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Vehicle Damage on Campus

General Principle

If Oklahoma City University has liability for damages occurring on campus to vehicles not owned by Oklahoma City University, we will make appropriate restitution. If Oklahoma City University is not liable, then we will endeavor to provide access to any relevant information we possess to assist vehicle owners in seeking recovery for their damages.

The primary component in this process is liability. Under the law, liability can arise when a party has been negligent. Negligence refers to a failed duty. So, the determination must be made whether we had a duty with respect to a given loss. Here are some basic examples of potential or common events.

Examples

Oklahoma City University Employee Driving Golf Cart Hits Parked Visitors Car

Our faculty/staff/students are trained and expected exercise caution to prevent damage to others in the course of their work. Specific circumstances could affect the outcome of this type of occurrence; however, it would appear in this illustration that the university would be expected cover the cost to repair visitor’s car.

Employee Driving Personal Vehicle Hits Visitor’s Car

Since both the employee and the guest are independent third parties, then (assuming for this illustration that nothing the university did or failed to do was applicable to the circumstance) resolution of this matter would be between the employee and the guest. Oklahoma City University Police should be called (208-5911) for any type of vehicle accident, whether or not an injury occurred.

Tree Limb Falls on Parked Employee Car

If Oklahoma City University had identified that a particular tree posed a threat and did not take action to mitigate the threat in a reasonable amount of time, then the university might be obliged to cover the cost to repair the employee's car.

However if one of the many trees on campus fell during a storm, and there had been no previous indication of danger, we would regard this as outside of our control, and the employee would need to pursue recovery independently through their own insurance carrier. There exists no industry standard of care that every tree on campus be checked routinely as if to guarantee that no storm could cause any tree to fall.

Foul/Fly Baseball Damages Vehicle

Signs are posted at parking lots near the baseball field to warn people of the possibility that damage could occur to their vehicle. Reasonable effort has also been made by the university to exercise due diligence by erecting nets and fences to reduce the chance of a foul or fly ball escaping the field. However, someone parking a car within range of a foul ball is presumed to be aware of the potential hazards associated with choosing to park in proximity to an athletic activity, such as baseball, in which stray balls are an inherent part of the game and regular practices.

Therefore, the university will generally not assume responsibility for the costs associated with these types of damages. The loss should be reported to the vehicle owner's insurance company.