COMPENSATORY DAMAGES : BAILEES : FILM INDUSTRY : FILMS : FILM PRODUCTION FACILITIES : BLACK AND WHITE NEGATIVES : TRANSPARENCIES : NEW DOCUMENTS
The defendant was liable to pay damages to the claimant for lost and damaged film materials where they could not satisfy the burden of proof placed on them as bailees to show that they had returned the film images to the claimant at an earlier date.
(1) AP (2) T v PS (2004)
QBD (Stanley Burnton J) 22/1/2004
The claimants (AP) and (T) applied for compensation for missing and damaged film images that had been stored with the defendant (PS). The bailment of the negatives and transparencies was not the subject of any written contract or special terms. After a change of ownership, AP and T decided it was no longer convenient to have their stills stored at PS and they sent a representative to verify the stored material. They were unable to locate all the materials. AP and T claimed delivery up of the materials of 10 films and unquantified damages. PS filed a defence putting AP and T to proof of their claim, stating that it did not hold records of what was deposited with them and denying the claim for loss and damage. An order was made for the delivery up of the material that PS accepted was within its possession. PS submitted that the missing materials must have been returned to AP and T and that it was not liable for the missing materials.
HELD: The matters relied upon by PS did not satisfy the burden of proof placed on them as bailees. They had not shown why there had been a delay in returning AP and T’s material or explained the disparity between its record of what material it had and the material returned. It followed that PS was liable to AP and T in respect of the missing material. AP and T were entitled to damages in the sum of £2545.19 for loss on licences and the cost of repairing the damaged materials
Judgment for the claimant.
Lawtel: 9th February 2004