A case of horrible luck and in the least, poor decision making, have a Texas couple living a nightmare. Matt and Amy Grondin moved from Arkansas to Texas last year and in the course of their move had to place their possessions in a storage unit in Arkansas. Flooding ravaged the region and rushing water ended up soaking over 80% of their belongings in the storage unit. Luckily, the moving company replaced the damaged items.
Can you imagine losing nearly all of your belongings while they are being stored as you and your family search for a home? What a nightmare.
As if that wasn’t enough to deal with, fast forward a few months and the Grondin’s are hunkering down in Texas searching for a new home. All of their new possessions are in another storage unit, this time in Texas. Now, being smart, savvy consumers, the Grondin’s purchased a climate controlled storage unit in order to keep their belongings safe and out of the Texas heat….so they thought.
The couple finally found a home in Arlington and then began the long process of moving in. What should have been a joyous time in the family’s life turned sour quickly. Upon moving out of their storage unit, the Grondin’s noticed some of their new furniture was moldy, wet and was beginning to fall apart.
Turns out, a malfunctioning air conditioning system dumped water into their storage unit and several others near theirs. Mattresses, bed frames, bookcases, bedding and other items were completely ruined. The Grondin’s estimated the water and mold damage at nearly $10,000. Public Storage had the system repaired but didn’t notify the Grondin’s that their items had been soaked and damaged.
The couple immediately spoke to the on-site storage manager who sent them to the Regional VP, who then sent them to Public Storage COO, Shawn Weidmann. Mr. Weidmann suggested they contact the company who sold them the insurance.
Upon calling, the Grondin’s were informed they had indeed purchased insurance, but only about $3,000 worth. This won’t cover all of the damages and will still leave them with a $100 deductible which they don’t think they should be responsible for.
The contract the couple signed seems air tight as well. According to the couple’s attorney, Justin Jeter, “The contract basically says you’re not putting anything worth more than $5,000 in the unit and Public Storage is not liable for anything more than $5,000.” There is one argument the Grondin’s could make however, as the contract does not protect Public Storage against claims of loss from any cause unless the loss is directly caused by the company’s fraud. In this case, not disclosing that the couple’s possessions had been soaked due to the faulty air conditioning system.
The Grondin’s are obviously stressed to the max and frustrated. Amy Grondin said, “I never thought this would happen again.” Matt echoed that statement and took it one further saying, “The right thing to do would have been to notify us when this originally happened.”
Public Storage says all of the other renters who may have had water damage in their units were notified but the company does not have an exact date or exact number of renters who were alerted. Weidmann stated, “None of them have reported damage.”
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