Read the article and answer the critical thinking question at the bottom.

Case 23.3

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

dismiss.

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.

Critical Thinking

● 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?

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