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By | Ashlee Vance 27th August 2007 20:17

User seeks $1.4m from IBM for shoddy server packing

Forklift leads to unplanned downtime

Say what you will about cooling issues, disgruntled admins and memory failures. There are times when it's the guys in shipping that cause the most harm to a data center.

Contractor T.R. Systems has sued IBM for allegedly packing a $1.4m server so poorly that it fell off a forklift and wrecked the box.

As InformationWeek reports,

Federal contractor T.R. Systems says its workers were moving the server from a freight truck into its warehouse in Alexandria, Va., when the mishap occurred. "The rear wheels of their forklift hit the raised surface at the entry door of the warehouse, causing the forklift to rock, and subsequently causing the server to rock," T.R. Systems says in court papers filed last month.

"As a result of the rocking motion, the base of the pallet and the crate broke and the crate fell onto the curb, damaging the server packed inside," the contractor states in papers filed in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.

The contractor complains that IBM refused to have anything to do with the collapsed iron, rebuffing requests to inspect, repair or remove the bruised box. Ultimately, T.R. Systems had to shell out for a replacement unit, which went to its customer, the US Patent and Trademark Office, according to the report.

As usual, IBM plans to defend itself in the matter.

The crux of T.R. Systems' claim seems to be that IBM's crate was not robust enough for the mainframe or System P unit. But you'd think IBM would have a pretty standard procedures for moving multi-million dollar systems.

The contractor is after more than $1.4m in damages. ®

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