In: Operations Management
Mr. and Mrs. Roberts checked into the Acme Hotel Downtown. Mr. Roberts gave his car keys to the hotel valet so that the valet could park the car and retrieve the car when it was needed. A sign adjacent to the valet stand advises that valet parking is $30 per night and that the hotel is not responsible for damage or loss vehicles. When Mr. Roberts requests the valet deliver his car the following day, the car is missing. Briefly discuss the legal relationship, if any, between the hotel and Mr. Roberts with respect to his vehicle.
What, if any, effect does the disclaimer on the garage sign?
Car can be called a chattel, from a legal standpoint as the relationship between the hotel and Mr. Roberts would be referred to as a contract of bailment.
A bailment is a temporary transfer of possession of chattel.
Chattel is any personal property excluding real estates like car, computer etc.
Yes, from a legal standpoint, disclaimer limits the liability of the hotel to an extent.
We all see these tickets saying "we are not responsible for damages or stolen vehicle" . These are necessary for hotel to prevent any damages claim from coming their way. But the thing to be noted is that the valet is expected to give ordinary care to the car and the car stolen must not be resulting from negligence on the part of the valet unless they want to be subjected to a civil lawsuit.
As for criminal lawsuit, the person who stole the car is responsible only. To hold the hotel responsible and recover damages from them, Mr. Roberts has to prove the negligence on the part of the hotel valet. And to avoid paying any damages, valet or the hotel company might have to prove that they gave due care to the car and it wasn't stolen because of the negligence of the valet.