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$________ Bailment - Custom, car-show vehicle worth $________ stolen from the defendant auto dealership while in the possession for repairs.

Middletown County, CT

In this bailment case, the plaintiff automobile owner brought suit against the defendant auto dealership because his vehicle was stolen from the defendant’s premises while it was there for repairs. The defendant denied that the vehicle was on the premises for repairs and disputed the claimed value of the vehicle.

The plaintiff testified that he brought his show car to the defendant dealership for repairs. The vehicle was tricked out with three television sets and numerous other custom details. It had won several awards at auto shows. The plaintiff claimed that he called the defendant repeatedly to inquire about the progress of the repairs and the defendant stalled on making the repairs because the defendant was keeping the vehicle on display in the showroom to draw customers to the dealership. The plaintiff contended that the defendant kept the vehicle for six months.

At some point, the vehicle was stolen from the defendant dealership and the defendant refused to pay the plaintiff the value of the vehicle. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant was responsible for the vehicle while it was in the defendant’s possession and that the defendant owed the plaintiff the full value of the vehicle. The plaintiff claimed the car was worth approximately $________. The plaintiff submitted receipts for all the parts and labor that went into making it a show car.

The defendant argued that it was not negligent and that it had done everything it could to protect the plaintiff’s property while it was on the defendant’s premises. The defendant also claimed that the vehicle had not been brought for repairs, but rather that it was brought in by the plaintiff in order for the vehicle to be sold. The defendant also claimed that the vehicle was virtually valueless. The defendant owner of the (now defunct) dealership testified that he had advertised the vehicle for sale and that, in his opinion, it was worth $________.

During deliberations the jury asked for the book value of a vehicle of that make, model and year - without any enhancements. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded $________.

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