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Sanders v. FedEx Ground Package System

Supreme Court of New Mexico
188 P.3d 1200 (N.M. 2008)


Facts

In 1995, Ken Sanders (plaintiff) was hired as an independent contractor for FedEx Ground Package System (FedEx) (defendant) to make pick-ups and deliveries. According to Sanders, FedEx determined Sanders’ route, but FedEx indicated during initial negotiations that Sanders would be permitted to purchase additional routes from other independent contractors. In 1996, Sanders sought to buy the Roswell route from another independent contractor. Although Sanders was qualified to handle the route, FedEx did not permit the transfer. In 1998, Sanders sought to purchase the Hobbs-Lovington route from another independent contractor. FedEx again refused to allow the transfer. Sanders filed suit claiming breach of contract and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, based in part upon FedEx’s refusal to allow the Hobbs-Lovington transfer. The jury ruled in Sanders’ favor. FedEx appealed, arguing that improper instructions were given to the jury because there was no express term in the contract granting Sanders the right to purchase other routes. The court of appeals reversed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Bosson, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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