Glidden v. Szybiak

95 N.H. 318, 63 A.2d 233 (1949)

 

RULE:

One who without consensual or other privilege to do so, uses or otherwise intentionally intermeddles with a chattel which is in the possession of another is liable for a trespass to such person if, but only if, (a) the chattel is impaired as to its condition, quality or value, or (b) the possessor is deprived of the use of the chattel for a substantial time, or (c) bodily harm is thereby caused to the possessor or harm is caused to some person or thing in which the possessor has a legally protected interest. 

FACTS:

Defendants' dog injured plaintiff. Defendants contended that plaintiff was engaged in the commission of a trespass at the time of her injury and was therefore, barred from recovery under the statute.

ISSUE:

Is a chattel considered trespassed if the condition, quality and/or value is not impaired?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

If a chattel’s condition, quality and/or value is not impaired, it is not trespassed. Court found that in this case, Toby’s condition was not trespassed by Glidden. However, contributory negligence is considered a trespass to chattel when one intentionally intermeddles with another person’s chattel without consent and privilege impairing the quality of the latter. The judgment against the defendant owner was affirmed, as she alone was responsible for the conduct of the dog. However, the judgment against the defendant non-owner was set aside, as she was not in possession of the dog at the time of the injury.

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