CINCINNATI (CN) - A baseball card collector claims in court that $300,000 worth of his collection went missing after a company failed to properly catalog the cards while repairing water damage to his home.
Walter C. Kuhlman sued Teasdale Fenton Carpet Cleaning and Restoration LLC, in Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.
Kuhlman claims he hired Teasdale Fenton in May 2013, after returning home from Florida to find water damage and mold caused by a plumbing failure in a bathroom.
Kuhlman, an avid baseball card collector, claims a portion of his collection was removed by the company to allow room for the remediation process during what is commonly referred to as a "pack out."
He says that after this removal, he "visited the home on several occasions, and specifically checked within a closed armoire in a second-floor bedroom for the presence of several boxes of plaintiff's most valuable cards, including several complete sets of cards from various years in the 1950's and 1960's, as well as other miscellaneous cards of star players as well as cards of 'common' players from the era.
"During one visit to the home in early June, 2013, plaintiff checked in the armoire, and discovered that the prized baseball cards were missing. He also discovered that a box of memorabilia from his service in the U.S. Army during Vietnam had gone missing."
Kuhlman says he talked to Teasdale Fenton's project manager, who told him that the cards and memorabilia had been removed by the employees assigned to Kuhlman's home in a "second pack out," and that he would find out their location shortly.
Weeks later, Kuhlman says, he still had not received an answer from the project manager, who would only speculate that the cards "had [to] be packed deep inside a POD storage unit."
The initial project manager was replaced after numerous delays in the remediation work, and when Kuhlman spoke to an employee on the crew, he was told "that there was no second pack out of the house, nor would it be common practice to do one. [The employee] had no explanation for why [the manager] had said there was a second pack out," according to the complaint.
Kuhlman says his baseball card collection "numbered in the tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of cards." Kuhlman's attorney told Courthouse News that the value of the missing cards is about $300,000.
Kuhlman seeks compensatory and punitive damages for breach of contract, negligence and conversion.
He is represented by Jason Kuhlman with the Law Offices of Benjamin Dusing in Covington, Ky.