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The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies


ATTENTION: It is possible that this information may no longer be current and therefore may be inaccurate. The index contains both open and closed cases and is not a complete list of cases in which an ACE Insurance Group company is involved. This information is provided to give interested persons an idea of the issues disputed in the indexed cases. For a full understanding of a case, one should read the rest of the court file, including the response. For the most up-to-date and complete information on a case, visit or contact the clerk of the relevant court.

Case Number: 
3:14-cv-00142 Search Pacer
ACE Group party(s): 
Opposing Party: 
FourWinds Transportation, Inc.
Court Type: 
US District Court: 
Western District of Wisconsin
Date Filed: 
Feb 21 2014

5. The subject matter, and claims set forth, in this Complaint arise
under a contract between FourWinds and Reliable, for the benefit of PRSEI, for
interstate transportation of freight, titled "Carrier-Broker Transportation Contract"
and "Rate Confirmation" dated April 10, 2013 (collectively, the "Transportation
6. The Transportation Contract and operations of FourWinds, as a
broker, and Reliable, as a carrier, are regulated by Congress under the Interstate
Commerce Act, Title 49, Subtitle IV, Interstate Transportation, Part B, "Motor
Carriers, Brokers and Freight Forwarders".
7. The matter in controversy exceeds $10,000 on a single bill of lading
8. The District Court has original jurisdiction over the action pursuant
to 28 USC § 1337(a).
9. A substantial part of the events or omissions from which the claims
arise occurred in the Western District of Wisconsin, 28 USC § 1391(b)(2).

10. PRSEI engaged FourWinds to arrange for transportation of the
shipment from which the claims herein arise.
11. Pursuant to the Transportation Contract's requirement for cargo
insurance for the benefit of FourWinds and PRSEI, Reliable submitted to
FourWinds a "Certificate of Liability Insurance" naming Westchester as
Reliable's cargo insurer.
12. Pursuant to the Transportation Contract, FourWinds tendered to
Reliable and Reliable accepted for transportation a shipment of machinery,
specifically a Cumberland 37B Granulator Package and related parts and
equipment, for transportation from Blades Machinery Co. Inc. ("Blades")
750 Nicholas Blvd., Elk Grove Village IL 60007 to PRSEI's facility at
1409 Indianhead Drive, Menomonie WI 54751. ("Subject Shipment").
13. The Subject Shipment, all in good order, was tendered to Reliable by
Blades and accepted by Reliable in apparent good order on April 12, 2013 for
delivery to the consignee PRSEI.
14. The Subject Shipment was loaded on Reliable's trailer at Blades,
indoors, protected from outside weather and potential damage from moisture.
15. The Transportation Contract specified that the Subject Shipment be
16. The machinery in the Subject Shipment arrived at destination in a
damaged condition and, in that condition, could not be used for its intended
purpose or any other purpose.
17. PRSEI is the beneficial owner of the goods in the Subject Shipment,
within the meaning of 49 U.S.C. §§ 13706 and 14706(a).
18. PRSEI notified Reliable of the damage not later than April 15, 2013
and provided written notice of the claim dated April 19, 2013, including a request
that Reliable notify its cargo insurance carrier, Westchester.
19. Neither Reliable nor Westchester acknowledged or otherwise
responded to the notice dated April 19, 2013.
20. Following investigation of the damage and inspection of the Subject
Shipment by the shipper, Blades, PRSEI filed a written claim with Reliable, as
required by the Transportation Contract and 49 CFR § 370.3, dated August 27,
21. Despite repeated requests from PRSEI, neither Reliable, nor
Westchester on behalf of Reliable, has acknowledged, investigated (to our
knowledge) nor provided notice of disposition of the claim as required by the
Transportation Contract and 49 CFR §§ 370.5, 370.7 and 370.9.
22. Blades' estimate for removing rust from the various components of
the machinery in the Subject Shipment, alone, ranges up to $42,500 and is subject
to the further caveat that:
This is an estimate only. Once the unit is received, disassembled, and all motors
& controls are tested, a final estimate will be given.
This estimate is subject to the amount of damage that may have occurred due to
excessive water exposure. Electrical panels may need replacement, as wet
electrical components are a major concern from an operator safety aspect.
23. The invoice cost of the used machinery in the Subject Shipment was
$63,900; however, reasonably comparable used machinery, were it available, was
estimated as of August, 2013 at $85,564.10; and replacement with new machinery,
as of August, 2013 was priced at $109,030.50.
24. Reliable is experienced in the transportation of machinery such as
that included in the Subject Shipment and was on notice, before accepting the
Subject Shipment for transportation, that capital equipment of the type included in
the Subject Shipment has "use" value which it is foreseeable would be diminished
or damaged by delay or damage to the Subject Shipment.
25. The use value of the machinery in the Subject Shipment is $15,000
per month.
26. The cargo insurance policy issued by Westchester to Reliable,
providing coverage for the Subject Shipment, upon information and belief, was
delivered to Reliable in Wisconsin, Wis. Stat. § 803.04(2).

