming the provided page was from the manual which was an "online document". So who is the liar there? The 24hr managers who actually used the manual, or the custodian of records in some office somewhere ..The judges didn't give a hoot about any of it..

The senior judge eventually granted defendants summary judgment motions on all counts except breach of the insurance contract. He stated that even though the defendants, years later (far too late under the state insurance laws),and deposited $14,500 in the court (without prejudice), the case should be tried for Breach of Contract with possible delay damages and pre judgment interest.

Another judge took over and quickly terminated the case three or four days before trial based on a verbal settlement offer with no terms disclosed to anyone. This is after the judge called the case for trial on very short notice at a great cost to plaintiffs for trial prep such as expedited transcripts etc..
The judge claimed on the record that because Rep West were offering the money five years later, that there was no more breach. As the Caveman in the Geico commercial says: "WHAT???" The judge also stated that it wasn't a settlement offer. Even if it was ten times the policy limit, it still was a settlement offer and not a bone fide written offer of judgment pursuant to federal rule 68.Yet the judge cited all Rule 68 cases to support this opinion.The third circuit did the same and cleverly never approached the subject of Rule 68 even though the plaintiffs addressed this extensively in their appeal.

The defendants suddenly fired their attorney of nearly five years for reason of alleged incompetence on the eve of trial and both the terminated lawyer and the new attorney showed up at the final pre-trial hearing with no trial list or prep in complete violation of the judges strict Pre-Trial orders. When this was presented to the judge, he declined to discipline the defendants for these gross violations. The judge ended the pre-trial hearing by stating that he would see all of the parties five days later at trial.

Two days later, the judge suddenly dismissed the plaintiffs' case sua sponte. The judge disposed of the case citing lack of subject matter jurisdiction based on this previously mentioned blind verbal settlement offer made by defendants at the final pre trial hearing. Although no terms of the alleged offer were ever disclosed to anyone, the judge incorrectly based his opinion solely on Rule 68 Offer Of Judgment cases even though there was never such an offer presented in this case. Rule 68 requires that a written offer be made at least 10 days prior to trial with costs. The Judge even asked the defendants in the final pretrial conference if an Offer Of Judgment had been made and the response clearly stated on the record was : "no".

Although the Third Circuit Court Of Appeals admitted in its opinion that the defendants may have been "grossly negligent" and that it "didn't condone" this type of conduct, they affirmed the lower Federal Court decision 3-0 and blew out the plaintiffs' case completely even though the defendants stipulated in open court to plaintiff's damages to property to the sum of at least $15,0000. To add insult to injury, the plaintiffs have been awarded nothing and are now assessed Republic Western's costs of appeal by the Third Circuit after a denial for a rehearing en banc.

Not only is this a serious consumer issue but an issue of the failure to observe the rule of law at the second highest level in the nation. The action of the court or lack of action is truly disturbing. Additionally, the court opinions and dockets reflect a wealth of incorrect information and errors of record that range from minute issues to severe issues.

Additionally, the consumer deception exhibited by both Republic Western and U-Haul is completely rampant as exhibited by many transcribed statements and documents such as the rent increase letter sent to plaintiffs that states that the defendants were doing all they could to protect the renters' property by keeping the building safe and making improvements. These are false promises that the employees knew were false and made only to force more money from the consumer. There can be no more obvious example of willful and wanton behavior yet the action of the courts in effect protects this type of conduct by allowing the defendants to be completely off the hook to the point of escaping the payment of the insurance money that the plaintiffs paid for.

Marty
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
U.S.A.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/17/2007 02:40 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/U-Haul-Republic-Western-Insurance/Philadelphia-Pennsylvania-19101/U-Haul-Damages-My-Property-and-Republic-Western-Insurance-Fails-To-Pay-The-Insurance-Claim-248991. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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#1 Consumer Comment

In agreement.

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (Canada)

Finally, I am not the only one who noticed how some of the respones from the ex-employees, employees, consumers, know so much about a complaintants issues and how they attempt to disect, demean, the person's complaints.
If one skims the various complaint sites against U-Haul they may notice the same pattern, perhaps the same names.
It would not surprise me if U-Hual does hire people to sit all day and read the complaints and answer them.
I also agree no corporation or buisness should have a contract written as to exclude them from responsiblity caused by their employees.
Suggestion: Do some reading of the statues , acts. leglisation etc. on your own. The old clique, "Knowledge is power".
Have courage for all those who see what is truth and keep fighting.
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#2 Consumer Comment

I wonder if he really does...

AUTHOR: Randy - (U.S.A.)

Marty, I wonder if Larry from West Sacramento, California really does work for U-Haul, because he seems so interested in defending them everywhere. He had to defend them on my report, #210063. I wonder how many other reports he has defended U-Haul on? It's amazing how many times the same few people show up in different threads.
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#3 Consumer Comment

OK, I give up

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

OK. I admit it. I work for U-Haul. They paid me fifty grand to chop a hole in the roof of Marty's storage locker and ruin his $120,000 base guitar. I framed Oswald for the JFK murder and Sirhan for RFK. I torched the Hindenburg and faked the moon landing. I shot down a UFO at Roswell and autopsied the aliens in Hanger 18. Or was it 19? I have a hard time keeping track of all the conspiracies I have been involved in.

But Sarah and Mark knew that all the time. Can't put nothing over on them.

I feel so much better now that have confessed.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

No Shortage of Jackasses

AUTHOR: Sarah - (U.S.A.)

Larry, you are a corporate-fraud-devil's advocate who will not answer Mark's or Marty's questions as to why you are so involved, so interested, so unable to empathize with the human element, as Randolph put it.
Larry, you said that you were initially sympathetic to his ordeal, but who needs YOUR sympathy? You had it out for him from the beginning with your condescending posts that you transparently veiled as friendly concern. A real heartbreaker, it really sucks, you say, as if you could really understand such difficulty. How phony.
"I will surely burn in Hell because what follows sounds like I am defending U-Haul," you posted. Everything prior to that post sounded like that so burn, baby, BURN!

This is disgusting, even by web standards.

Your lack of attempt to even sound genuine is so insulting to even a passive observer like me and others that I am sure you will not re-emerge your head from out of your own ass to respond to me.
I invite you to rebuttal with the customary drivel found on your posts, I would find it amusing just as Marty does when he successfully maintains his indefeasible rights and counters your weak position point by point.

So you claim that you don't work for U-Haul, (and if you're not a liar) how about Republic Western Insurance? Maybe you're just a guy that corporations hire to do damage control on sites where consumers can assert themselves and defend their rights. Either way, if you don't deal with companies that behave like jackasses, you certainly indulge in that pastime yourself. (Tell whoever it is to hire somebody with some perception.)
New Jersey law (concerning wanton behavior) has Marty covered better than U-Haul's exculpatory clauses and you know that. There is no reason why U-Haul or its scheming insurance company should get away with this wanton behavior.
You also are aware that a non-written offer with no terms less than 10 days before the trial date negates the rule 68 case law. There was no reason for the jackass judge to dismiss a case without jurisdictional subject matter based on the merits of an inapplicable rule 68 case law. The plaintiff claims he established this fact several times and the jack-ass-prepared court record and published opinions fail to mention this, just as they fail to mention his five (bona-fide) experts.

How do you avoid doing business with*&*&, Larry? The world has no shortage of them: *&*& like the adjusters that spelled bass guitar as BASE, *&*& that repeatedly refuse to supply evidence (mentioned in deposition) for a motion to compel discovery, jackasses that think they can impose their opinion after briefly glancing at several year's worth of transcripts, jackasses who have a thin veneer of friendliness and a lot of ego, *&*& who inflexibly support U-Haul's lack of accountability I would greatly profit from having you inform me on how to avoid people like yourself. Please furnish the details of this fine art of*&*& avoiding from the *&*-eared Larry himself.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

No Shortage of Jackasses

AUTHOR: Sarah - (U.S.A.)

Larry, you are a corporate-fraud-devil's advocate who will not answer Mark's or Marty's questions as to why you are so involved, so interested, so unable to empathize with the human element, as Randolph put it.
Larry, you said that you were initially sympathetic to his ordeal, but who needs YOUR sympathy? You had it out for him from the beginning with your condescending posts that you transparently veiled as friendly concern. A real heartbreaker, it really sucks, you say, as if you could really understand such difficulty. How phony.

I will surely burn in Hell because what follows sounds like I am defending U-Haul, you posted. Everything prior to that post sounded like that so burn, baby, BURN!

This is disgusting, even by web standards.

Your lack of attempt to even sound genuine is so insulting to even a passive observer like me and others that I am sure you will not re-emerge your head from out of your own ass to respond to me.
I invite you to rebuttal with the customary drivel found on your posts, I would find it amusing just as Marty does when he successfully maintains his indefeasible rights and counters your weak position point by point.

So you claim that you don't work for U-Haul, (and if you're not a liar) how about Republic Western Insurance? Maybe you're just a guy that corporations hire to do damage control on sites where consumers can assert themselves and defend their rights. Either way, if you don't deal with companies that behave like jackasses, you certainly indulge in that pastime yourself. (Tell whoever it is to hire somebody with some perception.)

New Jersey law (concerning wanton behavior) has Marty covered better than U-Haul's exculpatory clauses and you know that. There is no reason why U-Haul or its scheming insurance company should get away with this wanton behavior.
You also are aware that a non-written offer with no terms less than 10 days before the trial date negates the rule 68 case law. There was no reason for the jackass judge to dismiss a case without jurisdictional subject matter based on the merits of an inapplicable rule 68 case law. The plaintiff claims he established this fact several times and the jack-ass-prepared court record and published opinions fail to mention this, just as they fail to mention his five (bona-fide) experts.

How do you avoid doing business with jackasses, Larry? The world has no shortage of them: Jackasses like the adjusters that spelled bass guitar as BASE, jackasses that repeatedly refuse to supply evidence (mentioned in deposition) for a motion to compel discovery, jackasses that think they can impose their opinion after briefly glancing at several year's worth of transcripts, jackasses who have a thin veneer of friendliness and a lot of ego, jackasses who inflexibly support U-Haul's lack of accountability I would greatly profit from having you inform me on how to avoid people like yourself. Please furnish the details of this fine art of jackass avoiding from the ass-eared Larry himself.
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#6 Consumer Comment

YOU are, Larry!

AUTHOR: Mark - (U.S.A.)

Geez Larry, you're really getting your butt kicked. Marty's ripped you apart, point by point, and it's clear to anyone who can read that you're totally ignorant of the facts of the case. Which is the best possible interpretation of your rants. The worst is that you're shilling for U-Hell. So tell us, Larry, which is it? And why are you so interested in this? Doesn't smell right to me.
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#7 Consumer Comment

YOU are, Larry!

AUTHOR: Mark - (U.S.A.)

Geez Larry, you're really getting your butt kicked. Marty's ripped you apart, point by point, and it's clear to anyone who can read that you're totally ignorant of the facts of the case. Which is the best possible interpretation of your rants. The worst is that you're shilling for U-Hell. So tell us, Larry, which is it? And why are you so interested in this? Doesn't smell right to me.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Once Again, A Wealth Of Misiinformation From Larry

AUTHOR: Marty - (U.S.A.)

Larry,

you are getting warmer, but your letter is still loaded with misinformation from the case.

The final count(Breach of contract against Rep West) was called for a final pre trial hearing with four days to spare. The last word from the judge was "see you all at trial on Monday " Two days later. He dumped the final count of the case on paper(Breach against Rep West) for LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION.

This was the wrong thing to do for several reasons. Just look up the Rooker Feldman doctrine.The final judge stated in his opinion that the overall case(not the count) is still worth $75k and that is why it was still in fed court after their(Rep West)14,500 deposit. He then states the case is valued at 0 because the settlement offer wasn't taken(There is no law absent a Rule 68 offer of judgment to back up such a ridiculous decision. Even if the verbal offer exceeded the policy limit, I CAN STILL GO TO TRIAL TO PROVE WHETHER THE CONTRACT WAS BREACHED AND FOR HOW MUCH) The 11th hour verbal only offer wasn't taken because the previous senior judge said that delay damages and prejudgment interest could be had at trial. (In other words. these issues have already been looked at many times by the Federal court and denied to the defendants, in fact ,Rep West was denied summary judgment earlier even though they deposited the money with the court !)

THIS IS ALL ON THE TRANSCRIPT ! First of all, when any judge dismisses a case for LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER jurisdiction, you can't value it at 0 as that is a judgment on the merits and is not allowed.When you dismiss for that reason, it is not a judgment of any sort, win or lose ! The Judge can't say squat at that point about the validity of that particular count.)Furthermore, all of the judge's alleged rational for this stupid decison was taken completely from RULE 68 cases where the plaintiffs in the other cases were ALL given valid written offers of judgment 10 days prior to trial. The final judge who dismissed the case even asked ON THE RECORD if an offer of judgment had been made and the defendants responded in the negative. Bottom Line , a garbage decision and Rep West still owes the money !

Finally, it doesn't matter if they(Lower court or Third Circuit) avoided Rule 68 when those are the only cases they quote in defense of their ridiculous decisions.In that light, they HAVE brought up Rule 68 which is a very strictly construed Federal Rule !

When all this is said and done I will be setting up a website and will be publishing all of these transcripts and court documents for all to see what actually went on here.

I will respond by reprinting what your last post and answering in parentheses:


Marty entered into a contract that held U-Haul harmless from liability. (Yes and one of the things The Texas attorney general dealt with in their suit.)

