Question

Williams owns two trucks that he uses to transport, under contract, frozen produce. Williams drives one truck himself and employs a driver to drive the other one. He provides the driver with a CB radio, cell phone, and expense money so that the driver can stay in communication with him. As a carrier, Williams is subject to the rules of the Department of Transportation for common carriers. One of these rules requires that all drivers be tested for drug use. Williams hired Hall as a driver but did not require that he take a drug test.
Williams had a contract with Mountaire Farms to pick up frozen-chicken produce from suppliers and deliver it to specific locations in New York and New Jersey. Williams assigned the delivery to Hall, who picked up the poultry but failed to deliver it because he was high on illegal drugs. Hall was arrested and the poultry recovered, but by the time it was recovered, the produce had spoiled, a loss valued at $33,373.63. Williams argued that he should be excused from liability under the contract on the grounds of commercial impracticability; the unforeseen drug use of his driver was an intervening circumstance beyond his control that prevented the fulfillment of the contract. Do you believe the doctrine of commercial impracticability is applicable in this case? Why or why not?


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  • CreatedOctober 21, 2015
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