B-132423, JUL, 18, 1958

B-132423: Jul 18, 1958

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

WAS SENT TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE BY THE ADDRESSEE FOR OUR HANDLING. - ACTUALLY WAS TRANSPORTED BY THE BAKER FREIGHT LINES. YOU STATE IN THE LETTER THAT IN ORDER TO PRESERVE THE RIGHTS OF YOUR CLIENTS YOU HAVE FILED SUIT ON THEIR BEHALF AGAINST THE BAKER FREIGHT LINES. THE RECORD BEFORE THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN THIS CASE CONTAINS NOTHING TO SHOW THAT THE BAKER FREIGHT LINES WAS IN ANY WAY INVOLVED IN THIS MATTER. ALL OTHER REFERENCES ARE TO THE SACRAMENTO FREIGHT LINES. ALL CORRESPONDENCE IN THE CASE WAS FROM. IT WAS THAT CARRIER WHICH MADE AN OFFER IN COMPROMISE. IT IS THAT CARRIER WHICH IS PRIMARILY LIABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE DAMAGE TO THE SHIPMENT. THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS CHARGED BY LAW WITH THE DUTY OF SETTLING AND ADJUSTING ALL CLAIMS AND DEMANDS BY THE UNITED STATES OR AGAINST IT.

B-132423, JUL, 18, 1958

TO MR. KNEELAND H. LOBNER:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 26, 1958, WRITTEN IN YOUR CAPACITY AS ATTORNEY FOR THE SACRAMENTO FREIGHT LINES AND THE TRANSPORT INDEMNITY COMPANY TO CAPTAIN G. F. LEWIS AT THE AIR FORCE FINANCE CENTER, DENVER, COLORADO, WAS SENT TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE BY THE ADDRESSEE FOR OUR HANDLING. THE LETTER INDICATES THAT THE SHIPMENT OF THREE PRACTICE BOMBS INVOLVED IN THIS CASE--- FOR DAMAGE TO WHICH THE GOVERNMENT HAS A CLAIM FOR $11,059.80 AGAINST THE SACRAMENTO FREIGHT LINES--- ACTUALLY WAS TRANSPORTED BY THE BAKER FREIGHT LINES, A SUB-HAULER FOR THE SACRAMENTO FREIGHT LINES. YOU STATE IN THE LETTER THAT IN ORDER TO PRESERVE THE RIGHTS OF YOUR CLIENTS YOU HAVE FILED SUIT ON THEIR BEHALF AGAINST THE BAKER FREIGHT LINES, AND YOU URGE THAT THE GOVERNMENT INTERVENE IN THAT SUIT OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, THAT THE GOVERNMENT FILE SUIT DIRECTLY AGAINST THE BAKER FREIGHT LINES FOR THE DAMAGE TO THE SHIPMENT REFERRED TO ABOVE.

THE RECORD BEFORE THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN THIS CASE CONTAINS NOTHING TO SHOW THAT THE BAKER FREIGHT LINES WAS IN ANY WAY INVOLVED IN THIS MATTER, EXCEPT FOR THE WORDS "BAKER TRUCK NO. 1A" AND "SUB HAULER" SHOWN ON THE BOTTOM OF A PURPORTED COPY OF SACRAMENTO FREIGHT LINES' FREIGHT BILL NO. S 47219, AND THE NOTATION "BAKER (SFL)" SHOWN IN THE SPACE CAPTIONED "NAME OF CARRIER" IN A PURPORTED BUT UNAUTHENTICATED COPY OF AN INSPECTION REPORT. ALL OTHER REFERENCES ARE TO THE SACRAMENTO FREIGHT LINES. THE COPY OF THE BILL OF LADING SHOWS REFERENCE ONLY TO THE SACRAMENTO FREIGHT LINES, ALL CORRESPONDENCE IN THE CASE WAS FROM, TO, OR ON BEHALF OF THE SAME CARRIER, AND IT WAS THAT CARRIER WHICH MADE AN OFFER IN COMPROMISE. THUS, IT SEEMS CERTAIN THAT REGARDLESS OF WHAT RELATION THE BAKER FREIGHT LINES BORE TO THE SACRAMENTO FREIGHT LINES, THE GOVERNMENT DEALT WITH THE LATTER, AND IT IS THAT CARRIER WHICH IS PRIMARILY LIABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE DAMAGE TO THE SHIPMENT.

THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS CHARGED BY LAW WITH THE DUTY OF SETTLING AND ADJUSTING ALL CLAIMS AND DEMANDS BY THE UNITED STATES OR AGAINST IT, AND ALL ACCOUNTS IN WHICH THE UNITED STATES IS CONCERNED, EITHER AS DEBTOR OR CREDITOR. 31 U.S.C. 71. IN CARRYING OUT THIS DUTY, WE BELIEVE THAT IN THIS CASE THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES WILL BE SERVED BY REQUIRING PAYMENT BY THE PARTY PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE TO THE UNITED STATES. THIS IS ESPECIALLY SO INASMUCH AS THERE SEEMS TO BE NO PRIVITY OF CONTRACT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE BAKER FREIGHT LINES. THEREFORE, OUR OFFICE WOULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED IN RECOMMENDING THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INTERVENE IN THE PRESENT SUIT BETWEEN THE CARRIERS, OR FILE SUIT DIRECTLY AGAINST THE BAKER FREIGHT LINES.

ACCORDINGLY, A CHECK DRAWN BY THE SACRAMENTO FREIGHT LINES OR ITS INSURER, MADE PAYABLE TO THE UNITED STATES FOR THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE CLAIM, $11,059.80, SHOULD BE MAILED TO OUR OFFICE PROMPTLY TO OBVIATE THE NECESSITY FOR INITIATING OTHER COLLECTION PROCEEDINGS.