The only way Marty could recover damages from U-Haul was to have proven that their conduct was wanton, meaning that he would have to prove that U-Haul deliberately caused the roof to leak.(It was wanton and they admitted under deposition that they were selling units with full knowledge that water was leaking. PS. this is not the only instance of willful and wanton behavior as they violated their own policy as stated in deposition that they were to notify people of leaks) Marty did not have that proof.( I certainly did ! This went on for years and failure to repair the roof CAUSED MORE PROBLEMS !) The best he could prove was gross negligence, meaning that U-Haul was aware of the leak and did nothing to prevent damage. State law and Marty's contract with U-Haul allowed them to get away with that.(True they got away with it, but still should have been forced to turn the money over.)

Marty did nothing to help his own cause. He agreed to limit the value of his property to $15,000. Then he claimed an actual property loss of $120,000.(*Hey Larry, There were two units ,ok and the testimony from Republic Western was only $3750.00 so I could claim gold bars were in there and it doesn't mean squat. It's for a jury to decide what the damages were. Your claims that I breached the contract is just laugable especially condsidering two units were involved. Of course U-Haul is going to fight him. They would fight anyone who claims a ridiculously inflated loss like that.(Inflated ? How would you know that?) U-Haul had nothing to lose because the same contract that holds U-Haul harmless from liability also provides that the loser pays the winner's legal fees. (Ridiculous and this case isn't over by a long stretch!)

The published opinion from the Third Circuit makes no mention of Rule 68.(Yes of course it doesn't because it isn't appropriate here when all they proposed was a verbal settlement offer with no paperwork or terms four days before trial was called..)
Both the lower court and third circuit used rule 68 caselaw from innaplicable cases.LOOK THEM UP !!!! WEISS V. REGAL, DYNACOL !!!! You can't force a settlement of any kind down a parties throat .)
It does not appear that the issue was raised on appeal nor does there appear to be a reason why it would be.(Not True, Have you read my appeals??? NOOOOOOO ! It is dealt with extensively for FOUR pages and they ignored it because they know it's the truth and cannot respond. Period.If they had an answer, they certainly would have addressed it ! After all the Third Circuit quoted Weiss v, Regal A RULE 68 CASE !)

The insurance company apparently admitted that it was liable(Wrong again Larry,for like the fifth time, they NEVER admitted liability ! Stipulation is not liability, if they did that the offer may have been accepted. This was a major issue at the final pre trial hearing ) for the full limit of the policy when it moved for summary judgment(They weren't granted summary judgment either, the breach of contract was dismissed for LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION, LOOK IT UP ! It is not a dimissal on the merits and CAN be relitigated in lower court!!.) A motion for summary judgment is, in this case, an admission of liability made to the court.(NO IT IS NOT !) Rule 68 offers are private communications from the defendant to the plaintiff. (Wrong Again, they are to be dealt with in court and must be in writing and offer costs and be presented 10 days before trial ! If it is agreed to, it goes on the record is it isn't the parties can still proceed to trial and if the award is less, they pay court costs.)

How much was Marty entitled to? $15,000.( Correct and I'm still entitled to it as it was never tendered, and I don't have to sign unlawful agreenments to get it.) That is the maximum he agreed to store, that is what he insured his belongings for, and that's what the court said the insurance company deposited.(Great. Finally you admit this and yet they still never paid ! Their 11th hour offer with no terms disclosed was like the old saying "The checks in the mail ".)

How do you stop U-Haul from behaving like jackasses? You can't, but you can go somewhere else. I make a point of not doing business with companies that behave like jackasses, which is why I do not work for U-Haul.

The Texas AG's action against U-Haul does not seem to have much relevance to Marty's case.(No true, they dealt with the balnket exculpatory clause in all their contracts.) In fact, most of it seems to deal with truck rentals rather than storage. In any event, Marty apparently did not raise an issue in his lawsuit that the sale of the insurance was deceptive or improper because it was sold by persons not licensed to do so(Not true my consumer Fraud Count dealt with this extensively ). How would it have helped his case to argue that his policy, the only thing he could possibly collect damages from, was void? (Why was my policy void and which storage contract of the TWO involved??? Or was it void considering the vice president of So. NJ admitted in deposition that they were renting out while knowing the roof was leaking and not telling customers.)

I was initially sympathetic to Marty's problem until I read the published opinion(Which is total crap and loaded with FACTUAL ERRORS WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN A SLAM DUNK FOR APPEAL !). Since Marty was appealing from a loss of a summary judgment(The last count was not dismissed via SJ !They really had no business dismissing any counts via SJ as the jury was usurped and there are too many questions of material fact such as their rent increase letters that fraudulently stated that they were "doing all they can to protect my belongings and making improvements to the building !"), the court had to weigh the facts in the light most favorable to Marty.(They didn't do that at all here.) Even under that standard it was clear that Marty had no case against U-Haul because of the contract he signed and that he was very wrong(Not true there were two storage units here and the smaller one was not in violation !) in claiming damages eight times(This is wrong !!! Two storage units not one with $120k anyway they NEVER adjusted the case according to law and sated there was only $3700 in propert, so what's up with that ?) what he had contracted for. U-Haul caused the intial problem and Marty did everything he could do to aggrevate the damages. That's a dangerous course of action and Marty lost.(Larry, the case is far from over and these guys need to pay me ! )

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#9 Consumer Comment

So who's the jackass?

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

Where was it exactly that I said U-Haul should have let Marty's stuff get damaged? I do not recall saying that. Did I ever say anything to the effect that U-Haul behaved properly in renting a storage unit with a leaky roof?

Marty entered into a contract that held U-Haul harmless from liability. The only way Marty could recover damages from U-Haul was to have proven that their conduct was wanton, meaning that he would have to prove that U-Haul deliberately caused the roof to leak. Marty did not have that proof. The best he could prove was gross negligence, meaning that U-Haul was aware of the leak and did nothing to prevent damage. State law and Marty's contract with U-Haul allowed them to get away with that.

Marty did nothing to help his own cause. He agreed to limit the value of his property to $15,000. Then he claimed an actual property loss of $120,000. Of course U-Haul is going to fight him. They would fight anyone who claims a ridiculously inflated loss like that. U-Haul had nothing to lose because the same contract that holds U-Haul harmless from liability also provides that the loser pays the winner's legal fees.

The published opinion from the Third Circuit makes no mention of Rule 68. It does not appear that the issue was raised on appeal nor does there appear to be a reason why it would be. The insurance company apparently admitted that it was liable for the full limit of the policy when it moved for summary judgment. A motion for summary judgment is, in this case, an admission of liability made to the court. Rule 68 offers are private communications from the defendant to the plaintiff.

