Saturday, December 30, 2006

Don't Tell Me, "It Fell off the Truck

I found this post made by Tom, WW5L to the DX-Chat newsgroup real interesting. Thanks Tom for sharing that with us all.


When and "if" the tower arrives, don't sign the delivery receipt or bill of lading that you received it until you've gone over the tower with a magnifying glass.

Years ago I ordered a W-51 crank up tower from TriEx, in fact my blueprints were signed off by Mr. Tashjian himself as a PE who worked for TriEx. When it arrived on Carolina Freight I gave it a once over as it was being unloaded, but didn't notice that a couple welds on the base were broken in shipment. Apparently someone somewhere had used a forklift to lift it from the base and cracked the welds at the tower base.

While the freight truck was still on our street I called TriEx and Carolina to file a claim or get a new tower. Carolina ended up sending out an "inspector" who wrote a mealy mouthed report he couldn't tell how the tower was damaged. Carolina took this to mean that I damaged it within 30 seconds of receiving it so they refused to pay or return the tower to TriEx. Yeah, sure I paid $1,300 or so just so I could crack the welds, I told them, but got no where.

I contacted Lanny, K5LP, an attorney I knew and we ended up filing suit against Carolina. What was funny about the thing was Carolina sent one of their VPs here to "represent" them in court, but he wasn't a licensed attorney anywhere. Carolina didn't know that Lanny was a member of the State Bar of Texas' Bar Grievance Committee, the organization that investigates and files barratry cases against people who unlawfully claim to be licensed attorneys (I'm sure every state has a similar organization or agency). Of course he checked this VP out and found he wasn't an attorney.

Anyway we ended up prevailing finally during pre-trial on Carolina to pickup the tower and pay TriEx for a new one without having to go to trial. Lanny also made the Carolina VP sweat a while making him think he was going to be charged in Texas with the unlicensed practice of law.
When the new tower arrived it was crated in wood, something the original one hadn't been by the time I got it and it had "Do Not Forklift" stenciled all over it. Turns out Carolina had splintered all the wooden crating in fork lifting and shipping it.

Carolina paid all of my attorney expense and I sent Lanny and his secretary each a 20 pound smoked East Texas "ham" as a thank you. Lanny is or was an ARRL volunteer counsel at one time and has represented many Texas hams in tower cases. Even the ARRL says he's one of the best Part 97 and PRB-1 attorneys in the country.

Tom, WW5L