AN antiques dealer is suing her removals firm and insurance company for more than £300,000 after furs, jewellery and antiques were stolen from a lorry.
Maria Roth moved from Fulbourn to Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire in 2004 and negotiated with Segrave Removals of Fulbourn to collect her goods on a Friday, store them over the weekend and deliver them to a flat in Stratford on the Monday.
She paid the company £1,380 plus VAT to have the goods removed and £493.13 for £250,000 worth of insurance cover from Helvetia International.
But disaster struck when the lorry containing her possessions was stolen from the company's storage yard in Fulbourn. It was later found burned out in a lay-by in Lincolnshire with a few of her goods remaining - but these were burned or otherwise damaged.
Now Ms Roth, formerly of High Street, Fulbourn, has issued a writ for damages totalling more than £300,000 in the High Court.
Segrave Removals ceased trading two years ago, its assets were sold and the name has been taken by a new company, Segrave Removals and Storage.
Ms Roth contacted Segrave Removals on March 2, 2004, and was told the company would be able to pick up the goods on March 11 and 12, store them over the weekend in a fully alarmed and secure store and deliver them to Stratford on March 14.
She was given a quote of £1,380 plus VAT for the job, which included £172.50 plus insurance premium tax (IPT) for up to £50,000 of insurance. Ms Roth paid a further £300 plus IPT for an addition £200,000 worth of cover from Helvetia International.
Her possessions were duly collected from her home and nearby shop and put in three containers on a lorry which was then stolen over the weekend.
Police managed to recover some of her possessions but many of those were damaged and the value or cost of repair totals £52,008.
Ms Roth's solicitors claim Segrave Removals failed to alarm or secure its store properly and that Helvetia International has wrongly refused to pay £250,000 insurance. Her solicitors claim interest owed on the £250,000 insurance pay-out alone is already at £58,734.