How much was Marty entitled to? $15,000. That is the maximum he agreed to store, that is what he insured his belongings for, and that's what the court said the insurance company deposited.

How do you stop U-Haul from behaving like jackasses? You can't, but you can go somewhere else. I make a point of not doing business with companies that behave like jackasses, which is why I do not work for U-Haul.

The Texas AG's action against U-Haul does not seem to have much relevance to Marty's case. In fact, most of it seems to deal with truck rentals rather than storage. In any event, Marty apparently did not raise an issue in his lawsuit that the sale of the insurance was deceptive or improper because it was sold by persons not licensed to do so. How would it have helped his case to argue that his policy, the only thing he could possibly collect damages from, was void?

I was initially sympathetic to Marty's problem until I read the published opinion. Since Marty was appealing from a loss of a summary judgment, the court had to weigh the facts in the light most favorable to Marty. Even under that standard it was clear that Marty had no case against U-Haul because of the contract he signed and that he was very wrong in claiming damages eight times what he had contracted for. U-Haul caused the intial problem and Marty did everything he could do to aggrevate the damages. That's a dangerous course of action and Marty lost.
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#10 Consumer Comment

The Bottom Line

AUTHOR: Mark - (U.S.A.)

Larry,

Do you work for U-Haul or are you just some guy whose hobby happens to be defending businesses who hoodwink their customers with unconscionable practices?

If you had even a shred of a grasp on this, you'd have thanked the OP for taking up this cause instead of hassling him because rip-offs like this will continue unless people like him fight back.

Check out the link he posted and see for yourself what the Attorney General did to U-Haul in Texas. that's what needs to happen EVERYWHERE.

The courts fouled this up beyond all recognition. this case would make a great chapter in an expose on judicial incompetence.
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

Apathy and Ineptitude

AUTHOR: Randolph - (U.S.A.)

Larry, you and your affiliates have caused suffering with egocentric antagonism, negligence and obstinacy and you need to stop barring the responsibility that U-HAUL has to this guy Marty to make things right! What exactly is your position here?

Would you like a good number of your most prized possessions to be kept in a badly maintained place like the storage units that U-HAUL offers their customers?

How would you feel if you were treated this way? What if attempting to make things better means that you have to go through the endless hours and precious years of your life wasted by the court torment described in this report? Would it affect your health adversely?

Perhaps you have lost sight of the human element.
Dealing with such apathetic ineptitude can severely affect one's health.

Larry, I cannot help but notice that you are have alot of interest in rule 68. With this rule in mind and with the kind of ordeal Marty has had to suffer, what dollar offer do you think would be fair enough for him to accept? You are unaware that perhaps the only way to compensate for gross negligence is to put a stop to it. Perhaps Marty is concerned not only for himself and his own losses, but wants to prevent the inevitable future suffering of others that is routine with that behemoth brute of a company that consistently is demonstrative of double standards.

Often it is the individuals in transition (i.e. College students people in flux, between homes, innocent people who have nowhere else to place these worldly goods) that get gobbled up by this faceless institution that is so underhanded that it sells bogus insurance with no assurance of satisfaction except their own.

Perhaps when you look at yourself from Marty's vantage you can use your self interest for the common good and rethink your postion in this argument. If you can empathise with anyone on any level you will not find it difficult to see the fallacy of your rebuttals.
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#12 Author of original report

DONT TAKE "LARRY U-HAUL'S" WORD FOR IT, READ THIS FROM THE TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL

AUTHOR: Marty - (U.S.A.)

Feel free to visit the Texas Attorney General Website http://www.oag.state.tx.us/newspubs/newsarchive/2001/20010328uhaul.htm
for information about U-Haul/Republic Western and how Texas handled their scuzzy way of operating.

Wednesday, March 28, 2001

CORNYN SETTLES LAWSUITS WITH U-HAUL
State settles lawsuits over unlicensed and deceptive insurance practices in Texas
AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today filed an agreed final judgment and permanent injunction to settle two lawsuits with U-Haul International, U-Haul Co. of Texas, and their insurance company, Republic Western Insurance Company, regarding unlicensed and deceptive insurance practices in Texas. The judgment was filed and approved today in Travis County District Court.

The U-Haul companies named in the two lawsuits involving the State agree to cease and desist from advertising and selling insurance products until properly licensed by the Texas Department of Insurance. U-Haul also agreed to change the way it sells and advertises its insurance and damage waiver products to consumers in Texas.

"Texas consumers have a right to know what they are buying when they purchase insurance," said Attorney General Cornyn. "Furthermore, companies who sell insurance in Texas must follow the agent licensing laws of this state."

U-Haul, through independently-owned dealerships and company-owned retail centers in Texas, rents trucks, trailers and other equipment, primarily for the moving of household and personal effects. U-Haul also rents, through dealers or retail centers, public storage units in Texas. For a period of time, U-Haul sold products to customers in Texas called "Safemove" and "Safetow" which included such coverages as medical, life and cargo insurance and damage waiver. U-Haul also sold a product called "Safestor," an insurance product for the customer's stored goods. U-Haul sold these products through unlicensed employees and dealers throughout Texas.

Cornyn's lawsuit alleged that U-Haul sold these products to U-Haul customers in a misleading and deceptive way which was meant to disguise the limitations of the products, thus violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices - Consumer Protection Act and Texas Insurance Code.

The Texas Attorney General and the Texas Department of Insurance had previously obtained a temporary injunction against U-Haul which prohibited the sale of insurance in Texas until U-Haul was properly licensed. U-Haul is permitted to continue to sell damage waiver alone, but has not yet obtained a license to sell insurance in Texas.

Stipulations of the agreement filed today also include but are not limited to:

U-Haul will make available to inquiring customers an easy to read brochure that clearly describes all terms, conditions, exclusions, deductibles and limitations of the optional insurance or damage waiver, and deliver such brochure to the customer at or before the time of purchase;
U-Haul will not charge customers for insurance or damage waiver unless the customer separately initials each coverage purchased in the rental agreement;
U-Haul will not misrepresent the terms of the insurance or damage waiver being sold; and
U-Haul will not represent that a customer, regardless of the circumstances of the damage or loss, is responsible in every instance for all damage or loss to the rented equipment or customer's goods.
The judgment also requires U-Haul to pay attorney's fees and investigative expenses.
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#13 Consumer Comment

Let's get the facts straight

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

Marty,

You voluntarily entered into a contract with U-Haul for rental of a storage space. In that contract was a clause limiting the value of your property to $15,000 and another clause that said U-Haul could not be held liable for damage to your property even if it was their fault. You purchased insurance in the amount of $15,000.

Your property subsequently was damaged as a result of U-Haul's negligence. You submitted an insurance claim for $120,000. That is eight times what you agreed to store and eight times the limit of your policy.

