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Ely, Counselor at Law
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FedEx is denying claim for damaged package. Help. I had

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FedEx is denying claim for damaged package. Help.

I had UPS pack a lamp valued at $4500 and sent it via FedEx to Paris. I paid $930 for shipping. When box arrived it was clearly damaged (looks like a tank ran over it) with several strips of FedEx tape wrapped around it. Lamp inside was also damaged (metal shades were crushed).

FedEx is denying claim because packing was "insufficient". They determined that because wiring was ok lamp was not damaged! What is the best way to proceed?

(I have several photos_before and after_ of packing lamp, etc)
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
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 reply.


I am very sorry for your situation.

Understand that FedEx denying the claim does not mean that the matter is over. A claim to FedEx is essentially a request to the party at fault to admit they are at fault and to settle the claim.

For example, A took B for a drive. A got into a crash. B asked A to pay for B's medical bills. A refused.

Essentially, this is what has happened here, except it was more formal (i.e. on paper). But, this does not preclude one whose claim was denied from seeking restitution via the Court.

To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one.

Here, this may be a case for negligence. Negligence consists of the following five elements:

Duty - arising out of contract or societal norms;
Breach of Duty - not following that duty;
Cause in Fact - "if not for them not following that duty, then the Plaintiff would not have been injured..."
Proximate Cause - direct causation between the duty breached and injury
Damages - the injury.

Here, FedEx arguably breached their contractual duty to handle the box properly and damaged its contents. One can pursue them in small claims court for damages.

Likely, once/if files, FedEx will settle the matter promptly rather than to pay for an attorney which may end up costing more than the suit.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

Gentle Reminder: Use the reply button to keep chatting, or please rate and submit your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correctt. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 88710
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thank you for reply I will file in small claims asap. what is the best way to succed?

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome.

The best way to succeed is to tell the Judge what you have just told me, and have photographs of the box, etc.

However, there is one downside. Package companies such as Fedex often have limited liability clauses in their contracts. Check the contract to ensure that the contract does not preclude the customer from filing in court (it normally would not), or seeks some mandatory mediation/arbitration before filing, and/or sets a maximum amount to sue for.

If it does any of these, come back and tell me which/if any, and we can go from there.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Their contract states limit of $100 but I paid additional fee for insurance to value of $4500.. Can I also file a separate claim to recover $930 in shipping cost, and $1200 VAT that buyer in france paid but which FedEx will not refund either?

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Okay, thank you.

Can I also file a separate claim to recover $930 in shipping cost, and $1200 VAT that buyer in france paid but which FedEx will not refund either?

Not as a separate claim. Simply, to add these one as "damages" within the original negligence claim. The answer is yes, but, the Court will make the final decision as to what to award.

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