Fixing a Hole

FedEx sued Smith Protective Services for breaching the parties’ services agreement after thieves cut holes in the fences on its property and looted several of its trucks. The trial court found that Smith had, indeed, breached the parties’ agreement. It found that the thieves had cut two holes in the shipping terminal’s perimeter fence over a period of two days (with a third cut several days later), through which the thieves entered and “off-loaded” valuable cargo by hand. FedEx investigated, finding that, while the contract purportedly required it, none of the guards present during the heist knew that one of their duties was to conduct patrols. FedEx also opined that the thieves knew about this failure and took advantage of it.

On appeal, Smith challenged the conclusion that the parties’ contract required its guards to patrol the premises. The court of appeals, however, pointed to express language in the contract along with testimony by several FedEx employees to refute this claim, and, accordingly, upheld the trial court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Smith Protective Services v FedEx, No. 05-11-00715-CV

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