What, exactly, did you think would happen when you made that claim? Did you think they would hand you a blank check and let you fill in the amount? Or is it more likely that they would circle the wagons and fight tooth and nail?

U-Haul's conduct was outrageous but so was yours. You agreed to do one thing then did another. You sued nearly every soul on the entire Eastern seaboard and literally turned a leaky roof into a federal case. Even you admitted that filing in Federal Court was a jackass move.

You had your bite at the apple and you lost. Now you are attempting to retry your case in the RipOff Report. I was sympathetic toward your case until I read the court's published opinion. The relevant facts just do not support your side, so you have tried to redirect everyone's attention to the irrelevant, such as the misspelling the word bass and the non-issue of Rule 68.

I have never claimed to own a self-storage. I have only managed them. I do not work for U-Haul and never have.
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#14 Author of original report

Sorry Larry.... Wrong Yet Again !!!But Keep Those Cards and Letters Rolling In !

AUTHOR: Marty - (U.S.A.)

Larry,

You are way too interested in this. I lost money and property on this dealdid you?
Your initial response indicated that there was much wrongdoing all aroundIn other words, you give the reader an initial, false sense of sympathy before you let down the BOOM ! (LOL) Then you explain that you are a self storage facility owner. You seem to know who I am, but who are you really? You go on about laws as if you are an attorney. If you are, then I feel sorry for you and me thinks you need to go back to law school. Or at least go back and review Blacks Law Dictionary. You do sound like a desperate U-Hell/RepWest puppet on damage control mode.

You have completely ignored everything that I have said and just want to spin spin spin. I have explained the whole issue that both the Federal Court and Third Circuit citied ONLY RULE 68 CASES(ie:Weiss V. Regal) in their opinions regarding the final judges dismissal of the last count of breach of contract. It was dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, which by the way, is not a judgment on the merits of the case Lar..You can look it up, but I know you won'tJust like Weiss v. Regal, which both the Federal Court and Third Circuit quoted in their opinions, but interestingly, both never mentioned Rule 68 yet that is the whole issue of that case !!! There was no offer of judgment in my caseALSO (FOR THE THIRD TIME! ) THE RULE 68 ISSUE WAS COVERED IN PLAINTIFFS APPELLATE BRIEFS FOR THREE PAGES AND IN THE SUBSEQUENT BRIEF FOR REHEARING EN BANC. Wake UP ! You state incorrectly that plaintiff's attorney never covered thisnonsense !! They just avoided it like the plague because they had no defense.

Larry, you just keep ignoring the facts. Rep West never admitted liability and never tendered payment ! What don't you get about that? We were entitled to trial on the breach of insurance and the senior judges opinion stated that after the deposit in the court which was to be made under court order WITHOUT PREJUDICE. Do you know what that means? It wasn't until Johnny Come Lately judge played fast and loose with the caselaw to get rid of the case after calling it for trial with only seven days notice. Interestingly U-Haul fired its lawyer of five years four days before trial and they showed up in complete violation of the judges strict pretrial orderThe same court order that said if either side showed up without final pretrial documents they would be sanctionedBut you don't know about that Larry, or do you???

I also explained that they never admitted liability(EVER) and you ignored this. I have the files and transcripts do you?

Your crap about plaintiffs breach of contract is completely unsubstantiated. It doesn't matter what plaintiffs claim for damages. It has to be substantiated by a jury either way and it wasn't. The defendants never charged that plaintiffs breached and the judge has no business litigating their case for them. Additionally, their alleged flea market adjuster came up with only $3500 in damages so what was actually in the units is up in the air. Their adjuster testified they never did a full inventory after being given a second full inspection and two full days. The court certainly didn't even acknowledge plaintiffs adjusters so why would they just take plaintiffs word on value?

More important, as I have already stated, the vice president of U-Haul testified that they were renting the units knowing water was leaking into the building .The contract was bogus then from before it was signed. That removes signer of any future obligations. Whose fooling who indeed. Do you know when the items of question were brought in and in what value or quantity and what time? Did U-Haul require and inventory at time of signing? Do you know whether the boxes were checked off on the contracts by plaintiffs holding defendants harmless? Of course you don't. Do you know what the insurance laws in New Jersey are in regard to details in regard to explaining what perils aren't covered? Or course you don't ! For anyone to say Plaintiffs breached the contract is ridiculous. By the way, if U-Haul/Rep West are covered by the exculpatory clause, what difference does it make what the value is of the stored items?

You also believe that Rep West is covered by U-Haul's exculpatory clause when they don't pay insurance claims and they are not. Wrong again Larry. I don't care if you are Johnny Cochran come back from the dead with if it don't fit you'd still be wrong about the caselaw not to mention the facts of the case. Like the fact that U-Hell was given multiple inspections and still didn't pay.

You have also ignored the issue of willful and wanton behavior which regularly demolishes exculpatory clauses in New Jersey. Larry, sorry but you just don't know about Jersey caselaw here. The behavior exhibited by defendants was beyond gross negligence. They knew they were damaging property and allowed it to continue.
They also lied about improving conditions and safeguarding customers property to ask for rent increases. It's called fraud. Exculpatory clauses aren't upholded in cases of fraud.
But of course you ignore all this.I'm the bad guy. I paid for climate control and it's my fault they didn't fix their roof for years, or telephone me or adjust my case or pay my claim.

Attorney General John Cornyn did the right thing with U-Haul/Rep West and their bogus contracts in 2001 and forced them to take out these clauses. They suck and only allow them to steal and damage customers property. NO STANDARD OF CARE !!

If you looked up the case I previously quoted Gonzales v. Self Storage you would see a New Jersey judge who laid waste to this very issue. Again, you refuse to look up anything I say and keep quoting these garbage decisions that were probably authored by law graduates who haven't even passed the bar. They are loaded with factual errors. You can talk all day but one thing is for sure, you don't know the meat of the case.

This stuff is all for a jury to decide anyway and those judges decisions are pure crap loaded with factual errors and they usurp the power of the jury. You don't know that but I do. So you just rattle off the same incorrect stuff about nothing left for a trial etc. Hey, where's the money?

This case is not over. A dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is not a final disposition of the case on the merits. Look it up ,ok?

Bottom line is that you aren't trying to recover anything here so you've either got way too much time on your hands or you are a puppet from U-Haul/Rep West or from some other forum just here to disagree over and over. I've consulted with about ten attorneys who all say this is the biggest screw job they've even seenSorry Larry.Keep those cards and letter rolling in

PS. I wasn't the jackass who filed in Federal Court either...but you wouldn't know that either, and as I have previosuly stated so many times.... in state court Gozales caselaw would have prevailed and U-Hell would have been screwed.
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#15 Consumer Comment

Who is kidding who?

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

My source of information was the published opinion from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. It is available online at http://vls.law.villanova.edu/locator/3d/Feb2007/055002np.pdf.

