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Suppose that An Amazon delivery driver - in a logo'd, officially painted Amazon van - ran over some landscaping as they were leaving my property after delivering a package. They damaged newly installed sod, and moved a 400 lbs. rock from its location.

Suppose that an insurance company handling the claim on behalf of Amazon states tht they will only pay $250, althogh an estimate from a landscaping company says that it mwill cost $475 to fully repair the damage. My understanding is that they have a duty to repair the damage to its pre-loss condition.

I have provided them with an estimate from a landscaping company to replace the sod and reposition the rock. Labor alone is more than $250! The total estimate was $475.

What steps can the householder take to obtain a full payment of the damages? Is there anything short of a small-clams suit that will be effective? Can a small-claims be brought in such a situation.

Suppose that al this occurred in the US State of North Carolina. Is there any specific law that the householder can cite to the insurance company? How might the hpisholder/plaintiff get the name of the delivery company and the name of the driver, along with the right address and contacts at these companies to deliver a summons? Can s/he issue a subpoena to Amazon forcing them to disclose the information, and how would s/he go about that?

Amazon's Terms of Use has these sections:

RISK OF LOSS All purchases of physical items from Amazon are made pursuant to a shipment contract. This means that the risk of loss and title for such items pass to you upon our delivery to the carrier.

DISPUTES Any dispute or claim relating in any way to your use of any Amazon Service will be adjudicated in the state or Federal courts in King County, Washington, and you consent to exclusive jurisdiction and venue in these courts. We each waive any right to a jury trial.

APPLICABLE LAW By using any Amazon Service, you agree that applicable federal law, and the laws of the state of Washington, without regard to principles of conflict of laws, will govern these Conditions of Use and any dispute of any sort that might arise between you and Amazon.

Do those clauses preclude such a plaintiff from naming them in a suit filed in my local county small-claims court, or subpoenaing the address of the carrier and driver?

Is this the kind of thing one can do in small claims court, and can the plaintiff recoup any legal expenses as part of it (ie. the cost of filing, serving the

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  • When you say "the" insurance company, do you mean yours, or Amazon's? If it's your insurance company, they are only obliged to cover the losses that your policy says they must cover, even if that's not the whole amount. Amazon, or perhaps some subcontractor of theirs, probably is liable for the entire amount of the damage, but that isn't necessarily anything to do with your insurance company, except that whatever they pay to you, they may turn around and try to collect back from Amazon. May 23 at 6:11
  • Sorry I wasn't clear - It's Amazon's insurance company... as best as I can tell. The initial email stated "Amazon Customer Service has asked our office to reach out to you regarding your claim."
    – mikem
    May 23 at 6:17
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    Have you tried taking up the matter with Amazon themselves? With the physical evidence you have it should not be a problem convincing them of the validity of your claim. My experience in the UK is that Amazon are a company which does listen to customers' complaints.
    – WS2
    May 23 at 8:45
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    You are asking for legal advice here. Please consult a lawyer, not us randows on the internet.
    – Trish
    May 23 at 9:22
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    @mikem If it is Amazon's insurance policy that is restricting the claim, there could be 101 reasons why that's the case. There may be a deductible on the policy. But that is no reason why you should suffer. If it was the fault of the Amazon driver, you are surely within your rights to claim the full cost from them. How much their insurance policy pays out is something they must argue with their insurers. At least that would be my approach had a similar thing happened to me, in the UK.
    – WS2
    May 23 at 17:52

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The evidence at hand suggests that this is "Delivered by Amazon" (Amazon Logistics), and not a third party such as DHL. Therefore we need not be concerned with their hand-washing statement. Even so, that clause pertains to "the risk of loss and title for such items", not "to all losses arising from a transaction with Amazon". You would want to consult the disclaimer which attempts to limit their liability, but nothing in the limitations on liability clause can reasonably interpreted to say that Amazon is not liable for damage arising from delivery negligence. So, Amazon is at fault, and you can file a claim against them in King County small claims court, to recover the remaining $225. If you accept the insurance company's offer, there will probably be a waiver of further claims, so read all of the fine print.

You can determine whether it was actually delivered by Amazon by tracking the item, to see if it indicates "Delivery by Amazon" vs. something else.

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  • Does that mean I cannot file in NC? How would I manage a small-claims case in WA when I'm in NC?
    – mikem
    May 23 at 18:55
  • You could try NC, but read the dispute clause which says that all disputes are handled in King County. We're now at the boundary between generic legal information and specific legal advice, so I'll just say "ask your attorney".
    – user6726
    May 23 at 22:20
  • Websites like lmdlawfirm.com/… may be findable in your area.
    – user6726
    May 23 at 22:23
  • And wral.com/… is in NC.
    – user6726
    May 23 at 22:28

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