Bacoka v. Best Buy Stores, L.P.Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs alleged that they own an apartment complex and that their tenant purchased a washing machine from Best Buy, which was negligently installed. A resulting water leak resulted in significant damage to the property, rendering several units uninhabitable.
Best Buy argued that its subsidiary had a contract with Penn Ridge, under which Penn Ridge “shall provide services . . . as a duly licensed broker of property by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration … utilizing the services of independent motor carriers to effectuate the pick-up, delivery, and in-home installation of Merchandise” from Best Buy. Carriers are defined under the Agreement as “any independently owned and operated motor carrier under contract with [Penn Ridge] who may also provide Installation Services.” The carriers’ trucks did not display the Best Buy name or logo. Delivery teams did not wear any Best Buy branded clothing. The equipment used by the delivery teams varied among carriers. Penn Ridge alone determined if the carriers were qualified to provide necessary delivery and installation services. The contracts stated the carriers were providing services as independent contractors, Best Buy gave Penn Ridge access to its routing system and required that contractors comply with certain Best Buy policies and procedures.
The court of appeal affirmed summary judgment in favor of Best Buy. There is no material dispute that the washing machine was installed by an independent contractor.