Bailment is a legal relationship wherein a person (the “bailor”) transfers physical possession of the personal property to another person or entity (the “bailee”). Only possession, not ownership, is transferred. The bailee must intend to and physically possess the property. Generally, the bailee is not entitled to the use of the property while in its possession.
What is Bailment
Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 1307, a bailee is “liable for damages for loss of or injury to the goods caused by his failure to exercise such care in regard to them as a reasonably careful man would exercise under like circumstances but unless otherwise agreed he is not liable for damages which could not have been avoided by the exercise of such care.” Excluding an Act of God event or another unavoidable situation, the bailee is liable for damages for loss or injury to the goods in his charge. An Act of God is an event caused by natural forces beyond human control, such as an earthquake, violent storm, lightning, or an unprecedented flood that cannot be reasonably anticipated or guarded against.
However, Ohio Revised Code 1307 does not offer remedies. Because Ohio Revised Code 1307 does not explain or offer any alternative solutions, a bailor’s recovery is the standard “market value” measure of damages for personal property. If the market value cannot be firmly determined, damages can be based on the value of property to the owner. To discuss bailment or another matter, contact one of our subrogation lawyers.