OPINION ISSUED - AUGUST 6, 1985
AMERICAN OFFICE SYSTEMS, INC.
DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION
No appearance for claimant.
Robert D. Pollitt, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.
On June 13, 1985, claimant American Office Systems, Inc. filed its
Notice of Claim seeking an award of $500.00 replacement cost for
destruction of its 3M Copier, Model 215BG, in a flood at
Williamson, West Virginia, on May 7 and 8, 1984. On August 2, 1985,
the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, as the respondent
agency, filed its Answer thereto admitting the validity of the
claim and requesting the Court to issue an "advisory opinion' with
reference to the claim. Under West Virginia Code 14-2-8, a state
agency may request an advisory determination. Attached to
respondent's Answer is an 'Exhibit A" consisting of Copier
Lease/Maintenance Agreement dated June 1, 1983, between claimant
and respondent, pertaining to the lease of numerous copiers at
numerous locations for the period from July 1, 1983 to June 30,
1984, which includes the subject copier at Williamson. Paragraph
numbered 8 of said Agreement reads as follows:
"8. LOSS AND DAMAGE. LESSEE hereby assumes and shall bear the
entire risk of loss and damage to the EQUIPMENT from any and every
cause whatsoever. No loss or damage to the EQUIPMENT or any part
thereof shall impair any obligation of LESSEE under this Agreement
which shall continue in full force and effect. In the event of loss
or damage of any kind whatsoever to any item of EQUIPMENT, LESSEE,
at the option of LESSOR, shall: (a) place the same in good repair,
condition and working order; or (b) replace the same with like
equipment in good repair, condition and working order; or (c) pay
to LESSOR the replacement cost of EQUIPMENT less depreciation."
Accordingly, the Court is of the opinion, and issues this advisory
determination, that the respondent is legally obligated to the
claimant, upon this claim, in the amount of $500.00.