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Steel Trading Company V. Business Client

Date of Claim raised:15/02/2022
Date of Conciliation: 25/02/2022
Date of Settlement: 23/05/2022
Digest: Mediation/Conciliation/Dispute/Claimant/Respondent/Invoice/Settlement
Case Summary:

This Negotiation involves an invoice settlement claim filed by a steel trading company seeking Rs. 35,472/- from its client because of non-payment of an invoice raised in May 2021. The two parties involved have a reputed and successful name in the industry. The Claimant has successfully made its mark in the field of the steel trading industry, and the Respondent is a leading name in the nonmanufacturing flooring and protective coating industry having been established in the early 1990s. The two parties decided to settle the dispute through negotiation as each had the opinion that a simple and minor dispute should not be the reason to expend resourceful time and money on litigation. Each party also felt that this dispute could tarnish their image in the market, which could hamper their future business and long-standing reputation.

PrivateCourt was approached to settle the dispute amicably.

The Issue

The claimant and respondent shared a healthy business relationship since late 2010, and each owed their success because of their interdependency. Every invoice that was sent to the respondent was paid until the last invoice, raised in May 2021. The respondent refused to pay the invoice amount stating that it was raised falsely and further denied placing such an order. They even refused to acknowledge the delivery challans, disputing that it didn't have any foundation. This led to a breach of contract, and the claimant halted further business till things got sorted.

The Resolution

Both parties voluntarily submitted documents termed as evidence to support their statement, which included Purchase orders, WhatsApp Chats, delivery challans, CCTV footage, and email conversations. After going through this, the Negotiator realised this was an open and shut case. All the evidence submitted clearly pointed to the fault on the respondent's end.

The discussion went on smoothly where the negotiator played a very impartial and neutral role and explained to the Respondent that the case would be a hands-down win for the claimant had this been challenged in court. Further, the amount in question was minuscule compared to the cost each party would have to bear in litigation. It was only ego that was playing on the respondent's mind that didn't let him accept such a despicable incident. However, listening to the claimant and the negotiator, the respondent finally agreed to settle the matter.

The Settlement Agreement

It was agreed that the respondent would pay the amount of Rs. 35,472/- in 7 instalments on or before March 20, 2022. The first six equal instalments of Rs. 5,000/- beginning September 9, 2021, and the seventh instalment of Rs. 5,472/- on or before 20th March 2022.

The Inference

At times, certain deals are entered into in not such good faith. A calm and composed third party, with a clear knowledge of the law, generally helps resolve even such disputes.