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  1.    #1  
    I have a bit of a situation and even though I disagree with alot of the folks here, I value all your opinions. Please weigh in on this if you have the time. I would greatly appreciate your advice.

    I loaned a subordinate an extra laptop of mine to use in his sales position. He was new and needed help getting started. I was his manager so I was trying to help him get started and succeed. I loaned him the laptop to use back in July of 04.
    On December 20th he left it on the seat of his car while going into an office and in the 15 minutes he was inside, the window of his car was broken out and my laptop stolen. Two hours after the theft he called me to tell me what happened. He advised me that his car insurance wouldn't cover the loss. (the laptop with cost me $3000 to replace because of all the proprietary and included software). I advised him to file a claim with his homeowners insurance. He did. He did not have replacement value coverage and they only paid $1000 for the loss. He gave me this money on Jan 6th. I havent heard from him since. The last thing he said to me was "I am sorry it's not more money and I hope you'll consider forgiving the rest".

    I wrote him a letter in the 26th and got a response on the 28th and I'lll post that too. First I would like to get some feedback on what you all think I should do. Please don't suggest violence or anything like that. I want to keep it legal.

    Would you let it go? What do you think I can do?

    TIA.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  2.    #2  
    Here is the letter I sent to him as mentioned above.

    "The laptop. I haven't heard anything about this from you in three weeks. That leads me to think one of two things. You don't have anything to offer in the way of update or payment, or you are assuming I have just let the matter go and it is no longer an issue.
    I don't know about the former, but I can assure you the latter is not the case. I know you were hoping that I would "forgive the debt" as you put it, but I am afraid I cannot. I loaned it to you in good faith and if I just accept the loss I am essentially punishing myself for trying to help you succeed. I see that as foolish. On top of that I can't afford it. Plus I am not the one who was responsible for it when it was stolen. I know it's probably a hardship financially at this point but, I'd feel the same way if it wasn't.

    So where to go from here? Well, the cost to replace the laptop with the least expensive model is a tad over $3k. I will round it down to even $3k. That's $2000. Of course I think you knew that. I am looking for something from you to address this. It just isn't something I can let go. I didn't loan it to you so it would cost me money. I know this isn't what you want to hear, but that's how it is.
    I'd like to hear from you on what you plan to do."
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  3.    #3  
    And his reply


    "Dear Jason,

    I have tried and will continue to try to be your friend.
    When the theft took place: I notified XXXX XXXX (my boss), then the Police, and then I called you.
    When the insurance claim process took place I kept you notified at the disposition of the claim process and $1000.00 check. When you needed me to cash the check and give you the money, I gave you first priority. You have the money the insurance company has paid to settle the claim against my property insurance.
    I have given you my apology and have indicated when I gave you the $1000, that I wish it had been more.
    What is resonable to settle this between us?
    I hope we can complete this and continue a working relationship.
    Dan L."


    Thanks folks. I appreciate your feedback.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  4.    #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Chick-Dance
    a. How badly you need the $2K?
    I am still paying for the laptop.
    b. How important your friendship with this person is?
    Co worker, not a friend.
    c. Does he have that kind of money to pay you back?
    Honestly I don't care, but yes he could make it happen if he chose to.
    d. Can you make a claim yourself for a lost property (tax break of sort)?
    I could file on my homeowners for the diff but I am not going to do that because I didn't lose it. No point in driving my rates up because of his stupidity.
    e. What lesson did you learn from this (OK, I can't help it being a teacher, sorry)?
    If it's worth more than $10 don't loan it out. Sad part is I kinda had to as part of my job.
    Now (I think) this is what I'd do: Considering the circumstances, this person was responsible for something you gave him to help him. It was his responsibility to take care of it. It was a loan, not a gift. Therefore, you have all the rights in the world to expect him to pay you back for that laptop. I'd politely ask him to make small payments toward the $2K. (A note to self: I would have forgiven a very close friend or family member though.)
    I would accept payments if he would at least offer. He seems to think he has done all he needs to do though. At least thats how I interpret his response.

