Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hector Martinez and Co. v. Southern Pacific Transportation Co. case brief

Hector Martinez and Co. v. Southern Pacific Transportation Co. case brief summary
606 F.2d 106 (1979)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant shipper challenged the decision from the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, which granted appellee carrier's motion to dismiss appellant's claim under 49 U.S.C.S. § 20(11) for losses resulting from delay and damage in transportation by appellee, holding that appellant failed to allege that appellee had any notice of the possibility that such damages would have accrued upon a breach.

CASE FACTS
Appellee carrier and appellant shipper arranged for shipment of a dragline in five separate railroad cars. A single uniform bill of lading was provided. The last of the five cars arrived late and damaged. Appellant filed suit against appellee, seeking compensation for wrongful deprivation of the dragline's use during the periods of delay in transit and of repair. Appellee filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the alleged damages were special damages and therefore were not recoverable absent notice of the possibility of such damages.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The district court granted appellee's motion. the court found that general damages could have been awarded only if injury was foreseeable to a reasonable man, and special damages should have been awarded only if actual notice was given to the carrier of the possibility of injury.

HOLDING
Reversing in part, the court held that the amount of damages that were reasonably foreseeable involved a question of fact that appellant was entitled to present to a jury.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed the decision of the district court that granted appellee carrier's motion to dismiss appellant shipper's claim for damages resulting from the delay in shipment, holding that such damages were foreseeable. The court affirmed the district court's decision to dismiss appellant's claim for damages resulting from the delay during repair.

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