The Trading Co.,
We're a company that imports automotive parts from the US.
We received a price quote and samples from a US supplier last year. They advised, then, they'll ship as soon as payment is received. In November 99, we placed an order, sent them full payment in advance. They, then, advised they have a delay and promised shipping to take place Jan. 2000. In Jan., they advised they won't be able to ship before May. In May they advised that shipment is now ready to go, they just need a new check since the one they have is too old. We sent a new one, they stopped replying to us till a few days ago when they sent us a fax advising they won't be able to ship since they do not have the parts requested, and that they'll be returning the check back to us. I wonder if there's any legal action that can be taken against them since we committed to supply those parts to a government authority through a tender. Now, we are facing delay penalty in addition to the fact that we'll have to supply the parts no matter what; we'll be buying them locally at a high price. We also spent a lot of money on phone calls, plus multiple bank fees to issue them checks twice.
2 Answers from Attorneys
You have a valid claim. Documents have to be reviewed. However, you did not mention whether the check was cashed or returned. This company clearly caused a delay and would be responsible for any damages. The question that needs to be addressed is to determine whether the company is responsible financially to pay any judgement. I suggest that you immediately follow through with collection of this claim. Unfortunately a lot of time has passed since your message was posted. You need to consult with American legal counsel immediately.
You have a claim for breach of contract for the difference between the amount you agreed to pay the supplier and what you have to pay to acquire the parts (plus the amount of the check if it was cashed). You need to make a reasonable effort to shop around for the lowest price reasonably available to obtain the parts, but that will almost certainly be higher than your agreed price due to the short notice. You should obtain counsel in the U.S. in the state where the seller is located, and act fast in case they are insolvent.