Contract saves alarm company from liability

SSN Staff  - 
Monday, July 1, 2002

TILLSONBURG, Ontario-A couple who lost $92,500 (Canadian) in ginseng due to a 1999 break-in cannot collect the money they lost from the alarm company that installed their system.

A Superior Court judge issued the decision in late April following a lawsuit filed against Hooten Security Systems, a division of Hooten Sales and Services Ltd., according to a report in the London Free Press.

Ginseng farmers William and Jean Broda said 37 barrels of dried ginseng root was stolen from a barn on their farm in 1999 that was secured by an alarm. The couple said they were informed that phone service to the farm was disrupted by a storm and they might have problems with their security system. According to published reports, they called the alarm company and Hooten Security said they would send someone that day, but the person never arrived.

Almost 15 days later, when a security representative checked the system, the couple learned their ginseng had been stolen.

In their lawsuit, the Broda's claimed Hooten Security was negligent since they did not take immediate steps to repair the system.

However, a judge in the case said the contract signed with the alarm company limited the company's liability. The contract said the alarm company is not responsible for any loss caused by the failure of the system to operate or negligence by the company.