    Thanks for your input.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  5. #5  
    Take him to small claims court. Seek a judgement against him and garnish his future wages. That should teach him a real good lesson. Ohh...and in the future, dont help anybody unless you want to get screwed!
    Well behaved women rarely make history
  6. jkoons's Avatar
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    #6  
    These are just some things to think about from an ex police officer turned IT director:

    It is not entirely Dan's fault that the laptop was stolen; this was a situation beyond his control. The vehicle was entered by force to remove the laptop. If the laptop was in plain view, then it could be said that the vehicle was broken in to for the purpose of stealing just that. If the laptop was hidden or covered, I would say that absolves any blame on Dan’s behalf.

    I believe that Dan did his due diligence by reporting the theft to the police and to his insurance company. The insurance company reimbursed him the $1000 which he immediately gave to you. I would also assume that the police have recorded the serial number of the laptop in NCIC in case the property turns up in the future.

    If the laptop was used in the course of your employment, I would seek reimbursement through your employer.

    In reference to your mention of the ‘the proprietary and included software’ you say was included with the laptop. Surely there is a record of the sale on file, and with this record you should be able to obtain your licensing information, meaning that you would not have to purchase the software again. A lot of people make the mistake of leaving their software and paperwork in the laptop’s case. It does not always mean that the thief now becomes the owner of the software. At the most, you may have to purchase new media with you software titles.

    As far as a laptop costing $3,000.00, that must have been quite some laptop. I have a few laptops and am familiar with their cost. I would me more cautious when loaning out such expensive item. While it was very noble of you to help out a subordinate, I would have attempted to seek out another solution. Perhaps your company would have /could have provided him with a laptop.

    This is an unfortunate situation, and I can honestly say that I am glad that I am not in your shoes. You have a tough decision to make whether or not you want to pursue this matter further. This is just my opinion. I wish you the best of luck and I am sure that you will find a solid resolution which is agreeable to both Dan and yourself.
    Sprint PCS Treo 600 & 650
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    www.James-K.com
  7. #7  
    you may have paid 3000 for the laptop and software, but in a court of law depreciation would be taken into account.
    as for softwarä
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  8. #8  
    I suggest telling him he can make up the difference to you in monthly payments (the amount you are paying for it), or you will get a small claims judgment against him.

    Just remember, litigation and collection has its' own costs in your time, stress, and annoyance at having to deal with it. Sometimes it is best to just let things go. I would pursue the payments first and see if he can make it up to you.
    Palm V-->Visor Deluxe-->Visor Prism-->Visorphone-->Treo 180-->Treo 600-->Treo 650 on Sprint-->Treo 700p-->Centro-->Diamond-->Pre-->HTC EVO 4g???!
  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by jkoons
    These are just some things to think about from an ex police officer turned IT director:

    It is not entirely Dan's fault that the laptop was stolen; this was a situation beyond his control. The vehicle was entered by force to remove the laptop. If the laptop was in plain view, then it could be said that the vehicle was broken in to for the purpose of stealing just that. If the laptop was hidden or covered, I would say that absolves any blame on Dan’s behalf.
    Dan left the laptop in his car, evidently in plain sight on Dec 20. The hight of the Christmas season. Car prowlings are at an all time high during that week. This was reported daily on our local news and warnings were offered to keep anything valuable out of your car. Also we have a large meth problem in our community and his car was in an arae of town known for crime. I'd also point out that Dan does not drive a car one would normally target for theft. It is an older well-used Ford sedan that is worth lots less than the laptop. If it were covered or hidden, I feel it highly unlikely anyone would expect his car had any valuables on board.

    I believe that Dan did his due diligence by reporting the theft to the police and to his insurance company. The insurance company reimbursed him the $1000 which he immediately gave to you. I would also assume that the police have recorded the serial number of the laptop in NCIC in case the property turns up in the future.
    He didnt report to his insurance until I instructed hoim to do so. He had no clue he could.
    If the laptop was used in the course of your employment, I would seek reimbursement through your employer.
    I am an independent insurance agent. I have to buy my own computer equipment.
    In reference to your mention of the ‘the proprietary and included software’ you say was included with the laptop. Surely there is a record of the sale on file, and with this record you should be able to obtain your licensing information, meaning that you would not have to purchase the software again. A lot of people make the mistake of leaving their software and paperwork in the laptop’s case. It does not always mean that the thief now becomes the owner of the software. At the most, you may have to purchase new media with you software titles.
    The company that I sell for has proprietary software for writing applications. They will not sell us the software but instead require is to purchase a laptop from them with the software loaded. It's loaded laptop or nothing at all.

