Nissan Fire & Marine Insurance Co. v. Fritz Companies

210 F.3d 1099 (9th Cir. 2000)


Hitachi (P) contracted with Fritz (D), a freight forwarder, to ship a 530-kilogram disk drive from Miami to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tower (D) flew the disk drive to Buenos Aires. The disk drive arrived damaged and was determined to be a total loss. Hitachi (P) and its insurer, Nissan (P), sued appellees Fritz (D) and Tower (D) under the Warsaw Convention for recovery of damages arising out of the total loss of goods carried by Ds. The timeliness of notice is controlled by the Warsaw Convention. The United States and Argentina are both signatories to the Convention. Ds each moved for summary judgment on the ground that Hitachi (P) failed to comply with the Convention's seven-day notice requirement. Neither Tower (D) nor a Tower (D) agent had received written notice of damage to the disk drive until March 12, 1997, more than two years after it arrived in Buenos Aires. Ps responded by producing two affidavits from a Nissan (P) claims adjuster and attaching an inspection certificate and letters purporting to constitute timely notice. The district court declined to consider P's documents as evidence and granted summary judgment for Ds. The district court granted summary judgment for Ds, and Ps appealed. The parties disagree on whether Hitachi (P) provided timely notification of the loss to Ds.