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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Hi,. I am an Independent Contractor with FedEx Ground/Home

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Hi,. I am an Independent Contractor with FedEx Ground/Home Delivery. One of my drivers was accused of rubbing against a tree on a customer's property with the vehicle. According to the customer and FedEx, my driver caused damage to the tree (bark was removed). During the course of the investigation by FedEx, they took pictures of my truck without my permission or knowledge and they are trying to use the pictures as evidence against my driver. Is this legal or do they have to have my permission to take pictures of my truck?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me:

1) What state is this in; and
2) Did they take photographs of the truck as it was standing outside near the scene of the incident?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This is in the State of Ohio. There was no accident per se, A customer called in a complaint stating we damaged their tree. My driver did not recall coming into contact with the tree. When I looked at the truck inside the terminal, there was evidence that we had rubbed against a tree. I confirmed with FedEx that it appeared we had come into contact with a tree while on route.


A few days later I was called for a meeting with FedEx management and they had pictures of the tree showing a chunk of bark missing and they had photographed my truck while it was parked in the terminal. As per my operating agreement with FedEx, they must have my permission to inspect my truck and I must be present. I was wondering if their photgraphing the truck to use as evidence to disqualify my driver for an unreported accident is a violation of this agreement or even legal at all.



Thank you for your reply, friend. What do you mean by "terminal" - where was it parked, exactly?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I park all of my 24 vehicles that I use to meet my Operating Agreement obligations with FedEx Ground/Home Delivery at their terminal.


The vehicles are either owned or leased by my company and in no way are under the control of FedEx Ground. As I said, they have to schedule a time to inspect my trucks and I must be present.

Thank you. Did they get FedEx's permission prior to go into the terminal to take photographs of the truck? Or, not sure?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FedEx management took pictures of the side and rear of my vehicle without asking my permission or notifying me. The first time I knew of the pictures is when they presented to me in a meeting in an attempt to disqualify my driver for an unreported accident.

Ah, okay, thank you for your clarification, Rob.

You were stating, "During the course of the investigation by FedEx, they took pictures of my truck without my permission or knowledge..."

When you were stating "they," I thought you meant someone else besides FedEx.

On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and I am afraid that this is one of these times. Yes, they can, I am afraid. Although ordinarily they must have your permission to inspect the vehicle, in cases of alleged incidents, the contract no doubt states that they have the ability to take photographs of the truck. They make sure to include this in the contract so as to have the ability to inspect the vehicle for insurance purposes.

After all, it is their terminal, and the vehicle is in it. Even though they cannot enter it, they may take photographs of it, I am afraid. I am sorry.

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