Darryl Kulwin was employed by Nova Stylings, Inc. (Nova), as a jewelry salesman. In that capacity, he traveled throughout the country, carrying with him jewelry owned and manufactured by Nova to show to prospective buyers. Kulwin was visiting Panoria Ruston, who was a guest registered with the Red Roof Inn in Overland Park, Kansas. Ruston and Kulwin met at the Red Roof Inn and later made plans to leave to go out for dinner. Kulwin asked Ruston to make arrangements with the desk clerk to leave his sample case in the office of the Red Roof Inn while they went out to dinner. Ruston asked the clerk if she could leave the bag in the manager’s office of the Red Roof Inn, and the clerk agreed. Ruston advised the clerk that the contents of the case were valuable but did not describe the contents of the bag.
Kansas Statute Section 36 402(b) provides, No hotel or motel keeper in this state shall be liable for the loss of, or damage to, merchandise for sale or samples belonging to a guest, lodger, or boarder unless the guest, lodger, or boarder upon entering the hotel or motel, shall give notice of having merchandise for sale or samples in his possession, together with an itemized list of such property, to the hotel or motel keeper, or his authorized agent or clerk in the registration office of the hotel or motel office.
No hotel or motel keeper shall be liable for any loss of such property designated in this subsection (b), after notice an itemized statement having been given and delivered as aforesaid, in an amount in excess of two hundred fifty dollars ($ 250), unless such hotel or motel keeper, by specific agreement in writing, individually, or by an authorized agent or clerk in charge of the registration office of the hotel or motel, shall voluntarily assume liability for a larger amount with reference to such property. The hotel or motel keeper shall not be compelled to receive such guests, lodgers, or boarders with merchandise for sale or samples.
The inn posted the proper notice of the provisions of this act in all of the guests’ rooms, including that of Ruston. An unidentified person obtained access to the manager’s office and removed the case from the office. Nova sued Red Roof Inns for the alleged value of the jewelry, $ 650,000. Is Red Roof Inns liable? Did either party act unethically in this case? Nova Stylings v. Red Roof Inns, Inc., 747 P. 2d 107, 1987 Kan. Lexis 469 ­(Supreme Court of Kansas)

  • CreatedAugust 12, 2015
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