A customer won’t be reimbursed for the lost jewelry she left at a Glen Drive salon, following a recent B.C. Provincial Court ruling.
Nanci Anderson had been getting salon treatments at Kasey Beauty for about 10 years when she showed up for an appointment on the morning of June 6, 2021.
Just before getting a facial from Cindy Li, Anderson put her diamond solitaire earrings and a gold necklace on the table beside her. While heading out for a pedicure at another establishment, Anderson forgot her jewelry.
Local news that matters to you
No one covers the Tri-Cities like we do. But we need your help to keep our community journalism sustainable.
Li phoned Anderson to let her know the jewelry was still at Kasey Beauty. However, Anderson couldn’t immediately return because of her pedicure.
Anderson said she could come back later that day. Li said she was closing the salon, according to Anderson’s account.
Eventually, Anderson said she would get her jewelry at her next appointment. However, when Anderson arrived two weeks later, Li couldn’t find the jewelry.
Anderson spoke to the salon owner, Rebecca Au, who suggested Anderson make a claim on her home insurance, according to the judgment. Anderson said the jewelry was not covered by her home insurance. She also felt she should not have to make a claim as the loss was not her fault, according to the ruling.
The salon breached their duty of care when the jewelry was lost, according to Anderson’s submissions to the court.
There may have been missing evidence because Cindy Li didn’t testify at the trial, according to Judge Wilson Lee.
“I also do not have any evidence to contradict Ms. Anderson’s description of the incident or her discussion with Ms. Li,” the judge added.
At the start of the trial, both parties intended to call Li as a witness. However, when Li took the stand, “It was apparent Ms. Li did not understand English sufficiently to testify without the use of an interpreter,” the judge wrote.
Counsel for Kasey Beauty said they: “did not have instructions to retain an interpreter,” and so would not call Li as a witness.
The judge subsequently gave Anderson the option to call Li as a witness.
“If she chose to do so, Ms. Anderson would have to pay the costs for an interpreter. Ms. Anderson elected not to call Ms. Li as a witness,” Lee wrote.
Because Li didn’t testify, “we do not know what was done with the jewelry. We do not know if it was placed in some secure location or what steps were taken to safeguard the jewelry,” Lee wrote.
Duty of care
In legal terms, a bailee has a duty of care for items they store for other people. However, those duties are different depending on if the bailee is paid or not.
Because Kacey Beauty was acting as a gratuitous bailee, Anderson had to prove the salon was: “grossly negligent or failed to take reasonable care,” Lee explained.
“I cannot presume that there was negligence involved in the loss of the jewellery,” Lee concluded.
Because of the dispute, Anderson never used any of her $514 worth of pre-paid facial treatments.
Kasey Beauty is obligated to pay Anderson $514 for those treatments as well as $231 in additional fees, according to Lee’s ruling.