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Exercise 18

Pawn Transactions

Eddie runs into unexpected but temporary financial trouble. Therefore, he pawns one of his treasured original Parrish art prints at Fast Pawn. During the pawn transaction, Eddie advises the owner of Fast Pawn on the history of the Parrish art print and specifically requests that the print be displayed on the far back wall, out of the potentially damaging sun that streams through the windows in the front of Fast Pawn. The owner of Fast Pawn immediately hangs the Parrish print on the back wall, telling Eddie that he is fully aware of how sun can damage artwork. Eddie returns to Fast Pawn in twenty-eight days to recover his print. He discovers it has been moved from the back wall into the front window display and also observes that the place it had originally been hung is empty. The owner of Fast Pawn advises Eddie that the print must have been moved by a part-time employee. Upon further inspection of his treasured Parrish print, Eddie is horrified to discover cracks in the paper and significant washing out of the colors for which Parrish prints are highly coveted. Eddie sues Fast Pawn for the damage done to the Parrish print.

How should the judge rule?

A. For Eddie based on Fast Pawn’s failure to take reasonable care of the Parrish print.
ANSWER "A" IS CORRECT. Section 56-12-14(D) requires that pawnbrokers must exercise reasonable care to protect the pawned item from loss or damage. The owner of Fast Pawn is ultimately responsible for the actions of his employee who moved the Parrish print. Additionally, the owner of Fast Pawn specifically mentioned to Eddie that he knew sunlight could damage artwork. However, the print was moved into the sun from its original location, which remained empty after its removal. In short, Fast Pawn failed in its duty to exercise reasonable care to protect Eddie’s pawned art print from loss or damage.
B. For Fast Pawn since the owner did not move the print, but rather an employee and there is no evidence that the employee was aware of the potential damage that could result from the sun.
ANSWER "B" IS NOT CORRECT. Please try again.