It’s inevitable: at some point, you will ship goods to your buyer, and the buyer will complain that they don’t conform to the contract specifications. When you’re dealing with a small shipment or a great customer, often the simplest solution is to accept the return and send replacement goods. Other times, however, you’ll be dealing with a major shipment or a problem customer, and you must be certain that you protect yourself while responding to the customer’s concerns.
In recent installments of the Manufacturer’s Corner, we have discussed how to protect yourself from insolvent customers and how your shipping terms can expose you to unexpected risk. Thanks to the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, we can explore how those two issues play together.
We continue our discussion of June’s interesting implied warranty cases with a trip south to the Supreme Court of Texas. As I mentioned in the previous installment of the Manufacturer’s Corner, the Court declared a simple, bright-line rule on how a valid disclaimer of the implied warranty of merchantability affects remote purchasers.
In this head-scratcher of an opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals makes three legal conclusions that will shock practitioners.
The Oregon Supreme Court has given us a great platform to discuss what happens when a buyer simply decides that breaching the contract is a better idea than performing. It’s an important case to consider, both in your capacity as a seller of goods, and in your capacity as a frequent buyer of goods under long-term sales contracts.
In a happy coincidence of timing, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an entertaining opinion addressing the Carmack Amendment, which is a federal law limiting the liability of motor carriers for loss or damage of goods during shipment. The opinion will allow us to continue our discussion of mitigating shipping risks, introduced in the last installment of this column.