Posted: March 21st, 2017
Bailment The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, d.b.a. St. Elizabeth Hospital of Beaumont, operates a health and wellness center. Phil Meaux was a paying member of the health center. The rules of the center, which Meaux had been given, state, “The Health & Wellness Center is not responsible for lost or stolen items.” A sign stating, “We cannot assure the safety of your valuables” was posted at the check-in desk. The wellness center furnished a lock and key to each member but had a master key to open lockers in case a member forgot or lost his or her key. One day, Meaux went to the wellness center and placed his clothes, an expensive Rolex watch, and a money clip with $400 cash in the locker assigned him. Upon returning from swimming, Meaux discovered that his locker had been pried open, and his watch and money had been stolen by some unknown person. Meaux sued the Sisters of Charity, alleging that a bailment had been created between him and the Sisters and that the Sisters, as bailee, were negligent and therefore liable to him for the value of his stolen property. The trial court held in favor of Meaux and awarded him $19,500 as the value of the stolen property, plus interest and attorneys’ fees. The Sisters of Charity appealed. Was a bailment created between Meaux and the Sisters of Charity? Who wins? Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word v. Meaux, 122 S.W.3d 428, Web 2003 Tex. App. Lexis 10189 (Court of Appeals of Texas)
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