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The title of the question is tongue in cheek. There was a very kind family that was away for the summer and allowed their home to be used by a second family. The second family got there and found the fridge and freezer to smell rancid as the fridge had broken and the food therein had rotted,wanting to pay back the family the visiting family disposed of the fridge and its contents and bought the family a brand new fridge as a token of appreciation,all was great until the first family got home and asked what happened to the original fridge after being informed of the good deed the visiting family had done the family that occupied the home told them that the fridge was their safe for valuables and money and they kept a large sum of money there now the question is can the first family halachicly collect the money for the loss in Beis din (sources please)

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I head this question somwhere so the source would really be appreciated –  simchastorah Oct 9 '11 at 3:50

1 Answer 1

When I first saw your question I immediately thought to myself "oh, the frozen chicken case". I once saw it in a pamphlet in Yeshiva. Hardest part was tracking it down:

It's here: http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/13120/

Short answer: no.

Relevant portion:

After analyzing the case of the frozen chicken it becomes clear that the well-meaning neighbor is exempt from payment. No one can claim he agreed to watch over all of the contents of the apartment, including the tens of thousands of dollars hidden in the frozen chicken, since he never consented to guard the money. He did not know the money was in the apartment and never agreed to watch over it.

Furthermore the claim that he caused damage directly cannot be lodged, even though he took the chicken into his own two hands and threw it away, along with tens of thousands of dollars. Since he never knew that the chicken contained a large sum of money, he is exempt from compensation just likes someone who damages an item and is unaware that it contains other items of value is exempt from compensation.

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another source I found –  simchastorah Oct 10 '11 at 1:08
    

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