A-17329, FEBRUARY 12, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 528

A-17329: Feb 12, 1927

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WHOSE CATTLE WERE SLAUGHTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE UNDER AUTHORITY OF STATUTE AND COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS WITH THE STATES. NOTWITHSTANDING THERE IS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN AN ERROR MADE IN COMPUTING THE AMOUNT PREVIOUSLY PAID. WAS FIRST APPRAISED AT $90. WHICH WAS INCLUDED IN THE AMOUNT OF $146.83 PAID TO CLAIMANT BY CHECK NO. 925418 ON VOUCHER NO. 188265. PETERS EXECUTED THE FOLLOWING CERTIFICATE: I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT THE APPRAISAL OF THE ABOVE-DESCRIBED ANIMALS IS ACCEPTED BY ME AND THAT THE AMOUNTS DUE ME FROM THE UNITED STATES. ARE CORRECT. THAT UPON RECEIPT OF SAID AMOUNT I HAVE NO FURTHER CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES * * * FOR SAID ANIMALS. 1926: * * * THE PREVIOUS CLAIM WAS SUBMITTED IN ERROR.

A-17329, FEBRUARY 12, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 528

CLAIMS - ACCEPTANCE OF FINAL PAYMENT FOR SLAUGHTER OF DISEASED CATTLE THE CERTIFICATE AS TO CORRECTNESS OF THE AMOUNT AND ACCEPTANCE THEREOF AS PAYMENT IN FULL BY THE OWNER, WHOSE CATTLE WERE SLAUGHTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE UNDER AUTHORITY OF STATUTE AND COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS WITH THE STATES, AND THE EXECUTION OF A RELEASE OF ALL FURTHER CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES, PRECLUDE ANY FURTHER PAYMENT BY THE UNITED STATES FOR THE LOSS OF SAID CATTLE, NOTWITHSTANDING THERE IS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN AN ERROR MADE IN COMPUTING THE AMOUNT PREVIOUSLY PAID.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, FEBRUARY 12, 1927:

LOUIS J. PETERS HAS REQUESTED REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT 0147935, DATED OCTOBER 16, 1926, DISALLOWING HIS CLAIM FOR $14.22, REPRESENTING AMOUNT AUTHORIZED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR SLAUGHTER OF DISEASED CATTLE OWNED BY HIM, IN ADDITION TO AMOUNT PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED AND PAID IN FULL FOR THE LOSS OF THE CATTLE, THE CLAIMANT HAVING EXECUTED FINAL RELEASE OF ALL CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

THE VALUE OF ONE TUBERCULAR COW, NO. A-20848, SLAUGHTERED IN WISCONSIN, OWNED BY LOUIS J. PETERS, WAS FIRST APPRAISED AT $90. UNDER THE TERMS OF THE APPROPRIATION ACTS (FISCAL YEAR 1926; SEE ACT OF FEBRUARY 10,1925, 43 STAT. 828), AND THE COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE STATE OF WISCONSIN, THE UNITED STATES PAID FOR THE LOSS OF THIS COW $5.78, WHICH WAS INCLUDED IN THE AMOUNT OF $146.83 PAID TO CLAIMANT BY CHECK NO. 925418 ON VOUCHER NO. 188265.

UNDER DATE OF FEBRUARY 2, 1926, PETERS EXECUTED THE FOLLOWING CERTIFICATE:

I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT THE APPRAISAL OF THE ABOVE-DESCRIBED ANIMALS IS ACCEPTED BY ME AND THAT THE AMOUNTS DUE ME FROM THE UNITED STATES, * * * AS INDICATED ABOVE, ARE CORRECT, AND THAT UPON RECEIPT OF SAID AMOUNT I HAVE NO FURTHER CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES * * * FOR SAID ANIMALS.

JUNE 24, 1926, THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE APPROVED AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $14.22 IN FAVOR OF PETERS FOR THE LOSS OF THE COW IN QUESTION FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON, AS STATED IN THE REPORT OF THE INSPECTOR IN CHARGE, DATED JUNE 3, 1926:

* * * THE PREVIOUS CLAIM WAS SUBMITTED IN ERROR, DUE TO THE FACT THAT THERE WAS CONTAINED IN THIS SHIPMENT AN ANIMAL, A GRADE BULL, THE PROPERTY OF MR. PETERS, WHICH WAS NOT SUBJECT TO INDEMNITY, AND THE T.E. FORM 24'S SUBMITTED BY THE COMMISSION FIRM HAD THE AMOUNTS OF SALVAGE INTERCHANGED. THE ERROR WAS NOT DISCOVERED UNTIL THE PREVIOUS CLAIM WAS SUBMITTED.

APPARENTLY, ONLY THE AMOUNT OF $6.24 SALVAGE SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEDUCTED FROM THE APPRAISED VALUE OF COW NO. A-20848 INSTEAD OF $23.11, THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY DEDUCTED BECAUSE OF SAID ERROR. THIS RESULTED IN PAYMENT TO CLAIMANT OF ONLY $5.78, SHARE OF THE UNITED STATES, FOR LOSS OF THIS COW, WHEREAS IF THE ERROR HAD NOT OCCURRED HE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED $20 FROM THE UNITED STATES, OR A DIFFERENCE OF $14.22 NOW CLAIMED.

THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER THE FINAL RELEASE SIGNED BY CLAIMANT IS TO BE TAKEN AS PRECLUDING ANY ADJUSTMENT OF THE ERROR AND FURTHER PAYMENT. THE CERTIFICATE AS TO THE CORRECTNESS OF THE AMOUNT PAID AND RELEASE OF FURTHER CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IS UNQUALIFIED. WAS AS MUCH THE DUTY OF CLAIMANT AS OF THE UNITED STATES TO SEE THAT THERE WERE NO ERRORS IN THE AMOUNT PROPOSED TO BE PAID BEFORE HE SIGNED THE RELEASE. IN FACT, IN HIS LETTER OF OCTOBER 28, 1926, CLAIMANT APPARENTLY ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HE KNEW OF THE MISTAKE BUT THAT HE THOUGHT THAT THE MATTER WOULD BE LATER ADJUSTED. IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY FRAUD OR DURESS IN THE PROCUREMENT, THE CERTIFICATE BY CLAIMANT AS TO THE CORRECTNESS OF THE AMOUNT PAID AND THE RELEASE OF ALL CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES PRECLUDES ANY ADJUSTMENT OF THE ERROR BY FURTHER PAYMENT FOR LOSS OF THE CATTLE FOR WHICH CLAIMANT WAS PREVIOUSLY PAID AND FOR WHICH HE SIGNED AN UNQUALIFIED RELEASE OF ALL FURTHER CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. COMP. DEC. 866.