Coldman v Hill: CA 1918

A bailee of cattle who had without negligence let them escape and be lost.
Held: he was blameless in detinue but negligent in that he had failed to inform the owner of the loss as soon as possible, a duty which the court found to arise out of the contract of agistment. Scrutton LJ said that a bailee must show that the goods were lost without default on his part. D. If the property is stolen, and he does not promptly after discovery of the theft notify the bailor or the police of that fact, the burden lies on him of proving that prompt notification to the bailor or to the police would not have led to the recovery of the goods undamaged. The owner of land on which stock are agisted is the bailee and has possession of the cattle, and must take reasonable and proper care of the stock. A contract of agistment is a contract under which an agister agrees, for payment, to provide grazing for, and to supervise and look after, the owner’s stock on land that the agister owns or occupies.


Scrutton LJ


120 LT 412, [1919] 1 KB 443, [1918] All ER Rep 438


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedHoughland v R R Low (Luxury Coaches) Ltd CA 1962
A passenger’s bag had been placed in one coach that had broken down was intended to be transferred to a second coach. When the second coach arrived at the passenger’s destination the bag was not in the hold.
Held: The duty of care of a bailee . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Agency, Animals, Negligence, Torts – Other

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.549238