What is breach of bailment?

Bailment Defined

A bailment is called a deposit within the Civil Code. It is defined as “[a] voluntary deposit [...] made by one giving to another, with his consent, the possession of personal property to keep for the benefit of the former, or of a third party.” (Civ. Code, § 1814.)

Bailments as Lease Agreements Beyond 20 Days

A bailment as defined by Civil Code section 1955 as follows: “[e]xcept as otherwise agreed by the lessor and the lessee in lease agreements for a term of more than 20 days, one who leases personal property must deliver it to the lessee, secure his or her quiet enjoyment thereof against all lawful claimants, put it into a condition fit for the purpose for which he or she leases it, and repair all deteriorations thereof not occasioned by the fault of the lessee and not the natural result of its use.” (Cal. Civ. Code §1955).

Similarities with Contracts

The elements of a breach of contract claim are:

  1. the existence of a contract,
  2. breach of the contract’s terms, and
  3. resulting damage.

(Tribeca Companies, LLC v. First American Title Insurance Co. (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 1088, 1109.)

“The elements of breach of bailment are substantially similar. “In a broad sense a bailment is the delivery of a thing to another for some special object or purpose, on a contract, express or implied, to conform to the objects or purposes of the delivery which may be as various as the transactions of men.” (H. S. Crocker Co. v. McFaddin (1957) 148 Cal.App.2d 639, 643.)

Duty of Bailee

Under California law, “a bailment for the benefit of both parties ... is a bailment for hire, and imposes on the bailee the duty to use ordinary care with respect to the bailed property.” (Gerbert v. Yank (1985) 172 Cal.App.3d 544, 551 (emphasis added).)

“A bailment ‘is made by one giving to another, with his consent, the possession of personal property to keep for the benefit of the former, or of a third party.’” (McKell v. Washington (2006) 142 Cal.App.4th 1457, 1491 citing Civ. Code, § 1814; see Gebert v. Yank (1985) 172 Cal.App.3d 544, 551; 13 Witkin, Summary of Cal. Law, supra, Personal Property, § 156, p. 168.) In McKell “Plaintiffs allege in their breach of bailment cause of action that they ‘delivered to Washington Mutual, and Washington Mutual agreed to hold for the benefit of plaintiffs, money to pay the cost of underwriting, tax services and wire transfer services.’” (Id.) “More specifically, they allege that "Washington Mutual entered into a standard form loan contract with plaintiffs..., in which plaintiffs... agreed to pay Washington Mutual for the benefit of third parties money for the cost of tax services, and Washington Mutual agreed to pay over to these third party vendors the actual cost for these services and return the remainder to plaintiffs...’” “In breach of this agreement, Washington Mutual paid only a portion of the money to the third party vendors and kept a portion for itself.”

Useful Rulings on Breach of Bailment

Recent Rulings on Breach of Bailment

KRISTA LYNN TAYLOR VS LISA HANKIN

Plaintiffs’ breach of contract, negligence, and breach of bailment claims in the FAC all stem from the lease agreement that was entered into between Plaintiff and Defendant. The lease agreement provides for the recovery of attorney’s fees, but the attorney fee provision only names Plaintiff, the lessor, as the party who can recover attorney’s fees. (Wallace Decl., Ex. 1, ¶ 13.)

  • Hearing

    Jun 29, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    Landlord Tenant

KRISTA LYNN TAYLOR VS LISA HANKIN

Plaintiffs’ breach of contract, negligence, and breach of bailment claims in the FAC all stem from the lease agreement that was entered into between Plaintiff and Defendant. The lease agreement provides for the recovery of attorney’s fees, but the attorney fee provision only names Plaintiff, the lessor, as the party who can recover attorney’s fees. (Wallace Decl., Ex. 1, ¶ 13.)