    As far as a laptop costing $3,000.00, that must have been quite some laptop. I have a few laptops and am familiar with their cost.
    Again its the software. Wassnt even a great laptop
    I would me more cautious when loaning out such expensive item.
    Duh! sorry couldnt resist.
    While it was very noble of you to help out a subordinate, I would have attempted to seek out another solution. Perhaps your company would have /could have provided him with a laptop.
    As explained above thats not possible.

    This is an unfortunate situation, and I can honestly say that I am glad that I am not in your shoes. You have a tough decision to make whether or not you want to pursue this matter further. This is just my opinion. I wish you the best of luck and I am sure that you will find a solid resolution which is agreeable to both Dan and yourself.
    Ya since I cant beat the money out of him we'll likely end up in small claims so I can at least ruin his credit.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by heberman
    I suggest telling him he can make up the difference to you in monthly payments (the amount you are paying for it), or you will get a small claims judgment against him.

    Just remember, litigation and collection has its' own costs in your time, stress, and annoyance at having to deal with it. Sometimes it is best to just let things go. I would pursue the payments first and see if he can make it up to you.
    I agree!
    Just out of curiosity Woof, did you have a written or verbal "contract" (agreement) with this person when you gave him the laptop? Does your company have such contract?
  11. #11  
    Smart Chicken
    Quote Originally Posted by Chick-Dance
    Now (I think) this is what I'd do: Considering the circumstances, this person was responsible for something you gave him to help him. It was his responsibility to take care of it. It was a loan, not a gift. Therefore, you have all the rights in the world to expect him to pay you back for that laptop. I'd politely ask him to make small payments toward the $2K. (A note to self: I would have forgiven a very close friend or family member though.)
  12. jkoons's Avatar
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Chick-Dance
    I am a bit confused. If it is your laptop how can your company ask you to loan it? Now it appears, your company ought to pay you for the remaining $2K. No?
    Best of luck Woof!
    I agreee. If you're an independent insurance agent, who is telling you to loand it out?

    I also find it a little hard to believe that the software developer would not provide you with just the software if you explained the situation to them. That seems odd to me.

    If I were you, I would take it to small claims court and let a magistrate decide.
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  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by jkoons
    If I were you, I would take it to small claims court and let a magistrate decide.
    If there was no agreement between Mr. Woof and the other person, and I am representing that other person, I would argue that my client's understanding of this "loan" was that if it is lost or damaged he (my client) will be responsible only for what his insurance (see mentioned in this thread) is willing/can pay under his own contract with them. In the absence of such agreement between the two gentlemen one could argue that. (Regardless, Mr. Woof needs to provide all receipts for the software in that laptop and, of course, proof that the laptop was his.)
  14. #14  
    As I read and listened, a couple thoughts come to mind.
    As to the software ... shame on you for not having a disc or a backup copy or a backup of the programs. It seems to me that no matter what, it is your responsibility to backup, and to start operating without a backup is ... well.....enough said. If the hard disc crashed what would be your position?
    As to the computer you have said it wasn't a very good one. And it is a year or more old. Most 1 year old laptops are not worth $1,000.
    It sounds like the insurance company paid a fair re-imbursement, and the difference is depreciation (which you would not have mentioned had he just simply returned it to you) and the software which if you cannot get re-supplied goes toward your value as a more experienced manager.
    I have some of the experience you just got, only it came from a disc crash. I do have backups and they are in seperate facilities.
    Call this a deal with the $1,000 and backup your software and make a written deal next time.
    Curt
    Curt

    StarTAC ST7868W w/ Motorola StarTAC Clipon Organizer; Treo 600; Treo 700P; Palm Pre Plus all on Verizon
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Muziek
    If there was no agreement between Mr. Woof and the other person, and I am representing that other person, I would argue that my client's understanding of this "loan" was that if it is lost or damaged he (my client) will be responsible only for what his insurance (see mentioned in this thread) is willing/can pay under his own contract with them. In the absence of such agreement between the two gentlemen one could argue that. (Regardless, Mr. Woof needs to provide all receipts for the software in that laptop and, of course, proof that the laptop was his.)
    F^&%ing lawyers!! It was my laptop and I can prove it. Have receipts etc. The company can also prove that is was sold to me and never transfered to anyone else.

