Man Blames UPS for Loss of Pricey Rings

     ODESSA, Texas (CN) – Two rings worth $1 million, including a 22-carat diamond, were stolen from a man’s front porch after UPS left the package in plain sight and without a signature, the man claims in court.
     Herbert W. Stokes and his ex-wife Linda Suzanne Stokes sued UPS and Bill Lulo, owner of Los Angeles-based Global Rings Jewelry, in Ector County Court.
     The Stokeses claim they asked Lulo to sell the two rings in his Los Angeles store. Ring One was 12 carats and appraised at $450,000 and Ring Two contained a 22-carat diamond and appraised at $576,517, according to the complaint.
     Stokes says he asked for Ring Two back on Aug. 2, “due to Lulo’s inability” to sell it. But he says that his ex-wife “never requested that Lulo return Ring One to her.”
     “However, on or about August 3, 2012, Lulo contracted with UPS for overnight delivery (signature of Mr. Stokes required) of both ring one and ring two to Mr. Stokes in Odessa, Texas,” the complaint states. “Neither Mr. Stokes nor Ms. Stokes had any knowledge that Ring One was also being shipped to Mr. Stokes.” (Parentheses in complaint.)
     Stokes says he “expressed concern to Lulo” about shipping Ring One by UPS with a $50,000 insurance policy, but Lulo said he “customarily shipped jewels via UPS with the maximum $50,000 [insurance],” so Stokes “acquiesced to the UPS shipment.”
     However, Stokes says, “On or about August 6, 2012, Mr. Stokes was at his residence awaiting the arrival of Ring Two. After a full day of waiting and out of great concern that Ring Two was not coming, Mr. Stokes checked his front porch. To Mr. Stokes’ surprise, the UPS box was sitting on the porch in plain sight.
     “Upon picking up the package, it was obvious to Mr. Stokes that the integrity of the box had been compromised. Further inspection of the UPS box revealed that both Ring One and Ring Two had been shipped by Lulo and Ring One had been stolen along with the 22-carat diamond from Ring Two.”
     Stokes says he found out later that the package had been delivered at 9:52 a.m., but without his signature.
     The Stokeses seek damages for negligence and breach of contract.
     They are represented by Joe Luce with Christian, Smith & Jewell of Houston.

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