(Negligence and Breach of Transportation Contract)
27. Paragraphs 1 through 26 are realleged and incorporated by reference.
28. PRSEI is a beneficiary of the Transportation Contract.
29. Reliable breached the Transportation Contract by failing to tarp the
Subject Shipment to protect it from the elements resulting in water damage to the
machinery including, upon information and belief, damage to the electronic
controls and motors.
30. Reliable breached the Transportation Contract by failing to promptly
notify its insurer of the claim and failing as required by the Transportation
Contract and 49 CFR Part 370, as incorporated into the Transportation Contract, to
acknowledge, investigate and provide notice of disposition of the claim for
damage to the Subject Shipment, which breach has increased the damages and
thwarted PRSEI's efforts to mitigate the damages.
31. Reliable was negligent in the transportation of the Subject Shipment,
inter alia, in failing to tarp the Subject Shipment and otherwise protect the Subject
Shipment from the elements during its transportation.
32. Reliable owed a duty to PRSEI to protect the Subject Shipment from
the adverse weather conditions during its transportation by Reliable.
33. Westchester, upon information and belief, has failed and refused to
timely respond to the notice of claim in breach of the cargo insurance policy
issued to Reliable for the benefit of those shipping (including the beneficial
owner) freight transported by Reliable and, thus, increased the damages and
thwarted PRSEI's efforts to mitigate the damages.
34. Damages arising from such breach include, but are not limited to:
(a) cost of repair or replacement of the Subject Shipment, including loss of use
value; (b) interest; (c) administrative costs incurred by Plaintiffs; and (d) actual
attorneys fees and court and other cost related to prosecution and collection of
damages from its breach.
35. Therefore, the Court is respectfully requested to enter a money
judgment that Plaintiffs have and recover the amount of such damages from
Defendants Reliable and Westchester.

(For Loss of Cargo, Carmack 49 U.S.C. § 14706)
36. Paragraphs 1 through 35 are realleged and incorporated by reference.
37. Claim for damage to, or loss of, the Subject Shipment was filed, in
writing, with Reliable, within nine months of April 12, 2013.
38. Neither Four Winds nor PRSEI has waived any rights and remedies
available to them under the Interstate Commerce Act, inter alia, 49 U.S.C.
§ 14101(b), with respect to Reliable's transportation of the Subject Shipment.
39. Under all of the circumstances affecting transportation of the Subject
Shipment - by way of example and not limitation, the specification that the
Subject Shipment be tarped, Reliable's experience transporting machinery and the
weather conditions during transportation and failure to process Reliable's and
Westchester's failure to process PRSEI's claim consistent with 49 CFR Part 370 -
the damages that were incurred, including loss of use value, were entirely
foreseeable by Reliable and Westchester.
40. Plaintiffs are entitled to recover the value of the goods in the Subject
Shipment including freight and disposition expense, from Reliable pursuant to
49 U.S.C. § 14706 and Westchester pursuant the its contract to insure cargo
transported by Reliable, in the amount of not less than $140,000 plus interest and

The provided text is an excerpt from a document filed in this case. For a full understanding of the case, one should read the complete court file, including the response.

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