Zissu v. IH2 Property Illinois, L.P.
United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, 157 F.Supp.3d 797 (2016).
Facts Pavel and Aise Zissu lived in an apartment in Chicago, Illinois, owned by IH2 Property Illinois,
LP. IH2 obtained an order from an Illinois state court allowing it to evict the Zissus. IH2 entered
the apartment and moved the Zissus’ personal property outside, placing it on the curb. The
property, which included jewelry, furniture, and personal documents, was then either stolen or
damaged. The Zissus filed a suit in a federal district court against IH2. The tenants alleged that
IH2’s taking possession of their property had constituted a bailment and that the company had
been negligent in its care of the bailed property. IH2 filed a motion to dismiss the suit.
Issue Could IH2 be held liable for the damage and loss of the Zissus’ personal property?
Decision Yes. The U.S. District Court held that IH2 could be held liable and denied IH2’s motion to
Reason A constructive bailment “may be found where the property of one person is voluntarily received
by another for some purpose other than that of obtaining ownership.” IH2’s taking possession of
the apartment’s contents—the Zissus’ personal property—created a constructive bailment. A
duty of care arises when a landlord chooses to act as a bailee with respect to a tenant’s property.
The Zissus alleged sufficient facts to state a claim for negligence.
● What If the Facts Were Different? Suppose that instead of putting the Zissus’ personal
property outside, IH2 had taken it to a storage facility. Would the result have been
different? Why or why not?