A-14819, JULY 6, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 7

A-14819: Jul 6, 1926

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REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED. FURNITURE OF AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN DAMAGED WHILE BEING TRANSPORTED INCIDENT TO THE OFFICER'S PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. FOR $259 AS REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF REPAIRING CERTAIN PIECES OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN DAMAGED WHILE BEING TRANSPORTED ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT THEREOF IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4. HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE PACKED AND CRATED BY THE UTILITIES SECTION OF THE POST QUARTERMASTER AT SCHOFIELD BARRACKS AND WERE TRANSPORTED BY TRUCK TO HONOLULU. THEY WERE PLACED IN STORAGE AT FORT MASON. THEY WERE FORWARDED BY THE FIRST TRANSPORT SAILING FOR BROOKLYN.

A-14819, JULY 6, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 7

PROPERTY, PRIVATE - DAMAGED IN THE MILITARY SERVICE IN THE ABSENCE OF DIRECT EVIDENCE AS TO THE TIME, PLACE, AND MANNER OF DAMAGE, REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED, UNDER THE THIRD PROVISION OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1436, FOR THE COST OF REFINISHING OF, AND REPAIRS TO, FURNITURE OF AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN DAMAGED WHILE BEING TRANSPORTED INCIDENT TO THE OFFICER'S PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO MAJOR E. T. COMEGYS, UNITED STATES ARMY, JULY 6, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 10, 1926, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF CAPTAIN JAMES F. C. HYDE, CORPS OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY, FOR $259 AS REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF REPAIRING CERTAIN PIECES OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN DAMAGED WHILE BEING TRANSPORTED ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, AND REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT THEREOF IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1436.

PARAGRAPH 19 OF SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 241, WAR DEPARTMENT, DATED OCTOBER 11, 1924, AS AMENDED BY PARAGRAPH 53, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 84, WAR DEPARTMENT, DATED APRIL 10, 1925, DIRECTED A PERMANENT CHANGE IN CAPTAIN HYDE'S (THEN LIEUTENANT) STATION FROM SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HONOLULU, HAWAII, TO FORT HUMPHREYS, VA. HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE PACKED AND CRATED BY THE UTILITIES SECTION OF THE POST QUARTERMASTER AT SCHOFIELD BARRACKS AND WERE TRANSPORTED BY TRUCK TO HONOLULU, THENCE BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT CAMBRAI SAILING FROM HONOLULU, HAWAII, FOR SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., FEBRUARY 26, 1925, CONSIGNED TO CAMP LEWIS, WASH., IN ACCORDANCE WITH SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 241. UPON THEIR ARRIVAL MARCH 5, 1925, THEY WERE PLACED IN STORAGE AT FORT MASON, CALIF., AT THE REQUEST OF CAPTAIN HYDE. SPECIAL ORDERS, NO. 84 DIRECTED HIM TO PROCEED TO FORT HUMPHREYS INSTEAD OF CAMP LEWIS AS DIRECTED BY PRIOR ORDERS AND PURSUANT TO HIS REQUEST OF APRIL 17, 1925, THAT HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS BE SENT TO FORT HUMPHREYS, THEY WERE FORWARDED BY THE FIRST TRANSPORT SAILING FOR BROOKLYN, N. Y., ON JULY 7, 1925, THENCE BY COMMON CARRIER TO FORT HUMPHREYS. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE GOODS WERE RECEIPTED FOR AS HAVING BEEN RECEIVED IN GOOD CONDITION, THE OFFICER HAVING CERTIFIED SEPTEMBER 28, 1925, THAT "UPON ARRIVAL THE CRATES ALL SEEMED IN FAIR CONDITION AND NO DAMAGE TO PROPERTY WAS VISIBLE FROM THE EXTERIOR.' ON DECEMBER 6, 1925, LABORERS EMPLOYED BY THE QUARTERMASTER TO UNCRATE THE GOODS STATED THAT "SOME OF THE CRATES WERE BROKEN.' "THE CRATES WERE PRETTY BADLY PULLED TO PIECES" AND THAT "THE CRATES WERE ALSO BROKEN.' NO CLAIM HAS BEEN MADE AGAINST THE COMMON CARRIER FOR DAMAGES TO HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHILE BEING TRANSPORTED BY RAIL AND THE BOARD OF OFFICERS APPOINTED TO INVESTIGATE THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF SUCH LOSS DID NOT DETERMINE THE ACTUAL PLACE OF THE INCURRENCE OF THE DAMAGE, WHETHER WHILE IN STORAGE OR WHILE BEING TRANSPORTED BY GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE OR COMMON CARRIER.

