What is the law regarding a gratuitous bailment and gross negligence?

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What is the law regarding a gratuitous bailment and gross negligence?

A friend had asked me to repair a computer for him at work. He gave me the computer and I began working on it. Shortly after, he stopped showing up to work and did not answer any phone calls or texts I made/senthim. I threw the computer away eventually because it was unrepairable due to extreme moisture damage. He has contacted me back, a month and a half later and is threatening to file a police report on me. Would what I did fall under gross negligence?

Asked on August 12, 2011 Tennessee

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A bailment is when someone accepts possession of one's property. Common examples are when you park you car in a pay parking garage or when you check your coat in at a restaurant and receive a claim ticket.

A gatuitious bailment is when the above is done for "no charge."

gross negligence is when one owes a duty of care to someone, breaches the duty in an extreme manner, the negligence actually causes damages. An example of such would be to be a babysitter and allow a 2 year old to go outside unsupervised knowing that there are no fences in the yard and a busy street. The child somehow gets hurt in the street.

Throwing away the computer would not fall under gross negligence. You actually intended to throw it away and failed to let its owner know that you were disposing of it. You would be responsible for its fair market value for reimbursement.


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