(law) A delivery of goods or personal property by one person (the bailor) to another (the bailee) on an express or implied contract and for a particular purpose related to the goods while in possession of the bailee, who has a duty to redeliver them to the bailor or otherwise dispose of them in accordance with the bailor’s instructions once the purpose has been accomplished. A bailment arises, for example, when a seller delivers goods to a shipping company with instructions to transport them to a buyer at a certain destination.
(a) A bailment for hire is a bailment contract in which the bailor agrees to compensate the bailee. A shipping contract is usually a bailment for hire because the shipper transports the goods for a fee. (b) A special bailment is one in which the law imposes greater duties and liabilities on the bailee than are ordinarily imposed on other bailees. Common carriers, for example, are special bailees, because the law imposes extra duties of due care with regard to the property and persons transported than are required of private carriers. See carrier.

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