If I’m a minor and shipped a computer across the country to someone and it was received broken, am I responsible?

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If I’m a minor and shipped a computer across the country to someone and it was received broken, am I responsible?

I am a 17 year old entrepreneur and sold a $6,300 processing computer to a guy. I have proof that the computers worked before shipping them to him. We shipped it with the same packaging from when the computers were shipped to us and just resold them to my customer. They were shipped to us by UPS. We shipped them to our customer by FedEx (because it was cheaper). I purchased insurance for the computers to their value. They were received broken and he wants a full refund. FedEx is denying the claim for “inadequate packaging”. Am I required to refund him?

Asked on October 11, 2011 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the computer was received broken, yes--you have to refund his money. He is only obligated to pay if they computer is received in working order; otherwise, he is not required to accept the delivery and may insist on his money back. It does not matter, vis-a-vis the customer, whether the computer worked when shipped--all that matters is its state when received.

You may in turn be able to claim against Fed Ex, if you believe Fed Ex broke the machine. If Fed Ex is refusing to pay and/or is not honoring the insurance you purchased on it, you have the option of suing Fed Ex and trying to prove in court that they caused the damage, not you (i.e. the packaging was adequate) and therefore are liable.


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