Hector Martinez and Co. v. Southern Pacific Transportation Co.

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Hector Martinez and Co. v. Southern Pacific Transportation Co.
Court U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
Citation 606 F.2d 106 (5th Cir. 1979)
Date decided 1979


Plaintiff owned a dragline which is a large excavation machine. The defendant shipped the dragline from Ohio to Texas, and the last shipment was received a month later than promised. In addition, there was $14,000 worth of damage done to the machine when it was received in Texas.

Procedural History

Plaintiff filed a claim for losses resulting from delay and damage in transportation by carrier Southern Pacific. The court dismissed the claim, to which the plaintiff appealed.


Whether the damages incurred by the plaintiff were reasonably foreseeable at the time of contract formation.


Where damages are special, failure to put the other party on notice of the possibility of these damages results in diminished liability.

The general rule does not require the plaintiff to show that the actual harm suffered was the most foreseeable of possible harms, just that its harm was not so remote as to make it unforeseeable to a reasonable man.

Damage is foreseeable by the carrier if it is in the proximate and usual consequence of the carrier’s action. This should be a jury fact.