IBM Says It's Blameless For Server-Wrecking Forklift Mishap

The company says in a court filing that its customer's own clumsiness, and not its packaging, is responsible for the $1.4 million computer's destruction.



IBM says it's not to blame for a forklift accident that wrecked a $1.4 million server. Rather, its customer's own clumsiness is behind the pricey computer's untimely destruction, IBM insists.

Virginia-based contractor T.R. Systems is suing IBM in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, claiming that poor packaging is to blame for the severe damage incurred by the server after it fell off a forklift during transit to a warehouse.

T.R. Systems is asking the court to order IBM to pay more than $1.4 million in damages.

But in its own court filing, IBM says it's not to blame for the incident. T.R. Systems, which also does business as Trawick & Associates, "was negligent in moving this server on its forklift over a concrete lip," IBM says in a motion it filed earlier this month asking the court to dismiss the case.

IBM notes that T.R. Systems, in its initial complaint, concedes that its own employee was operating the forklift from which the server fell.

The federal contractor, which had planned on installing the server at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, argues that the machine would have withstood the jolt were it not for shoddy packaging.

IBM calls that claim "nebulous." It also notes that its warranties are specific to the devices it sells and don't apply to the packages in which they are shipped. IBM, in its filing, said the fact that T.R. Systems broke the unidentified server is "obvious."

The court has not yet ruled on IBM's motion to dismiss the case.

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