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Bailment Case Review
Bailment Case Study
Pat and Tom were mountain bikers. While Pat knew much about bicycle repair, Tom did not. Tom took his bike to Pat for repair as the gears on it were not working properly. Pat told Tom that he could repair the bike and hence Tom left it with Pat for a week. Pat managed to fix and adjust the gears on the bike so that they worked properly. Tom's bike was a top-of-the-line model and much newer than Pat's. When Tom called Pat on Friday to ask whether the bike was ready for pickup, Pat asked to keep the bike up to Sunday. Pat wanted to try the bike out on Sunday on a ride with some friends. Tom told Pat that this was unacceptable and on Saturday night, the bike was stolen off Pat's third-floor apartment balcony where the bike was unlocked.
Is Pat liable to Tom for the loss of the bike?
Rule of Law
As held on Blount v. War Office (1953), a bailee is presumed to hold the goods in bailment in trust and hence must take good care of them. They owe the bailor a duty of reasonable care since they only hold the goods in trust and do not have ownership rights as the transfer of title does not take place unless and until agreed otherwise (Gupta, n.d.). The bailor hence has a duty of diligence for any loss or damage to the goods and cannot sell or use the goods in any manner that defeats the bailor’s ownership rights. The bailee is also under a common law duty to return the goods to the bailor and when this is not done, they are liable to compensate the bailor. However, according to Gupta (n.d.), except in the case of gratuitous bailment in which neither the bailee nor the bailor is entitled to remuneration, bailment for mutual benefit for the exclusive benefit of the bailor requires valuable consideration. Nevertheless, "the detriment suffered by the bailor in parting with the possession of the goods is sufficient consideration to support the promise on the part of the bailee to return the goods" (Gupta, n.d., p. 264). This was the case in Coggs v. Bernard (1703) in which it was held that every person who makes an undertaking to carry or store goods for another is liable in an action if the goods are lost or damaged through their own negligence even where the bailor did not provide consideration for the bailment..................GET A PLAGIARISM FREE COPY