A-18561, MAY 24, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 761

A-18561: May 24, 1927

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ARE DELIVERED TO THE CARRIER IN GOOD CONDITION AND WHEN RECEIVED AT DESTINATION SOME OF THE PACKAGES ARE FOUND TO BE IN A DAMAGED CONDITION. IS AUTHORIZED. FOR DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF CAPT. THE CLAIM IS PRESENTED UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4. THE ITEMS WHICH HAVE BEEN APPROVED FOR PAYMENT BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR ARE $20 FOR THE COST OF REPAIRING A MAHOGANY TABLE. IS NOT SHOWN. PRESUMABLY WAS RECEIPTED FOR IN GOOD ORDER. TWO CRATES AND A BARREL WERE IN BAD CONDITION. FOR THE REPAIR OF WHICH CLAIM IS MADE. WERE DISCOVERED. WERE CONSIDERED CASES OF DAMAGE IN TRANSIT. THE SHIPMENTS BEING SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED IN THE FIRST CASE "IN FAIR CONDITION AND NO DAMAGE TO PROPERTY WAS VISIBLE FROM THE EXTERIOR.'.

A-18561, MAY 24, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 761

PROPERTY, PRIVATE - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF ARMY OFFICER DAMAGED IN TRANSIT WHERE THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY, ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, ARE DELIVERED TO THE CARRIER IN GOOD CONDITION AND WHEN RECEIVED AT DESTINATION SOME OF THE PACKAGES ARE FOUND TO BE IN A DAMAGED CONDITION, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ARTICLES OR REPAIRS THERETO IN THE DAMAGED PACKAGES, WITHIN THE LIMITS AND SUBJECT TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1436, IS AUTHORIZED. COMP. GEN. 7, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO MAJ. E. T. COMEGYS, UNITED STATES ARMY, MAY 24, 1927:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR REQUEST OF MAY 10, 1927, FOR DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF CAPT. WILLIAM G. WALKER, TWENTY-SEVENTH INFANTRY, FOR $31, REIMBURSEMENT FOR DAMAGE TO HIS REGULATION CHANGE OF STATION BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE ON SHIPMENT FROM FORT BENNING, GA., TO HONOLULU, HAWAII, UNDER HIS CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS OF MAY 9, 1925. THE CLAIM IS PRESENTED UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1436. THE ITEMS WHICH HAVE BEEN APPROVED FOR PAYMENT BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR ARE $20 FOR THE COST OF REPAIRING A MAHOGANY TABLE, $6 FOR REPAIRING AN EBONY DESK, AND $5 FOR REPAIRING A BROKEN LAMP SHADE. THE SHIPMENT MOVED FROM COLUMBUS, GA., VIA THE CENTRAL OF GEORGIA RAILROAD TO SAVANNAH, OCEAN STEAMSHIP CO. OF SAVANNAH TO THE ARMY BASE, BROOKLYN, N.Y., AND BY UNITED STATES ARMY TRANSPORT EDGEMOOR TO HONOLULU. THE CONDITION OF THE SHIPMENT WHEN DELIVERED AT THE ARMY BASE, BROOKLYN, IS NOT SHOWN, BUT PRESUMABLY WAS RECEIPTED FOR IN GOOD ORDER. WHEN DELIVERED IN HONOLULU, TWO CRATES AND A BARREL WERE IN BAD CONDITION, AND WHEN UNPACKED THE DAMAGED ITEMS, FOR THE REPAIR OF WHICH CLAIM IS MADE, WERE DISCOVERED.

IN DECISIONS OF JULY 6, 1926, A-14819, 6 COMP. GEN. 7, AND APRIL 30, 1926, A-12115, WERE CONSIDERED CASES OF DAMAGE IN TRANSIT, THE SHIPMENTS BEING SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED IN THE FIRST CASE "IN FAIR CONDITION AND NO DAMAGE TO PROPERTY WAS VISIBLE FROM THE EXTERIOR.' IN THE OTHER CASE THE SHIPMENT WAS RECEIPTED FOR TO THE CARRIER IN GOOD CONDITION AND THE RAILROAD COMPANY DECLINED TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CLAIMED DAMAGE. ON SUCH A STATE OF FACTS IT WAS SAID THAT THE STATUTE 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.' * * *

WHILE IN THIS CASE THE CONDITION OF THE SHIPMENT WHEN DELIVERED BY THE COMMON CARRIER TO THE ARMY BASE AT BROOKLYN IS NOT SHOWN AND NO CLAIM SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN FILED AGAINST THE COMMON CARRIER, THERE SEEMS NO QUESTION THAT THE TWO CRATES AND THE BARREL WERE DELIVERED TO THE CARRIER AT COLUMBUS, GA., IN GOOD CONDITION AND WERE RECEIVED AT HONOLULU IN DAMAGED CONDITION, VISIBLE FROM THE EXTERIOR, AND THAT THE TIME, PLACE, AND MANNER OF THE VISIBLE DAMAGE WAS DURING SHIPMENT UNDER ORDERS, ALL THAT CAN USUALLY BE SHOWN IN SUCH CASES. WHERE THE PACKAGES ARE RECEIVED IN APPARENT GOOD ORDER AND THE DAMAGE IS CONCEALED THE CASE IS OTHERWISE.

THE BETTER PRACTICE WOULD BE TO SHOW THE CONDITION OF THE SHIPMENT AT EACH TRANSFER POINT AND THAT COURSE IS SUGGESTED IN FUTURE CASES, IF PRACTICABLE, BUT ON THE EVIDENCE HERE PRESENTED YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY THE VOUCHER IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.