A B.C. gym isn’t being held responsible for a man’s Canada Goose jacket, which was reportedly stolen from an unsecured cubby, the province’s Civil Resolution Tribunal determined.
Pardeep Baidwan filed a claim with the CRT, saying his jacket was taken in November 2022 while he was working out at a GoodLife Fitness gym. The tribunal heard Baidwan put the Canada Goose jacket, which can range in price from about $1,200 to $2,000, in a cubby on the workout floor.
But when he returned “shortly after,” the jacket was missing, tribunal vice-chair Andrea Ritchie wrote in her decision.
An incident report filed on the day of the incident said the gym manager “spent over an hour reviewing camera footage but could not identify anyone with the jacket,” the tribunal heard.
“Despite this, GoodLife does not particularly dispute that Mr. Baidwan’s jacket was stolen,” Ritchie wrote. “So, I accept that an unknown person took Mr. Baidwan’s jacket. There is no allegation that it was a GoodLife employee.”
GoodLife’s incident report also noted the open cubbies are “in a camera blindspot.” As a result, Baidwan claimed GoodLife was to blame for the theft, saying the company was not adequately supervising the area.
But GoodLife argued it was Baidwan’s choice to leave his jacket in an unsecured area, rather than in one of the provided lockers. The company also said Baidwan signed a contract that states it’s not responsible for damage to or theft of personal property.
“The difficulty for Mr. Baidwan is that there is simply no evidence of negligence by GoodLife,” Ritchie wrote.
Ritchie said she doesn’t agree with Baidwan’s allegation that GoodLife “knowingly” put the cubbies in a spot the cameras couldn’t see. Instead, Ritchie accepted GoodLife can’t “possibly capture every angle in the gym.”
“I find Mr. Baidwan had the option of securing his belongings in a locked area, and chose not to,” Ritchie’s decision says.
“Given this, and the parties’ signed contract which states GoodLife is not responsible for missing belongings, I find there is no basis to hold GoodLife responsible for the missing jacket.”
Baidwan’s claim of $1,674.40 for the missing jacket was denied. Ritchie said her decision was made based on the balance of probabilities, meaning Baidwan had to prove his claims “more likely than not.”