Transport company sues for breach of contract over stolen diaper shipment

By Jim Boyle | Jul 17, 2014

A Tennessee-based trucking company has filed a breach of contract suit in the U.S. District

Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against a third party company that lost a shipment of more than 3,500 diapers in Levittown, Pa.

U.S. Xpress Enterprises, based in Chattanooga, Tenn., seeks restitution from the Florida-based Phoenix Freight for the $24,121 refund paid to its client, Proctor & Gamble. The plaintiff says that the brokered contract required Phoenix to pay for any damage to the goods during delivery, including loss of control from theft.

According to the complaint, P&G contracted U.S. Xpress in May 2012 to provide delivery services for a shipment of disposable diapers from Dover to the company's distribution headquarters in Tunkhannock, Pa.  U.S. Xpress sub-contracted the task to Phoenix Freight, whose driver received the load of 3,503 boxes of diapers on 40 shrink-wrapped pallets on May 30.

The diapers never arrived at the distribution center because the driver lost the shipment when his truck was allegedly stolen in Levittown, Pa., the complaint says. On June 5, 2012, the stolen trailer was recovered in a parking lot in West Philadelphia, near the corner of 43rd Street and Lancaster Avenue. Inspection of the trailer yielded seven full pallets of the product and two partially full pallets.

P&G submitted a claim for the lost diapers, seeking $24,121 in payment, to which U.S. Xpress complied. Representatives from U.S. Xpress then turned to Phoenix Freight for recovery of the payment, but received no responses from the company.

"Defendant Phoenix Freight has failed to respond to plaintiff's demands for reimbursement despite the fact that defendant is solely liable to plaintiff for the loss," says the complaint.

U.S. Xpress says that Phoenix acted negligently by not properly training the driver to secure items on the trailer and failing to respond to reimbursement requests.

The plaintiff is represented by James Wescoe of Weber, Gallagher, Simpson, Stapleton, Fires & Newby in Philadelphia.

The federal case ID number is 2:14-cv-04273-NS.

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