P was selling D a car. D needed wife's approval. P gave D car to get wife's approval. D got into a car accident after driving car to a far away town under severe weather conditions for purposes other than wife's approval before returning to purchase it from P.
What standard of care does bailment give rise to?
Bailment gives rise to a standard of care relative to the benefit that accrues to the bailee and his skill. Any negligence is actionable.
BAILEE: (Paton on Bailment in the Common Law) s bailee is: (a) not a servant; (b) receives/consents to receiving and holding possession for another (c) to keep and then return/deliver the thing (d) according to the instructions of the other.
STANDARD OF CARE: The standard of care varies based on the relative benefits accruing to the bailor and bailee (the lighter the benefits to bailee, the lower the standard) e.g. borrowing without payment or guarding without payment.
-The duty that arises is whatever is reasonable in the circumstances (Paton)
GROSS NEGLIGENCE: "Gross" doesn't mean anything. Any negligence is actionable (Pentecoast v London District Auditor).
APPLICATION TO FACTS: There was a duty sincere there was a potential benefit of getting to purchase the car. The duty was to go back the very next day and say the wife consented.
-Driving that far at that time was the height of carelessness.
As soon as D did things with the car for the purposes other than getting wife's consent, he was acting outside the bailment.