I will surely burn in Hell for all eternity because what follows sounds like I am defending U-Haul.

You entered into a contract that included two relevant clauses. The first absolved U-Haul of all liability for their own negligence. The second limited the value of what you could store to $15,000. Again, my source is the published opinion from your case.

When your property got damaged, you claimed that your stored property was actually worth $120,000. That is eight times as much as you agreed to store. You breached the contract.

Your response was to sue absolutely everybody in sight and to drag them into Federal Court, no less. The insurance company eventually admitted that you were entitled to the full limits of the $15,000 policy you purchased and the court dismissed all your claims against all the other parties, apparently including all 30 John Does.

Your claim that you are entitled to trial is entirely without merit. By both law and the terms of the contract U-Haul had no liability. No matter what evidence of loss you presented they could not be held accountable. The insurance company admitted its liability and allegedly deposited the full value of the policy due you with the court. What in God's name is left to try?

It is interesting that you now claim that your rights to trial were trampled when the record indicates that you tried to prevent a trial by moving for summary judgment. "The parties made cross-motions for summary judgment," according to the opinion.

Your claim of a Rule 68 violation is not even mentioned in the opinion. This is most likely because your attorney never alleged such a violation because it did not happen. An admission of liability to the court is not a confidential offer to settle with the plaintiff.

It's kinda funny that you scream breach of contract at the defendants when you yourself were guilty of a gross breach of the same contract.

Your original post on this matter was written as a third-person account. In throwing in some phrases like "sua sponte" it sounded as if it had been written by an attorney or paralegal who had been involved with your case. Imagine my surprise, Marty, when I found that one of the plaintiffs was named Martin. Why the deception?

If I had $120,000 worth of stuff to store I sure would spend a few bucks on legal advice before entering into a storage contract.
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#16 Author of original report

Sorry, But Your Response is Filled With Incorrect Information

AUTHOR: Marty - (U.S.A.)

In response to the last comment I must say that it is loaded with incorrect information. I don't mean to be mean spirited here but I feel that I have to set the record straight as far as the facts are concerned.

First of all, I don't know what you are looking at, but the case file on this is five cases thick and this was a protracted litigation that lasted five years. If the court thought there were no issues here, then they should have dismissed the case immediately. Plain and simple. They didn't. Instead they tried to break me and at the last second ,cut me off at the knees with Rule 68 caselaw(Weiss v. Regal,Dynacol etc.) that just didn't apply here.

Every case quoted by the Fedral Judge involved an offer of judgment. There was no offer of judgment here. He abused his discretion and misapplied the law. End of story on that issue. If this was a waste of judicial time then it's their fault for waiting all those years. They had no business dismissing the case when I didn't get paid. The judge's last words was we'll see you all at trial Monday and dismissed the case Sua Sponte two days later. it was wrong and at the very least he should have entered judgment for me for the 15k and he didn't. It wasn't an accident that he did this. he was being a prick on purpose. It's called "Black Robe Disease". I'm not in court now and I'm exercising my freedom of speech(which is disappearing by the second) to say that.

You can't force settlements down peoples throats even if it is the policy limits. It's called a right to trial and it's in the constitution.As long as a controversy remains even if it's over 20 bucks. And forget about judicial economy, as the court was the one who made me go back 12 times for discovery motions for the same things that they refused to turn over even though it was previously court ordered. So saving the state the cost of trial is just BS as the trial court kept this going for five years...

Bottom line, Rep West were guilty of Breach Of The Insurance contract and a verbal offer of payment(with no terms of such an offer discussed) at the 11th hour(5 years later) doesn't cure the breach. Once a contract is breached, it's breached period and that happened 90 days after the claim and after I met and gave full access to adjusters from Rep West(GAB Robins). They are scumbags plain and simple and the court coddled them all the way and it just isn't backed up by caselaw.

Also, the court record is loaded with factual errors that are so volumious it is unbelievable. Like the fact that they conveniently left out that I submitted to the court five(Bone Fide) expert reports to back up my position.

Even if the settlement offer was ten times the 15k limit, I still should have been able to try the breach of contract issue as there still was a remaining case and controversy. They didn't pay the claim or even deny it by NJ statutes which must be done by 90 days and I cooperated with the first inspection which was all I was required to do. Do you think for one second that they were just going to cut me a check with no release? No way. They also don't have a right to make me sign things like a confidentiality agreement. They tried that regarding a discovery motion issue in the middle of the case and lost that fight !

The NEVER admitted liability either, ever. That is another false statement. It's in the final pre trial hearing transcript. A stipulation is not an admission of liability. Actually, they don't have to admit liability, but I am still allowed to go to trial. Even if there was an offer of judgment(which there wasn't), I should have been allowed to go to trial to prove that a breach happened. Not only that, but in an offer of judgment case they must offer costs under the law.They were too late on all that anyway under the law as this was less than ten days before trial.

It appears that you may be unaware that U-Haul is a sister company to Republic Western Insurance(Both part of the Amerco Co.) There is virtually no distingushing the U-Haul contract from the insurance contract anyway. Republic Western initially hired GAB Robins(a national company) to adjust. I cooperated and met with them within a few weeks of the claim and they inspected and took photographs of the unit and took some inventory, enough to see the large amount of damage which exceeded the policy limit. It seems that Republic Western fired them due to their honest report citing awful conditions of the facility such as the faulty roof which was confirmed after getting the roof estimates. It wasn't until over a year that they hired anybody else and formally requested a SECOND inspection(which there is no law requiring such an additonal inspection especially after so long a period) and by that time, according to state insurance statutes, they had breached the insurance contract by failing to properly adjust or pay the claim within 90 days.

The first adjuster testified that I was completely cooperative, and that was all I was required to do. They subsequently hired a schlock low ball hack that had two days to inspect and still didn't do the job. Additionally, they left a pile of garbage in the hall in front of my storage unit and used cheesy diposable cameras that took garbage photos that were useless.To boot, this alleged "expert" spelled bass guitar "BASE" and also repeated this under deposition and when questioned had no methodology or price guides for valuing things such as musical instruments. Additionally, they admitted in deposition that they were no better equipped to adjust than GAB Robins. The only reason it was court ordered(which by the way was wrong of the court as they were already given one inspection), is because these crooks wanted a hack that would low ball the claim. The court order came after I wanted to see a CV on this alleged "adjuster".

My point was that I had already cooperated with the first adjuster which they fired and I wanted to get a look at who this second mom and pop adjuster was. As a matter of law, this adjuster they hired the second time, would never have been qualified for trial as they admitted in deposition that they weren't qualified ! To the contrary, I had five experts who all valued the claim at over 100k so there is no dispute here as many of my experts were published authorities or licensed professionals(such as an industrial hygienist who found serious mold througout the unit).

