Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2008] All ER (D) 394 (Jun)
Neutral Citation: [2008] EWHC 1483 (Comm)
Court: Queen's Bench Division, Commercial Court

Tomlinson J

Representation Alison Padfield (instructed by ELS) for the claimant.
  Andrew Neish (instructed by Ince & Co) for the first defendant.
  John Kimbell (instructed by Pritchard Englefield) for the second defendant.
  Raymond Davern (instructed by De Cruz) for the fourth defendant.
  The fifth defendant did not appear and was not represented.
Judgment Dates: 27 June 2008


Bailment - Damage to bailed chattel - Contract - Loan contract - Contract for loan of claimant's clock for exhibition in United States of America - Contract with company organising exhibition - Clock damaged in transit - Whether claimant having claim on basis curators of exhibition bailees of clock - Whether breach of contract by organiser.

The Case

Bailment Damage to bailed chattel. In a case concerning damage to an egg clock, alleged by the claimant to be a Faberge, while in transit between England and Delaware in the United States of America where the clock was displayed at a Faberge exhibition, the court ruled that the assistant curator of the exhibition was not liable to the claimant as there was no bailment to him. First, he did not receive the clock into his own possession and any fleeting physical custody which he might have had was mere handling rather than a transfer to him of possession; he had made the arrangements on behalf of and at the expense of Broughton, the organisers of the exhibition. Secondly, he did not agree to take possession of the clock, to look after it and to return it. He assumed no responsibility at all. The bailee's consent was fundamental to bailment and although, the second defendant played some intermediary role in relation to the arrangements made by Broughton, he under took no responsibility in connection thereof. Thirdly, the second defendant was to be regarded as a servant of Broughton. However, Broughton plainly had not discharged the burden of showing that it exercised reasonable care for the clock whilst in its possession. Nevertheless as the bailment was on express contractual terms. Broughton was in breach of its contractual obligation to arrange for and provide appropriate and adequate packing and crating of the clock, as explicitly undertaken in the standard form agreement. In consequence of Broughton's breach of duty the claimant, whose title Broughton could not deny, had suffered loss and damage measured as the cost of repair, which was held to be 1,000.

Practice Areas

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