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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today, a reversal

In Nipponkoa Ins. v. Atlas Van Lines (SD Ind., Young), an 11-page opinion, Circuit Judge Wood writes:

This case involves the application of the Carmack Amendment, 49 U.S.C. § 14706, to a set of complicated contractual arrangements among a shipper, a carrier, and two entities that facilitated the shipment. As is true in many contract cases that wind up in litigation, the fundamental question is who must ultimately bear the loss when multiple actors play a role in an arrangement. While we appreciate the efforts made by both the parties and the district court to sort this out, we conclude that further proceedings are necessary. A final answer must await further development of the details of the shipping contract and the nature of the relationship among the four companies. Summary judgment was therefore inappropriate. * * *

In sum, even if the ACS-Atlas contract or the bill of lading provides a shipper with a choice of at least two levels of liability limitation, as Hughes requires, it is not clear that TAMS was bound by either contract. Further development of the record is necessary on both of the points we have identified. We therefore REVERSE the district court’s grant of summary judgment in Atlas’s favor and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 5, 2012 12:22 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions