X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Diamonds aren’t always forever, even for the jet set. A Houston jury told a socialite that she should have kept a closer eye on $600,000 worth of jewelry that vanished while she was passing through a New York area airport. In 1997 Elyse Lanier-wife of the then Houston mayor, Bob Lanier-traveled to New York to have the jewelry professionally cleaned at a Park Avenue shop. After the jewels were cleaned at David Webb Precious Jewels, Lanier arrived at Newark International Airport on October 7, 1997, for her return flight to Houston. While going through the security checkpoint en route to her Continental Airlines flight, Lanier placed her purse containing the jewels on the X-ray machine conveyor belt. Placing Blame Lanier’s purse vanished at some point between the time she placed it on the conveyor belt and the time she tried to retrieve it at the other end of the X-ray machine. Lanier’s insurance claim was paid. But her insurance company filed a subrogation suit, substituting one creditor for another, on its own behalf, with Lanier named as plaintiff. The defendant was Continental Airlines and its security subcontractor at Newark, International Total Services Inc. (ITS). According to one of Lanier’s attorneys, Kimberly Altsuler of Houston’s Coats, Rose, Yale, Ryman & Lee, there were two legal issues: the creation of a bailment, the act of delivering goods or personal property to another in trust; and the alleged negligence of Continental and ITS. The court granted summary judgment to Continental, and the trial proceeded against ITS. Lanier argued that a bailment was created when she placed her purse on the conveyor. ITS had a duty to return the purse in the condition in which she surrendered it, Lanier maintained. A Mysterious “Bump” Michael Richardson of Dallas’s Rose Walker, one of the attorneys representing ITS, countered that there was no bailment. In fact, Richardson said, there was no evidence that the purse even went through the X-ray machine. Since Lanier said she was physically bumped while at the machine, Richardson said there was speculation that she was the victim of thieves. Richardson pointed out that the incident occurred before September 11, 2001, when the airlines were responsible for security screening, and that they developed checkpoint security procedures with the Federal Aviation Administration without ITS input. On June 20 the jury sided with ITS, finding that if a bailment did occur between Lanier and ITS, the security company fulfilled its duties. The jury also found that ITS was not negligent in the incident-but Lanier was. This article originally appeared in The National Law Journal, a sibling publication of Corporate Counsel and part of American Lawyer Media.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.