Case Study 2

Topic: Consignee Liability

We defended a warehouseman in Superior Court on a lawsuit brought by a carrier for alleged “consignee liability”.  Consignee liability is a means for carriers to get paid for shipping services and associated charges when the party primarily responsible for same fails to make payment to the carrier.  The “consignee” on any shipment is usually whoever is listed as such on the bill of lading. However, the true consignee for a shipment is not always identified correctly in the shipping documents, as was the case here.

Several bills of lading identified our Client as the “consignee”, which, as a practical matter, put us at a disadvantage.  We needed to prove that our Client was not a consignee in order to avoid liability.  We appeared in Court several times and argued successfully that our Client was not a “consignee” in form or substance and that the movement of goods from the manufacturing facility of origin to our Client’s warehouse was merely an intra-company inventory transfer.

We had to navigate the case through very complicated factual and legal challenges in order to prevail on our motion for summary judgment and in defense of the carrier’s motion for reconsideration.  

References

Alliance v Kevlaur Opinion 01-23-08

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