What happens when the drycleaners refuse your clothes?
This could be a serious problem for a place that handles clothes on a daily basis, what happens if they infest cloths and they are transported to their homes. So from a liability side – where do they stand, who would be at fault? Let’s ask an attorney here in Arizona,
Unless a dry cleaner knows or should know a customer’s items are infested with bed bugs, the customer who brought bed bug infested items to a dry cleaner should be responsible for any resulting damages due to the infestation. In reality; however, the cleaner – as a business with liability insurance – will end up paying for any resulting damages. The cleaner also should consider “damage-control” to lessen the possibility of negative publicity that can ruin a business. Therefore, the cleaner should take preventative steps: Get education/information about identifying evidence of bed begs; if a cleaner want to clean infested items, have a written policy about handling these items; inspect all delivered items; reject any items with evidence of infestation; keep customers’ items separate from one another; consider posting signs that items that have been exposed to bed bugs are note accepted without prior authorization; consider having customers sign an agreement accepting responsibility and indemnifying the cleaner if their infested items cause damages; consider having customers sign an agreement holding the cleaner harmless from any bed bug infestation; and have a written procedure in place and train all staff to follow this procedure if/when a bed bug problem bites. As with most legal issues, being prepared lessens the possibility of a problem occurring, and lessens the resources needed to resolve a problem when it occurs.
Lisa Gervase Attorney GERVASE LAW FIRM, PLLC
Phoenix & Scottsdale locations
(480) 515-4801 Direct