Can a business monetarily recover when no contract/agreement was formed?
A retail boutique hired a NY-based freelance PR agent on a 6 month contract for publicity work. PR agent requested numerous sample items be sent to her for pitch purposes, magazine photo shoots, etc., to be returned at the end of contract period (standard industry practice). No wardrobe liability agreement was signed for the loaner items nor were there any clauses accounting for such potential purposes in the original employment contract (the request for samples was made 1+ months into the contract period). The boutique kept a private record of all items shipped (for inventory purposes), but never sent a copy or packing list to agent.
The employment contract was not renewed at the end of the 6 mo period. PR agent shipped sample items back to boutique 1.5 months after contract ending date. 3 items were missing. All communication attempts to PR agent during the subsequent months have been ignored.
Can the boutique recover monetarily for the missing items when no contract or official records were formed, or are they SOL?