    Thanks muziek for offering help to the piece of sh!t who was too stupid to put my computer in his trunk. Any other tidbits than you can offer that will help him avoid taking responsibility? I love how lawyers just ignore the moral and ethical aspects of a situation and strictly focus on how they can wiggle free of responsibility.

    Note to group: Don't loan Muziek anything of value without a contract. If she losses it you'll be on your own.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  16.    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by curtarmy
    As I read and listened, a couple thoughts come to mind.
    As to the software ... shame on you for not having a disc or a backup copy or a backup of the programs. It seems to me that no matter what, it is your responsibility to backup, and to start operating without a backup is ... well.....enough said. If the hard disc crashed what would be your position?
    As to the computer you have said it wasn't a very good one. And it is a year or more old. Most 1 year old laptops are not worth $1,000.
    It sounds like the insurance company paid a fair re-imbursement, and the difference is depreciation (which you would not have mentioned had he just simply returned it to you) and the software which if you cannot get re-supplied goes toward your value as a more experienced manager.
    I have some of the experience you just got, only it came from a disc crash. I do have backups and they are in seperate facilities.
    Call this a deal with the $1,000 and backup your software and make a written deal next time.
    Curt
    the software is not able to be backed up. The comapny owns it and we cannot copy it or put it on any other laptop or computer. If we have a hardware crash that leads to a reload, we send it in to the comapany and they reimage the drive.

    So I can assume that if someone loaned you something and you lost it, rather than replace it you would argue that you only need to reimburse them for what it's fair market value is now? Sorry but it is not the value of the item but instead what it represents as a tool. Since it was fully finctional for me before it was lost it has not lost any of its value, therefore I think it needs to be restored to it full use and the company charges $3000 for the replacement.

    And please how many of you loan stuff to coworkers or friends along with a written agreement?
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  17. #17  
    I would be interested on your position with the company when you are ready to buy a replacement. With your new experience, what assurances are you going to ask for from them regarding things like computer failure, loss damage viruses etc?
    Curt

    StarTAC ST7868W w/ Motorola StarTAC Clipon Organizer; Treo 600; Treo 700P; Palm Pre Plus all on Verizon
  18.    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by jkoons
    I agreee. If you're an independent insurance agent, who is telling you to loand it out?
    my choice because as new agent in my group he didnt have the resources to buy his own at the time. If he has the tools to do business we both benefit. Managers in our company do this all this time.

    I also find it a little hard to believe that the software developer would not provide you with just the software if you explained the situation to them. That seems odd to me.
    Call Alfac and tell them you think they should do this. 55,000 agents would love you if you got them to do it.

    If I were you, I would take it to small claims court and let a magistrate decide.
    That looks like what I'll be doing. of course the lawyer above thinks I'd be wasting my time.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Woof
    Any other tidbits than you can offer that will help him avoid taking responsibility? I love how lawyers just ignore the moral and ethical aspects of a situation and strictly focus on how they can wiggle free of responsibility.
    For starters, let's not turn this into a flame war, ok?

    Now, I think Muziek's thoughts on this are correct. Regardless of what you think about lawyers, the law itself is something completely different. Perhaps you should contact a lawyer to see what your options are. I have a feeling you'll get a similar response, that being that you'll never get the total value you claim.

    I had a similar situation a few years ago when my car was being repaired. While in the care of the garage, it was broken into and everything of value inside of it was stolen, including $1000.00 worth of my wife's firefighting gear. Tool's, CD's, the stereo... everything! The tab by my calculations came to about $2500.00 (that was what we had receipts for plus the fire gear as valued by the town). We received a $750.00 settlement from the garages insurance company after all the bickering. It all boiled down to depreciated value, regardless of my actual out-of-pocket expense.
    .
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    MarkEagle
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  20. #20  
    Can you have your vendor or someone at least give you a written estimate for replacement? You'll need that for small-claims court anyhow, I'd wager.

    I agree with you. It was extremely stupid and irresponsible to leave even a cell phone sitting on the seat of a car in plan sight. He should be held responsible for the replacement cost of the item.
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