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Citation. 668 S.W.2d 286 (Tenn. 1984)
Brief Fact Summary. Appellee (Plaintiff) parked his car in a single entrance/ single exit parking garage taking a ticket and leaving his car locked. When he returned his car was gone. Facts.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A bailment for hire was created in this case and when there was non-delivery the Appellee (Plaintiff) was entitled to the presumption of negligence provided by statute.
The Appellant (Defendant) owned and operated a large downtown hotel along with a parking garage which was open to the public and hotel guests alike. The public could park its cars there and pay an amount upon leaving based on the amount of time the car was parked. In this case Appellee (Plaintiff) parked his brand new 1981 car in the parking garage which had one entrance and one exit. The entrance had a ticket machine which provided a ticket to be held by the driver of the car and stated that charges were made for the parking space only, that Appellant (Defendant) assumed no responsibility for loss through fire, theft, collision or otherwise to the car or its contents. The ticket also instructed the driver to lock his vehicle. The tickets were only used to determine the amount of money owed based upon the time that the vehicle was parked in the garage. The exit was a booth manned by an attendant. When Appellee (Plaintiff) returned to the garage, he found his car was missing. A
ppellee then approached the exit booth where the attendant stated that the car did not come through. The theft was reported to security guards employed by Appellant (Defendant) who stated that they did receive an earlier report of suspicious activity, which was investigated but did not result in any actionable discovery of wrongdoing. The police were subsequently notified. The vehicle was never recovered. Appellee (Plaintiff) sued and prevailed in both the trial court and the intermediate appeals court. The two lower courts both found that a bailment was created and that a presumption of negligence attached to the Defendant upon the non-delivery of the car. Issue.
Does the act of parking one’s car in a parking garage create a bailment?