Coggs v. Bernard

Coggs v. Bernard

 (1703) 2 Ld Raym 909

(hiring of labour or services without reward, duties owed by a bailee)


The defendant undertakes to remove goods from one cellar to another and there lay them down safely, and he managed them so negligently that for want of care in him some of the goods were spoiled. Also, there was no consideration for the work.


Whether or not defendant liable, if he is not getting any consideration?


Court of 1st Instance

Plaintiff won but issue of consideration not rose.


Any man who undertakes to carry goods is liable to an action, if through his neglect they are lost or come to any damage. The reason being, the particular trust reposed in the defendant. In case of general bailment, the bailee is liable only for gross neglect and in case of express undertaking, even for the ordinary neglect. He criticized Southcote’s case in which the gee. Bailment was taken to be an undertaking to deliver the goods at all events.

 J. Powys & J. Powell (No differing opinion)


Concurred with the other judges and described six types of bailment. These are- (a) depositum (simple deposits), (b) commodatum (goods lent for bailee’s use), (c) locatio et conductio (hiring), (d) vadium (pawn or pledge), (e) locatio operis (hiring of labor and services for reward) and (f) mandatum (hiring of labor and services without reward)(the present case).

Published by Vivek Kumar Verma

B.A.LL.B NUJS 2013, Investment Banking Lawyer, Visual Artist, and Avid Traveler

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