The idea here is that the damages were so obviously above the 15k threshold they should have cut the check right away. Under the New Jersey "Pickett" rule for Bad Faith, the damages must be obviously above the policy limit.

As far as your argument about Gross Negligence, well, you are right in part but mainly wrong in about that as well as far as well settled New Jersey caselaw is concerned. Arizona law doesn't apply in NJ. While the U-Haul contract may have been written to absolve them of negligence(which by the way the Third Circuit opinion admitted they were guilty of), it didn't cover willful or wanton conduct under Jersey law. Let me tell you that there is no better example of willful and wanton conduct than my case and the actions of these lazy morons. They knew water was pouring through two floors into my unit and didn't even take a minute to lift the phone to tell me.

Not only that, this had been proven to be going on at the facility for years. They willfully avoided phoning me in direct opposition to their own company policy which was also in the testimony. Willful and wanton conduct should have eradicated their scummy exculpatory clause again according to well settled New Jersey law. At the very least, this was also an issue a jury should have decided not a judge. The judges usurped the jury in this matter and there are several issues that are not appropriate for summary judgment such as the issue of willful and wanton conduct as opposed to gross negligence..

I don't care what they judges wrote either...Hey OJ Simpson got off too..Does that mean the Ito or the jury was right?

U-Haul also sent out fraudulent rent increase letters that claimed they were doing all they can to keep my property safe and that they were making improvements to the building. That's a false promise or inducement under the Jersey fraud statute and something that at the very least should have been tried by a jury. The reason being is that the court must look at things in addition to the contract such as advertising or rent increase letter which make false promises.

There is plenty of caselaw in my favor regarding this issue and the court's presented cases were much less applicable. My Third Circuit appeal quoted a very similar water damage case involving an exculpatory clause that was struck down in a similar situation where the responsible party just blew it off because they thought they were covered by an exculpatory clause. It was willful and wanton conduct when they were well aware that the person's property was being placed in peril.

You mention the amount of 15k deposited in the court.. Well, that was allowed WITHOUT PREJUDICE by a senior judge who still said the breach of contract action should still be tried with delay damages and prejudgment interest after that deposit was allowed. You see they tried this crap many times and it was rejected by the court. THE REASON IT WAS REJECTED IS BECAUSE IT WAS YEARS LATER AND TOO LATE BY ANY REASONABLE STANDARD. Without prejudice means just that it has literally no bearing on my right to trial. The second judge came along and changed all that...really nice of him.

What's the bottom line here? The bottom line is that nobody should be able to get away with selling climate control with exculpatory clauses protecting them from their own negilgence. There just isn't any reason for them to take on any STANDARD OF CARE under those circumstances and this is completely confirmed by my case.

The lower court record was fraught with errors and the judges decisions were equally bogus. At some point the judges said I didn't cooperate which is a total joke ! They got two inspections and still didn't inspect the whole claim !!! Ridiculous...On the other hand, I got NO DISCOVERY even though it was court ordered !!! The court gave them extension after extension after extension...Sound suspicious? Much of the caselaw quoted by the lower court was outdated or from other far away jurisdictions. I mean come on, comparing this climate controlled unit with a bus locker from 1957? Please ! If this had been in state court, I could have used Gonzles v. Self Storage which was an exact match to my case which eradicated similar exculpatory clauses. The federal court didn't have to use that opinion, but in state court it would have prevailed as it still is good caselaw. By the way, these opinions are often written by law clerks who have yet to pass the bar...It shows too !

Sorry to go on here, but the whole thing is rotten to the core and their behavior is beyond reasonable according to the laws and insurance statutes in NJ. Then again, it is the state of THE SOPRANOS !!! HMMMMM
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#17 Consumer Comment

Court of Appeals

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

Marty,

I looked up the Court of Appeals opinion online and it was a real heartbreaker with lots of wrong-doing all the way around.

Having been in the self-storage business myself for several years, I have seen clauses in contracts that absolve the storage operator of all liability, even for gross negligence. Until now I thought that was not legally possible, but the court cited a number of New Jersey cases where those kinds of clauses were upheld.

An Arizona opinion from several years back addressed the matter of preprinted contracts. The court stated that it was not practical for each and every transaction to be negotiated and that preprinted contracts are likely to include terms and conditions that neither party who signs is aware of or understands.

Yours is a case in point. I doubt that you were aware that U-Haul had no liability for its own gross negligence. (Gross negligence is knowing that a problem exists and ignoring it.) I also doubt that you were aware that the contract limited the value of what you were permitted to store to $15,000. The U-Haul employee who signed the contract was not likely aware of these limitations, either.

In your case both the district court and the appellate court found that under the terms of the contract U-Haul had no liability and the clause in the contract was legal under New Jersey law. This stripped you of all recourse against U-Haul. It may be legally correct but it really sucks. Reluctantly, I would have to agree that the courts followed the law in granting summary judgment to U-Haul.

That leaves the case against the insurance company. It appears from the record that U-Haul prevented the insurance company from appraising your loss until the court ordered U-Haul to let the insurance company in. While that is rather outrageous conduct, especially since U-Haul is the party that sold the insurance, U-Haul was not liable under the contract.

It appears that you claimed a loss of $120,000. Your insurance covered only $15,000 of loss. Since the insurance company was unable to gain access to appraise the loss without a court order, it would be a stretch to say that they acted in bad faith settling the claim.

From the written opinion, it appears that the insurer moved for summary judgment by admitting they were liable for $15,000 and depositing that amount with the court. This is not the same as a settlement offer under Rule 68. The insurance company admitted to the court that they were liable (think, guilty as charged) and that their liability was the policy limit.

The bottom line was that there were no triable issues. U-Haul was off the hook as a matter of law. The insurance company admitted that they owed you the full amount of your policy. Even if you could prove that your loss was $120,000 you could not collect it from either defendant. All you could get was $15,000 from the insurer and that was the amount allegedly deposited with the trial court.
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#18 Author of original report

First Attorney Files In Wrong Venue

AUTHOR: Marty - (U.S.A.)

Larry,
To answer your question, I'm not 100% sure why my first attorney improperly filed this in federal court. I do know that there was diversity of jurisdiction, but regardless, the action took place in a state that the company was doing business in and may have been eligible for state court. If my attorney had researched prior to filing, he would have found a state case Gonzles v.Self Storage that would have given U-Haul real troubles if the action had been filed in state court. The federal court wasn't obligated to recognize that state opinion.

This isn't quite over just yet as no matter what the federal judge tried to do, there is a remaining case and controversy here because no offer of judgment was made and no payment was tendered. I believe I had a right to trial under the circumstances,and the judge ended the final pretrial hearing five days before trial saying he'd see all parties on Monday. Two days later Sua Sponte, he dismissed the case and filed his opinion based strictly on Rule 68 Offer Of Judgment caselaw.

