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Stangle v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co.

February 22, 1988

DONOVAN STANGLE, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLANT,
v.
FIREMAN'S FUND INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANT AND RESPONDENT



Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco, No. 787257, Thomas J. Dandurand, Judge.

Opinion by Low, P. J., with King and Haning, JJ., concurring.

Low

Plaintiff Donovan Stangle brought suit against defendant Fireman's Fund Insurance Company for plaintiff's loss of a sapphire ring,

claiming Fireman's Fund could have prevented the theft of the ring by making a telephone available to summon help. The trial court found defendant had no duty to prevent the theft. We affirm.

Plaintiff purchased a sapphire and diamond ring in Honolulu, Hawaii, in December 1979 in exchange for a $30,000 promissory note that was due and payable in six months. Plaintiff testified he bought the ring "to hold it for a short period of time and sell it for a profit." When efforts to market the ring in Seattle proved unsuccessful, plaintiff asked Barnabas Britt, a former girlfriend, to attempt to sell the ring in San Francisco and she would be entitled to any sale proceeds in excess of $45,000.

Ms. Britt placed an advertisement for the ring, priced at $60,000. She was contacted by a man who identified himself as Barry Richards. Ms. Britt arranged for a meeting with Mr. Richards at MacArthur Park restaurant. She showed him the ring, which she had carried in her purse, and a written appraisal that placed the ring's replacement value at $103,000. They discussed price, and Mr. Richards told her he would be in contact.

Later that day, Mr. Richards telephoned Ms. Britt and told her his principal wished to purchase the ring for $50,000. At Mr. Richards's direction, the sale was to take place the next day at defendant's offices on the 14th floor of One Market Plaza in San Francisco. He explained to Ms. Britt that "the person that he ...


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