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Hicks v. Airborne Express

July 25, 2006

A. JEFFREY HICKS, D/B/A FINANCIAL PLANNING ADVISORS, INC., INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
AIRBORNE EXPRESS, INC., DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Madison County. No. 02-L-1512 Honorable Phillip J. Kardis, Judge, presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Hopkins

The plaintiff, A. Jeffrey Hicks (Hicks), doing business as Financial Planning Advisors, Inc., individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, appeals the circuit court's order granting a summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Airborne Express, Inc. (Airborne). On appeal, Hicks argues that the circuit court erred in holding that the parties' contract limited Hicks's remedy. We affirm.

FACTS

Hicks filed a class-action complaint against Airborne, a courier service that provides package transportation and delivery services. In his complaint, Hicks alleged that Airborne breached its shipping contract by charging customers higher rates for express delivery and failing to deliver the packages by the agreed delivery time. Hicks sought compensation for the difference in value between the service customers requested and the service they received.

Hicks shipped packages using Airborne's Flight-Ready prepaid shipping service. Pursuant to this service, Hicks purchased the Flight- Ready shipment envelope used to package his shipment. Airborne guaranteed that Hicks's Flight-Ready shipment envelope would be delivered by noon the next day. When Hicks's delivery was delayed, Airborne provided Hicks with a free Flight-Ready envelope pursuant to the Flight-Ready guarantee.

Airborne's Flight-Ready order form, used to order Flight-Ready envelopes, stated:

"THE FLIGHT-READY GUARANTEE

Airborne Express guarantees that your pre[]purchased domestic Flight-Ready shipment will arrive on time (as stated in the current Service Guide)-or Airborne will give you another Flight-Ready domestic express envelope free of charge." Airborne's Flight-Ready envelope stated, in pertinent part:

"Service Conditions

*** Use of Flight-Ready constitutes your agreement to the service conditions stated here [and] in our published tariffs and current Service Guide (available on request). No one is authorized to alter or modify those terms.

Limitations of Liability

*** We shall not be liable in any event for special, incidental[,] or consequential damages, including but not limited to loss of profits or income.

Claims

Filing claims for delayed, lost[,] or damaged shipments is subject to time limits. Consult the ...


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