On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, L-4867-08.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted August 31, 2010
Before Judges Simonelli and Waugh.
Plaintiff Wang Globalnet (Wang) appeals the dismissal on summary judgment of its claim against defendant Port Newark Refrigerated Warehouse (Port Newark) for breach of a bailment contract concerning the storage of frozen squid. We affirm.
We discern the following facts and procedural history from the record.
In late June 2007, Wang delivered approximately 2,368 cartons of whole squid to Port Newark's warehouse located on Tyler Street in Newark. They were designated as Lot No. 65298 in warehouse Receipt No. 156000, which was dated June 29, 2007.
The receipt is characterized as "non-negotiable" in several locations. In the upper middle portion of the front of the receipt, the following appeared in white type on a black background: "See reverse side for Storage Terms and Conditions including provisions limiting time to make claim and file suit and amount of damages." The following appeared in the lower left corner in relatively small print: "[t]he goods are stored subject to all the terms and conditions stated on the reverse hereof. Said terms and conditions constitute a contract to which customer agrees by the acceptance of this Warehouse Receipt."
On the back of the warehouse receipt in the upper middle portion of the document, the following appears in large print and capital letters: "CONTRACT TERMS AND CONDITIONS. THE PERSON ACCEPTING THIS DOCUMENT AGREES, FOR HIMSELF AND ASSIGNS, TO THE FOLLOWING TERMS AND CONDITIONS."
The terms and conditions on the back of the receipt, which are numerous, are in small type and single spaced. The term denominated as "No. 10-NOTICE OF CLAIM AND FILING OF SUIT" contains the following language in paragraph (c):
No lawsuit or other action may be maintained by storer [Port Newark] or others against company with respect to goods unless... such lawsuit or other action is commenced within nine (9) months after storer learns or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have learned of the loss and/or destruction of and/or damage to the goods.
On August 31, 2007, Wang removed Lot No. 65298 of squid from Port Newark's Warehouse. On the same day, it sent a fax to First Newark that stated, in part, as follows:
We... pick[ed] up above-mentioned product from your cold storage today. We found out that squids also are melted under your storage system. Above-mentioned Squids are spoiled; therefore, we have to destroy above-mentioned product. We have ...