A completlely bogus decision and an abuse of discretion as far as I'm concerned.
It's nearly impossible to do anything about abuse of discretion on a federal level. The legal system in this country needs a serious enema. Perhaps there needs to be intelligent, unbiased citizen panels to review decisions that are handed down that have no basis in law and get rid of those who are rendering such crap in the first place.

The problem is that granting cert for the US Supreme Court is harder than going back in time to see the Wizard in Emerald City. Certainly, there is a serious federal issue concerning both the federal court and the Third Circuirts misapplication of Rule 68 here. There was no Rule 68 offer and it's proven on the record ! I attempted to write to Public Citizen and all I got was a rather course denial for help and a response that essentially stated that my federal issue would be seen as "mundane" by the US Supreme Court and therefor untimately denied.
Too bad I'm not Anna Nicole, then I would surely be granted cert!
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#19 Author of original report

First Attorney Files In Wrong Venue

AUTHOR: Marty - (U.S.A.)

Larry,
To answer your question, I'm not 100% sure why my first attorney improperly filed this in federal court. I do know that there was diversity of jurisdiction, but regardless, the action took place in a state that the company was doing business in and may have been eligible for state court. If my attorney had researched prior to filing, he would have found a state case Gonzles v.Self Storage that would have given U-Haul real troubles if the action had been filed in state court. The federal court wasn't obligated to recognize that state opinion.

This isn't quite over just yet as no matter what the federal judge tried to do, there is a remaining case and controversy here because no offer of judgment was made and no payment was tendered. I believe I had a right to trial under the circumstances,and the judge ended the final pretrial hearing five days before trial saying he'd see all parties on Monday. Two days later Sua Sponte, he dismissed the case and filed his opinion based strictly on Rule 68 Offer Of Judgment caselaw.

A completlely bogus decision and an abuse of discretion as far as I'm concerned.
It's nearly impossible to do anything about abuse of discretion on a federal level. The legal system in this country needs a serious enema. Perhaps there needs to be intelligent, unbiased citizen panels to review decisions that are handed down that have no basis in law and get rid of those who are rendering such crap in the first place.

The problem is that granting cert for the US Supreme Court is harder than going back in time to see the Wizard in Emerald City. Certainly, there is a serious federal issue concerning both the federal court and the Third Circuirts misapplication of Rule 68 here. There was no Rule 68 offer and it's proven on the record ! I attempted to write to Public Citizen and all I got was a rather course denial for help and a response that essentially stated that my federal issue would be seen as "mundane" by the US Supreme Court and therefor untimately denied.
Too bad I'm not Anna Nicole, then I would surely be granted cert!
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#20 Author of original report

First Attorney Files In Wrong Venue

AUTHOR: Marty - (U.S.A.)

Larry,
To answer your question, I'm not 100% sure why my first attorney improperly filed this in federal court. I do know that there was diversity of jurisdiction, but regardless, the action took place in a state that the company was doing business in and may have been eligible for state court. If my attorney had researched prior to filing, he would have found a state case Gonzles v.Self Storage that would have given U-Haul real troubles if the action had been filed in state court. The federal court wasn't obligated to recognize that state opinion.

This isn't quite over just yet as no matter what the federal judge tried to do, there is a remaining case and controversy here because no offer of judgment was made and no payment was tendered. I believe I had a right to trial under the circumstances,and the judge ended the final pretrial hearing five days before trial saying he'd see all parties on Monday. Two days later Sua Sponte, he dismissed the case and filed his opinion based strictly on Rule 68 Offer Of Judgment caselaw.

A completlely bogus decision and an abuse of discretion as far as I'm concerned.
It's nearly impossible to do anything about abuse of discretion on a federal level. The legal system in this country needs a serious enema. Perhaps there needs to be intelligent, unbiased citizen panels to review decisions that are handed down that have no basis in law and get rid of those who are rendering such crap in the first place.

The problem is that granting cert for the US Supreme Court is harder than going back in time to see the Wizard in Emerald City. Certainly, there is a serious federal issue concerning both the federal court and the Third Circuirts misapplication of Rule 68 here. There was no Rule 68 offer and it's proven on the record ! I attempted to write to Public Citizen and all I got was a rather course denial for help and a response that essentially stated that my federal issue would be seen as "mundane" by the US Supreme Court and therefor untimately denied.
Too bad I'm not Anna Nicole, then I would surely be granted cert!
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#21 Author of original report

First Attorney Files In Wrong Venue

AUTHOR: Marty - (U.S.A.)

Larry,
To answer your question, I'm not 100% sure why my first attorney improperly filed this in federal court. I do know that there was diversity of jurisdiction, but regardless, the action took place in a state that the company was doing business in and may have been eligible for state court. If my attorney had researched prior to filing, he would have found a state case Gonzles v.Self Storage that would have given U-Haul real troubles if the action had been filed in state court. The federal court wasn't obligated to recognize that state opinion.

This isn't quite over just yet as no matter what the federal judge tried to do, there is a remaining case and controversy here because no offer of judgment was made and no payment was tendered. I believe I had a right to trial under the circumstances,and the judge ended the final pretrial hearing five days before trial saying he'd see all parties on Monday. Two days later Sua Sponte, he dismissed the case and filed his opinion based strictly on Rule 68 Offer Of Judgment caselaw.

A completlely bogus decision and an abuse of discretion as far as I'm concerned.
It's nearly impossible to do anything about abuse of discretion on a federal level. The legal system in this country needs a serious enema. Perhaps there needs to be intelligent, unbiased citizen panels to review decisions that are handed down that have no basis in law and get rid of those who are rendering such crap in the first place.

The problem is that granting cert for the US Supreme Court is harder than going back in time to see the Wizard in Emerald City. Certainly, there is a serious federal issue concerning both the federal court and the Third Circuirts misapplication of Rule 68 here. There was no Rule 68 offer and it's proven on the record ! I attempted to write to Public Citizen and all I got was a rather course denial for help and a response that essentially stated that my federal issue would be seen as "mundane" by the US Supreme Court and therefor untimately denied.
Too bad I'm not Anna Nicole, then I would surely be granted cert!
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#22 Consumer Comment

Why Federal Court?

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

I can't help but ask why this case was filed in Federal Court? That is just about the worst possible place to take a civil case. It takes forever to get even close to trial and the pompous pinhead political appointees on the bench reach the most bizarre conclusions, as you have shown.

For those not familiar with Rule 68, it allows a defendant to make a written dollar-specific offer of judgment prior to trial. If the plaintiff accepts the offer, the case ends without going to trial. If the plaintiff rejects the offer, he cannot reveal the offer to the trial jury. If the jury awards less money than the defendant offered, the plaintiff then has to pay the defendant's costs. If the jury awards more than the offer, then the offer is moot.
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