Ellish v. Airport Parking Co.

42 A.D.2d 174, 345 N.Y.S.2d 650 (App. Div. 1973)



A bailment is a special kind of contract; it describes a result that does not flow from the conscious promises of the parties made in a bargaining process but from what the law regards as a fair approximation of their expectations. 


A woman parked her automobile in an airport lot operated by the defendant. When she returned, some five days later, her automobile had disappeared. Claiming that defendant was responsible for the loss, she brought a lawsuit. The court found that the nature of the circumstances themselves leads to the determination whether the transaction should be considered a bailment, in which event defendant was liable to plaintiff, or whether the transaction should be considered a license to occupy space, in which event defendant was not liable to plaintiff. The lower court determined that no bailment had been created and defendant was not liable for plaintiff's loss. 


Was a bailment created when a car owner parked her car in a parking lot?




The court affirmed the decision of the lower court and found that no bailment existed. Further, in the absence of any proof of negligence on the part of defendant, then defendant should not be held liable for the loss of the automobile.

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