Truck Arrives With Damaged Goods: Whom to Sue? - The New York Personal Injury Law Blog

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Truck Arrives With Damaged Goods: Whom to Sue?

If a delivery truck carrying your package arrives with damaged goods, who can you sue?

While the delivery truck driver may have mishandled your package, the transport company could also be liable if it didn't properly train the driver. The seller could also be liable if he or she didn't properly pack your goods.

How can these potential defendants be liable for damaged packages?

Delivery Truck Driver

Truck drivers may be liable for the damaged goods if they're negligent in handling or delivering your package. Delivery drivers have a duty to act reasonably in handling packages. If the driver's unreasonable actions cause the goods to become damaged, you may be able to sue him for compensation.

Transport Company

If a transport company fails to adequately train a driver on how to handle packages, it could also be found negligent and held liable for damaged packages. The transport company may also be liable for the driver's negligence under the theory of respondeat superior, if the driver was acting in the scope of his employment.

An additional set of rules can be applied to shippers of household goods. In New York, moving companies may not be liable for your damaged furniture unless you declare the value of the goods on the bill of lading or purchase full replacement value protection insurance. In general, you should always note the value and pre-existing damages to your furniture on a bill of lading before you send it off with a moving company, according to New York's Department of Transportation.

Seller

Sellers could liable for your damaged goods under breach of contract theory if the purchase agreement states that they're responsible for properly packaging the goods for shipment.

While merchandise can be damaged in transport, it's also possible that the goods were already is poor condition before they were shipped. Under those circumstances, you may be able to sue the seller for breach of implied warranty of merchantability. This implied warranty guarantees that an item will work for the purpose for which it is sold. If it doesn't, you may be able to get a refund.

Although suing for damaged goods may seem simple, figuring out the right parties to sue can be a challenge. A truck accident attorney in New York can help you figure out the appropriate cause of action for your case.

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