The Fox Mountain Country Club was a popular location for weddings in a midsized town. In winter, the country club offered a free coat check service operated by a staff member.
At a banquet function, Rosa gave her full-length sable coat to the uniformed coat check attendant. She was given a small plastic tag with a number that corresponded to the number on the coat hanger where her coat was hung. Rosa remarked to the attendant that the coat was “very valuable” and she hoped the attendant would protect it carefully.
When Rosa returned to retrieve the coat, it was missing. The coat check attendant apologized profusely. He stated he had left the coatroom unattended only twice that evening: one time was for a 15-minute dinner break and the other for a 5-minute cigarette break. The coatroom door was left open and unlocked so that customers leaving early could retrieve their coats.
The manager was called, and he pointed to a sign prominently displayed near the coatroom, stating, “The restaurant is not responsible for lost or stolen property.” He recommended that Rosa refer the matter to her insurance company.