Legal Question in Business Law in New Hampshire

I hired an Ocean Transport Intermediary (OTI) to move a container of mission relief donations from NH to Honduras (door to Port). The OTI agent in turn hired another sub-agent who then book the sailing with another company and the trucking from another company. Due to breakdown in communications between the various companies the relief goods were picked up two days after the time and date agreeded upon by all parties causing damages to the shipper. Question: can I individually sue each company that played a part in the shipment through small claims court? All four (agent and sub-agents) were a part of the cause in damages.

Asked on 11/02/10, 9:10 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Lawrence Graves Coolidge & Graves PLLC

No, and moreover you are much better off claiming against the party with whom you contracted. All of the other players in this drama are merely parties to whom the OTI delegated its duties, and this is irrelevant to the issue of whether the terms of your contract with the OTI was properly performed. Now, if the only obligations of the OTI were to find common carriers and it was with those parties that you contracted, you would have to claim against them under the terms of the bill of lading or other contract documents.

Best wishes,


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Answered on 11/07/10, 1:51 pm

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