Monday, April 29, 2013

Cowen v. Pressprich case brief

Cowen v. Pressprich case brief
192 N.Y.S. 242

CASE SYNOPSIS: Defendant recipient challenged the judgment of the Municipal Court of the City of New York, Borough of Manhattan, First District (New York), that held it liable in plaintiff deliverer's action for conversion of a misdelivered bond.

FACTS: The recipient ordered a securities bond from the deliverer, who ordered it from a third party. The third party shipped the wrong bond, and the deliverer's messenger gave it to the recipient. Shortly after delivery, the recipient realized the mistake and returned the bond to the purported messenger, who was an imposter. The deliverer brought an action for conversion against the recipient and prevailed in the lower court. The court affirmed.

The court held that an involuntary bailee that exercised dominion over an item owed the same duty of care as a voluntary bailee, to deliver the bailed article to the right person.

The delivery of an item in mistake for one that was ordered, the fact that the recipient could not see the messenger when the bond was delivered, and the relative ease with which the recipient could have called the deliverer or had its own messenger return the bond to the deliverer itself, gave rise to a duty on the part of the recipient to deliver the bond to its proper owner.

CONCLUSION: The court affirmed the lower court's judgment in favor of the deliverer in its conversion action against the recipient.

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