Tropical you have given us some interesting information. If I understand the situation the driver was originally contracted however poorly to deliver the boat to San Fransisco, is that correct? The boat is in LA, not San Francisco
is that also correct. The original agreement was payment of the rest of the money
or is the driver disputing that? The boat has been arrested and a lien filed with the USCG for money
due on a delivery
that has not taken place? What I don't understand is why the boat is in storage
in LA. The USCG arresting a boat and having a lien placed on the boat is something that could have been done in San Francisco
. It would not have changed what is owed or in dispute. There was no need to keep the location of the boat secret as the arrest would have prevented its movement. If I was on jury hearing this I would have little sympathy for the transporter's claim since he has not completed the contract
. I'll bet this ends up in court. From the information we have here I would find it hard to believe that this lien will be enforcable after the countersuit is filed. I would think that the transporters claim would be more favorably looked upon if he had actually completed the contract
This is kind of like a car repair shop placing a mechanic's lien on a car for work they never completed. I have heard of mechanics who file such liens and every once in a while are successful mostly because the owner was not adequately represented. In such a case they advertise the car up for auction
after the time has expired in some very obscure newspaper while technically in compliance with the law and have a partner or relative bid something like a dollar. They then have a car worth a lot of money and have successfully stolen it for a dollar. I sure hope the OP has a good lawyer, because it sounds like the transporter does.
The OP was clearly naive or perhaps any number of other words I can think of to let this guy have his boat without a proper contract. Unfortunately we will probably never know if the OP deliberately lied about the weight to get a lower price
. We don't know if the inquiries about higher weight transport were made before or after he informed the OP of the actual weight. It might be that the OP made some inquiries to find out what a fair price
was after he was informed of the greater weight. We simply don't know. You stated that the transporter feels he was purposely lied to, but can he present proof? I would be interested in knowing what information the transporter had to present to the Coast Guard to get the lien placed against the boat? Since the contract had not been completed how could he claim non-payment?
You seemed to confirm that he made it to El Paso before the original tailer broke down. He had the boat weighed somewhere here on the east coast
and knew it was overweight, yet he towed it all the way to El Paso? He somehow managed to get it on an adequate trailer in El Paso but he couldn't have done that somewhere back east? It seems to me that travel lifts would be a bit hard to come by in El Paso, at least compared to somewhere on the East or Gulf coasts. What doesn't make sense to me is that he got through all those weigh stations without the DOT stopping him for being overloaded. If he can in fact present a weight from a certified scale that shows the boat to weigh what he claims then he clearly deserves to be paid his normal rate for a boat weighing whatever it says, but I would think he would have challenged the owner immediately and demanded that he pay the fair price for a boat of that weight before he left the east coast
. He also could have put it on a capable trailer on the east coast. He should have called the guy as soon as he knew the weight, said your weight was off by 40%, It's going to cost you $XXXXX.XX more money and because I have to locate a bigger trailer it's going to take much longer than anticipated and I can't even give you a delivery date. That's what an honest businessman would have done
If we assume for a moment that the OP is not lying about everything then why all of the misleading information about the progress of the trip? Why is the boat in LA and not in either SF or El Paso. My bet is that his lawyer told him to get it out of the south as you see most southern states adhere to the concept
of contributory neglegence. Since he knew the trailer was overloaded and went anyway he would not have been able to collect a dime for the trailer damage even if the OP did lie. In the more liberal states if the OP contributed at all to the damage he could be held liable for the entire costs. The other reason the lawyer might have advised him of this is to make it very difficult for the OP to fight it. He does not live in LA and my guess is everytime the OP shows up for a court date the transporters lawyer is going to come up with some excuse for a continuance. He's planning to bleed the OP dry with just LA hotel
bills. I have to give the transport guy credit, he's screwed the OP worse than the OP has screwed him.
The Transporter may in fact have a lot of loyal customers who won't care what happens here. A look at his web site seems to indicate he moves a lot of racing
boats around. The one thing that racers know
is the accurate weight of their boat. I doubt most cruisers know the accurate weight of their boats. He may keep a lot of his race
customers, but I doubt if he's going to get many more cruising customers. Any cruiser is going to give him an estimated weight for their boat. If his response to an inaccurate estimate is to haul the boat half way across the country, claim damages to his equipment
and the haul the boat off to a third destination
far from the delivery point and put the person in a position where he has no choice but to pay the blackmail or go bankrupt on lawyer and hotel
bills, he's not going to get much new business from cruisers. He's certainly never going to get any business from me. What he's doing may be legal
but it's not honest.