  • Hearing

    Jun 29, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    Landlord Tenant

KRISTA LYNN TAYLOR VS LISA HANKIN

This breach of bailment claim is based on the delivery of the horse resulting from the written Lease Agreement. Plaintiffs have not presented evidence to raise a triable issue of material fact that Far West Farms is a party to the Lease Agreement, which would give rise to express or implied contractual promises made to Plaintiffs that would support the breach of bailment claim. The Court GRANTS Far West Farms’ motion for summary adjudication as to the breach of bailment claim. 5. Claim for Damages i.

  • Hearing

    Mar 16, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    Landlord Tenant

GARY PATENT ET AL VS OLATUNJI BANDELE D V M ET AL

The operative first amended complaint, filed August 10, 2018, asserts causes of action for: (1) Negligence; (2) Trespass to Chattel; (3) Negligent Breach of Bailment; (4) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; (5) Fraud; (6) Misrepresentation; and (7) Deceptive Practices (Civ. Code § 1770). This action arises out of injuries sustained by Plaintiffs’ dog, Laika, and allegedly exacerbated by Defendants’ failure to provide adequate veterinary care. On September 04, 2017, Laika was hit by a car.

  • Hearing

    Mar 02, 2020

KRISTA LYNN TAYLOR VS LISA HANKIN

On February 4, 2019, Plaintiffs Krista Lynn Taylor and Roderick Taylor filed the first amended complaint (“FAC”) against Lisa Hankin for (1) breach of contract; (2) negligence; and (3) breach of bailment. Plaintiffs allege that they were the owners of a show horse named Bravado and entered into a written lease agreement with Defendant whereby Bravado was leased to Defendant for the term of one year. (FAC, ¶¶ 9-10.)

  • Hearing

    Feb 18, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    Landlord Tenant

KRISTA LYNN TAYLOR VS LISA HANKIN

On February 4, 2019, Plaintiffs Krista Lynn Taylor and Roderick Taylor filed the first amended complaint (“FAC”) against Lisa Hankin for (1) breach of contract; (2) negligence; and (3) breach of bailment. Plaintiffs allege that they were the owners of a show horse named Bravado and entered into a written lease agreement with Defendant whereby Bravado was leased to Defendant for the term of one year. (FAC, ¶¶ 9-10.)

  • Hearing

    Feb 18, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    Landlord Tenant

GARY PATENT ET AL VS OLATUNJI BANDELE D V M ET AL

The operative first amended complaint, filed August 10, 2018, asserts causes of action for: (1) Negligence; (2) Trespass to Chattel; (3) Negligent Breach of Bailment; (4) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; (5) Fraud; (6) Misrepresentation; and (7) Deceptive Practices (Civ. Code § 1770). This action arises out of injuries sustained by Plaintiffs’ dog, Laika, and allegedly exacerbated by Defendants’ failure to provide adequate veterinary care. On September 04, 2017, Laika was hit by a car.

  • Hearing

    Jan 09, 2020

GARY PATENT ET AL VS OLATUNJI BANDELE D V M ET AL

The operative first amended complaint, filed August 10, 2018, asserts causes of action for: (1) Negligence; (2) Trespass to Chattel; (3) Negligent Breach of Bailment; (4) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; (5) Fraud; (6) Misrepresentation; and (7) Deceptive Practices (Civ. Code § 1770). This action arises out of injuries sustained by Plaintiffs’ dog, Laika, and allegedly exacerbated by Defendants’ failure to provide adequate veterinary care. On September 04, 2017, Laika was hit by a car.

  • Hearing

    Jan 09, 2020

GARY PATENT ET AL VS OLATUNJI BANDELE D V M ET AL

The operative first amended complaint, filed August 10, 2018, asserts causes of action for: (1) Negligence; (2) Trespass to Chattel; (3) Negligent Breach of Bailment; (4) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; (5) Fraud; (6) Misrepresentation; and (7) Deceptive Practices (Civ. Code § 1770). This action arises out of injuries sustained by Plaintiffs’ dog, Laika, and allegedly exacerbated by Defendants’ failure to provide adequate veterinary care. On September 04, 2017, Laika was hit by a car.

  • Hearing

    Nov 20, 2019

DIANE FISHER VS LOUIS KEARN, ET AL.

SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT: Action for breach of contract, breach of bailment, fraud and embezzlement. REQUEST FOR RELIEF: Order Plaintiff to serve responses to discovery requests and deem requests for admission admitted. OPPOSITION: None filed as of October 22, 2019. ANALYSIS: On October 29, 2018, Defendants Coit Services CV, Inc., Coit Services, Inc., and Robert L.

  • Hearing

    Oct 31, 2019

  • Judge

    James E. Blancarte or Serena R. Murillo

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

GARY PATENT ET AL VS OLATUNJI BANDELE D V M ET AL

The operative first amended complaint, filed August 10, 2018, asserts causes of action for: (1) Negligence; (2) Trespass to Chattel; (3) Negligent Breach of Bailment; (4) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; (5) Fraud; (6) Misrepresentation; and (7) Deceptive Practices (Civ. Code § 1770). This action arises out of injuries sustained by Plaintiffs’ dog, Laika, and allegedly exacerbated by Defendants’ failure to provide adequate veterinary care. On September 04, 2017, Laika was hit by a car.

  • Hearing

    Oct 10, 2019

DAT THANH NGUYEN VS THANH-NHAN NGUYEN

It does not appear that the lack of a writing bars the breach of bailment claim, and the demurrer is overruled on this ground as well. Defendant also argues that the cause of action for IIED fails to sufficiently allege extreme and outrageous conduct, or that plaintiff suffered severe emotional distress.

  • Hearing

    Sep 27, 2019

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

KRISTA LYNN TAYLOR VS LISA HANKIN

On February 4, 2019, Plaintiffs Krista Lynn Taylor and Roderick Taylor filed the first amended complaint (“FAC”) against Lisa Hankin for (1) breach of contract; (2) negligence; and (3) breach of bailment. Plaintiffs allege that they were the owners of a show horse named Bravado and entered into a written lease agreement with Defendant whereby Bravado was leased to Defendant for the term of one year. (FAC, ¶¶ 9-10.)

  • Hearing

    Aug 28, 2019

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    Landlord Tenant

CHRISTIAN MUNK VS HONKER CUT MARINE, INC.

Breach of Oral Contract & Breach of Bailment The elements of a breach of contract claim are (1) the existence of a contract, (2) breach of the contract’s terms, and (3) resulting damage. (Tribeca Companies, LLC v. First American Title Insurance Co. (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 1088, 1109.) The elements of breach of bailment are substantially similar.

  • Hearing

    Jun 28, 2019

MICHAEL CARTER VS WENDY JOY CARTER

The complaint asserted causes of action for: (1) breach of settlement agreement; (2) breach of fiduciary duty; (3) conversion; (4) negligence; (5) negligent infliction of emotional distress; and (6) breach of bailment. The case was filed in the West District, Santa Monica Courthouse. On September 28, 2018, Defendant Wendy Joy Carter filed a motion to transfer action to probate court in Department O of the Santa Monica Courthouse.

  • Hearing

    Jun 06, 2019

CHRISTIAN MUNK VS HONKER CUT MARINE, INC.

Breach of Oral Contract & Breach of Bailment The elements of a breach of contract claim are (1) the existence of a contract, (2) breach of the contract’s terms, and (3) resulting damage. (Tribeca Companies, LLC v. First American Title Insurance Co. (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 1088, 1109.) The elements of breach of bailment are substantially similar.

  • Hearing

    May 07, 2019

FAMOSA, INC. V. DEPENDABLE HIGHWAY EXPRESS, INC., ET AL.

Breach of Bailment 7. Breach of Warranty DHE expressly requests that its demurrer be sustained with leave to amend to state a claim under the Carmack Amendment. ALLEGATIONS Plaintiff’s owner, Josiah Lilly, traveled to Brazil to locate and purchase “exotic and irreplaceable granite slabs.” His purchases were shipped to the Hanjin Terminal in Long Beach. The granite slabs were packed into three shipping containers.

