Any legal action I can take over a business to business dispute that crosses state lines?

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Any legal action I can take over a business to business dispute that crosses state lines?

I am in TX and sent parts to CO for alteration.
They were sent back incorrectly packaged and
damaged. CO tried to repair them twice without
success. Then after I threatened them with a
lawyer and BBB they filed a claim with UPS.
CO claimed the box was insured for 900.
Today we received the damaged beyond use
parts and 400. It will cost at least 1200 to
find new parts and have them altered, not to
mention this has been going on for a month
now and cost my shop time and money holding
a bike I cant repair. Do I have any legal
avenue to pursue restitution?

Asked on June 26, 2018 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your legal avenue is to sue them--that's how you resolve business disputes, if you can't settle voluntarily. Unfortunately, it makes no sense to sue. You are looking at $1,200+ in terms of losses (e.g. the cost for new parts, plus any storage, etc. costs incurred during the intervening month) but have received $400; you are therefore out or down around $800, which is the amount you could sue for. An interstate suit is more costly and complex than a local lawsuit; among other things, you can't sue in small claims court (small claims is a court of only local "jurisdiction" or power). Suing in county court, having to serve legal papers in another state, the fact that if your buisiness is an LLC or corporation means that you must hire and pay for a lawyer (and can't get the cost of the lawyer back from the other side), since only attorneys can represent LLCs or corporations...you would almost certainly spend more, possibly a great deal more, than you'd get back. There is no cost-effective way to pursue an interstate lawsuit for a small (and in lawsuit terms, $800 or so is *very* small) amount of money.


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