I was hired to do a job for a company by person D. I did the job. A few weeks later, Person D received the money in cash (800 shekels) from the company to pay me, along with money to pay four other people she had also hired. She left five envelopes (one for each of the people she’d hired, each one with the person’s name on it) with the secretary at the office of organization C where she works. After that, she called me to tell me that she had left it there and I should go to pick it up.

In addition, person F, who owed me 70 shekels, knew that I sometimes see person D and she asked person D if she could give her the 70 shekels to give to me. Person F did not ask me first. Person D said yes and put the 70 shekels in the same envelope with the 800 shekels.

The other people picked up their envelopes at the office of organization C within a week or so. I was very ill (I am a disabled person and am and unable to get about – which person D and organization C know) and it was a long time, several weeks, before I was well enough to go pick it up. When I went there, the money had disappeared.

The secretary told me she remembers taking all five envelopes from person D, including the envelope with my name on it, and putting them in the office safe.

Both the secretary and the organization C claim they asked their own Ravs and that even though they accepted the money and put it in their safe from where it has disappeared, they are not responsible for it and that it is now Person D’s responsibility to pay me from her own pocket.

Who, if anyone, is responsible for giving me my 800 shekels from the company? And who owes me the 70 shekels?

Thank you.

Answer:

Because this is a Choshen Mishpat claim, I cannot give a decisive answer unless both sides agree to it.

By way of advice, it sounds like person/organization C only accepted to look after the money for you, and you didn’t actually appoint them to receive the money on your behalf. It follows that person C will be keeping the money for person D and not directly for you, and that the question of C’s liability (depends on circumstances of how the money got lost) will be a question between C and D, and that either way D remains obligated to pay you.

I would therefore turn to D and ask her to please pay the amount she owes you.

The same idea will apply for Person F – she should take her claim up with Persons D and C, but these should not affect your own claim against F.

Best wishes.

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