Legal Memorandum: Breach of Duty of a Public Warehouse

Issue: Under Florida law, under what circumstances may a plaintiff prevail on a claim for breach of a duty owed by a public warehouse?

Area of Law: UCC & Secured Transactions
Keywords: Breach of duty; Public warehouse
Jurisdiction: Florida
Cited Cases: 775 F.2d 1521; 586 So. 2d 876
Cited Statutes: Fla. Stat. § 677.204
Date: 02/01/2001

The court in S/M Indus., Inc. v. Hapag-Lloyd A.G., 586 So. 2d 876 (Ala. 1991) addressed the breach of duty of a public warehouse claim.  Under Florida law,

[a] warehouseman is liable for damages for loss of or injury to the goods caused by his failure to exercise such care in regard to them as a reasonably careful man would exercise under like circumstances but unless otherwise agreed he is not liable for damages which could not have been avoided by the exercise of such care.

Fla. Stat. § 677.204 (1993).  See also Lonray, Inc. v. Azucar, Inc., 775 F.2d 1521 (11th Cir. 1985). 

The court in S/M Industries decided that the warehouse had breached its duty in releasing the goods without authorization.  586 So. 2d at 883. 


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