  • Hearing

    Mar 21, 2019

  • Type

    Contract

  • Sub Type

    Breach

SPARKS VS PARISH

Breach of Contract and Breach of Bailment Defendants contend both the breach of contract and breach of bailment causes of action fail because plaintiffs did not attach a copy of the alleged contract or recite its pertinent terms. "[F]ailure either to attach or to set out verbatim the terms of the contract was not fatal to [a] breach of contract cause of action" as long as the essential terms or legal effect are pled. Miles v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 394, 402.

  • Hearing

    Feb 14, 2019

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

SPARKS VS PARISH

Breach of Contract and Breach of Bailment Defendants contend both the breach of contract and breach of bailment causes of action fail because plaintiffs did not attach a copy of the alleged contract or recite its pertinent terms. "[F]ailure either to attach or to set out verbatim the terms of the contract was not fatal to [a] breach of contract cause of action" as long as the essential terms or legal effect are pled. Miles v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 394, 402.

  • Hearing

    Feb 14, 2019

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

DIANE FISHER VS LOUIS KEARN, ET AL.

Cause of Action for Breach of Bailment Plaintiff alleges that moving Defendants took possession of her Karastan 717 area rug for cleaning and failed to return it or reimburse her for its cost. (FAC, p. 4.)

  • Hearing

    Feb 14, 2019

  • Judge

    James E. Blancarte or Wendy Chang

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

GARY PATENT ET AL VS OLATUNJI BANDELE D V M ET AL

Negligent Breach of Bailment “In an action for breach of a bailment contract, the bailor must prove that the agreement is a bailment contract, the property was deposited with the bailee, a demand was made for the property, and the bailee failed to return the property.” (Needelman v. DeWolf Realty Co., Inc. (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 750, 762.) Here, Plaintiffs have not alleged that they demanded a return of their property, and Defendants failed to return the property.

  • Hearing

    Oct 26, 2018

GARY PATENT ET AL VS OLATUNJI BANDELE D V M ET AL

Negligent Breach of Bailment “In an action for breach of a bailment contract, the bailor must prove that the agreement is a bailment contract, the property was deposited with the bailee, a demand was made for the property, and the bailee failed to return the property.” (Needelman v. DeWolf Realty Co., Inc. (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 750, 762.) Here, Plaintiffs have not alleged that they demanded a return of their property, and Defendants failed to return the property.

  • Hearing

    Oct 26, 2018

(NO CASE NAME AVAILABLE)

On 08/10/18, plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) against defendants for: (1) negligence; (2) trespass to chattel; (3) negligent breach of bailment; (4) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (5) fraud; (6) misrepresentation; and (7) deceptive practices. ANALYSIS: Defendants Young Joo Kim, DVM and Central Orange County Emergency Animal Hospital seek a determination that the settlement between them and plaintiffs was made in good faith. (Notice of Motion, p. 2:2-7.)

  • Hearing

    Sep 12, 2018

GARY PATENT ET AL VS OLATUNJI BANDELE D V M ET AL

They note that the Complaint alleges only three causes of action against all defendants: (1) negligence; (2) trespass to chattel; and (3) negligent breach of bailment. (See Motion, p. 1:26-27.) The three more serious causes of action — intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud, and misrepresentation — are alleged only against defendants Bandele and LA Central Animal Hospital. (See Id. at p. 1:28-2:2.)

  • Hearing

    Jul 30, 2018

JOSEPH V. MOSQUITO FIRE PROTECTION DIST.

“Plaintiffs' common law causes of action were for unjust enrichment, breach of bailment agreement and conversion. There is no cause of action for unjust enrichment. Rather, unjust enrichment is a basis for obtaining restitution based on quasi-contract or imposition of a constructive trust. (1 Witkin, Summary of Cal. Law (10th ed. 2005) Contracts, §§ 1015, 1016, pp. 1104-1105.)” (McKell v. Washington Mut., Inc. (2006) 142 Cal.App.4th 1457, 1490.)

  • Hearing

    Feb 16, 2018

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