Cargo Claims: When are Food Goods Considered Damaged?

Articles & Publications

Logistics Journal
December 2014

It is an all too familiar issue. Your shipper reports a load of food product has been rejected by its customer because the seal, temperature, or packaging was compromised. Is the customer entitled to reject and recover damages for the entire load simply because a seal was broken, there was a minor temperature variance, or a cardboard box was damaged? Maybe. Maybe not.

Damages Under Carmack Amendment:

Under the Carmack Amendment, 49 U.S.C. § 14706, shippers can recover for “actual losses” to their property caused by carriers. In order to recover damages under Carmack, the shipper must establish a prima facie case that (1) the goods were delivered to the carrier in good condition; (2) the goods arrived at the final destination in a damaged or diminished condition; and (3) the damages can be specified.

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