THE FURNITURE DAMAGED, THE CHARACTER OF THE DAMAGE, AND THE ESTIMATED COST OF REPAIRS WERE STATED BY CAPTAIN HYDE WHEN FILING HIS CLAIM, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * (TABLE OMITTED) * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THE COST OF REPAIRS AS DETERMINED BY THE BOARD IS THE ESTIMATE AND OFFER OF A WITNESS STATED TO BE ENGAGED IN THAT BUSINESS WHO WAS PROCURED BY THE CLAIMANT, $257 PLUS $2, THE FEE PAID THE WITNESS BY THE CLAIMANT FOR HIS ATTENDANCE BEFORE THE BOARD OF OFFICERS INVESTIGATING THE CLAIM.

THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1436, PROVIDES REIMBURSEMENT OF THE VALUE OF PRIVATE PROPERTY BELONGING TO AND LOST OR DAMAGED WITHOUT FAULT OR NEGLIGENCE OF "OFFICERS, ENLISTED MEN, AND MEMBERS OF THE NURSE CORPS (FEMALE) OF THE ARMY," AMONG OTHER CONDITIONS:

THIRD. WHEN DURING TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS SUCH PRIVATE PROPERTY, INCLUDING THE REGULATING ALLOWANCE OF BAGGAGE, TRANSFERRED BY A COMMON CARRIER, OR OTHERWISE TRANSPORTED BY THE PROPER AGENT OR AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, IS LOST, DAMAGED, OR DESTROYED; BUT REPLACEMENT, RECOUPMENT, OR COMMUTATION IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, WHERE THE PROPERTY WAS OR SHALL BE TRANSPORTED BY A COMMON CARRIER, SHALL BE LIMITED TO THE EXTENT OF SUCH LOSS, DAMAGE, OR DESTRUCTION OVER AND ABOVE THE AMOUNT RECOVERABLE FROM SAID CARRIER.

THE FURNITURE WAS IN STORAGE AT FORT MASON FROM DATE OF ARRIVAL THERE, MARCH 5, 1925, UNTIL APRIL 17, 1925, AT THE REQUEST OF CLAIMANT, AND FROM APRIL 17 UNTIL JULY 7, 1925, AWAITING A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO NEW YORK. THE ONLY TESTIMONY AS TO THE CONDITION OF THE FURNITURE AT TIME OF CRATING IS THAT OF CLAIMANT. THE STATUTE IS NOT DESIGNED AS A MEDIUM BY WHICH OFFICERS OF THE ARMY MAY HAVE THEIR HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE REFINISHED AND THE ORDINARY WEAR RESULTING FROM ITS NORMAL USAGE REPAIRED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES. IT WAS DESIGNED TO COVER SUCH LOSS, DAMAGE, OR DESTRUCTION AS CAN WITH REASONABLE CERTAINTY BE DETERMINED TO HAVE RESULTED FROM AND DURING ITS SHIPMENT. FOR THESE REASONS IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE AS TO THE TIME, PLACE, AND MANNER OF DAMAGE IT IS NOT ESTABLISHED THAT DAMAGE OF THE CHARACTER HERE CONSIDERED OCCURRED WHILE THE GOODS WERE BEING "TRANSFERRED BY A COMMON CARRIER, OR OTHERWISE TRANSPORTED BY THE PROPER AGENT OR AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.' DECISION OF APRIL 30, 1926, A-12115.