B-135814, MAY 9, 1958

B-135814: May 9, 1958

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USN: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 12. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE ERRONEOUS SHIPMENT AS REPORTED BY THE CARRIER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY ARE AS FOLLOWS: "THE SHIPPER. SAYING HIS HOUSE WAS NOT READY YET AND SENT THE VAN ON BACK TO THE WAREHOUSE WHERE THEY HAD TO UNLOAD AND SET THE GOODS BACK IN STORAGE. WHEN THE GOODS WERE FINALLY DELIVERED TO THE RESIDENCE. HE DID NOT SPECIFY THAT IT WAS AN EXPRESS SHIPMENT HE WANTED DELIVERED. THEY VERY NATURALLY ASSUMED WITHOUT QUESTION THAT WAS WHAT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO DELIVER. SINCE THEY HAD NO WAY OF KNOWING THERE WAS ANOTHER SHIPMENT SOMEWHERE.'. THAT OFFICE WAS IN POSSESSION OF THE BULK OF YOUR EFFECTS BUT THE EXPRESS SHIPMENT FROM PENSACOLA WAS NOT ADDRESSED TO THAT OFFICE.

B-135814, MAY 9, 1958

TO LIEUTENANT R. P. NOTSON, USN:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 12, 1958, IN EFFECT REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 30, 1957, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $60 REPRESENTING THE COST OF AN ERRONEOUS DELIVERY OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM WAREHOUSE TO RESIDENCE AND RETURN.

THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE ERRONEOUS SHIPMENT AS REPORTED BY THE CARRIER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY ARE AS FOLLOWS:

"THE SHIPPER, LT. NOTSON, CALLED WEATHERS BROS. TRANSFER COMPANY AND ORDERED HIS GOODS DELIVERED TO RESIDENCE. WEATHERS BROS. LOADED A VAN AND SENT THE GOODS TO THE ADDRESS SPECIFIED BY THE SHIPPER AND WHEN THEY ARRIVED AT RESIDENCE, THE SHIPPER REFUSED TO ACCEPT THE GOODS, SAYING HIS HOUSE WAS NOT READY YET AND SENT THE VAN ON BACK TO THE WAREHOUSE WHERE THEY HAD TO UNLOAD AND SET THE GOODS BACK IN STORAGE. WHEN THE GOODS WERE FINALLY DELIVERED TO THE RESIDENCE, MR. HARTMAN CHARGED THE$60 WHICH DID NOT ANY MORE THAN COVER THE MINIMUM OF EXPENSE OF THE FIRST SHIPMENT. MR. HARTMAN STATES THAT WHEN THE SHIPPER ORDERED HIS GOODS OUT THE FIRST TIME, HE DID NOT SPECIFY THAT IT WAS AN EXPRESS SHIPMENT HE WANTED DELIVERED. SINCE WEATHERS BROS. HAD ONLY THIS ONE SHIPMENT BELONGING TO LT. NOTSON IN THEIR WAREHOUSE, THEY VERY NATURALLY ASSUMED WITHOUT QUESTION THAT WAS WHAT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO DELIVER, SINCE THEY HAD NO WAY OF KNOWING THERE WAS ANOTHER SHIPMENT SOMEWHERE.'

IT APPEARS FROM YOUR LETTER THAT THE PREMATURE DELIVERY OF YOUR EFFECTS WHICH GAVE RISE TO THE ADDITIONAL CHARGE FOR WHICH YOU NOW CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT RESULTED FROM INFORMATION RECEIVED BY YOU IN RESPONSE TO A CALL MADE TO THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SECTION, NAVAL AIR STATION, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, CONCERNING A DELAY IN THE DELIVERY OF AN EXPRESS SHIPMENT OF SOME OF YOUR EFFECTS FROM PENSACOLA, FLORIDA. THAT OFFICE WAS IN POSSESSION OF THE BULK OF YOUR EFFECTS BUT THE EXPRESS SHIPMENT FROM PENSACOLA WAS NOT ADDRESSED TO THAT OFFICE. THAT SHIPMENT HAD BEEN SENT TO A PRIVATE RESIDENCE AND, THEREFORE, WAS A MATTER SOLELY BETWEEN YOU AND THE EXPRESS COMPANY.

THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS GOVERNED BY JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO LAW. THOSE REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO AUTHORIZED POINTS AT THE REQUEST OF THE OWNER AND THAT IT IS THE OWNER'S RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE PROPER ARRANGEMENTS TO ACCEPT DELIVERY OF HIS EFFECTS UPON ARRIVAL AT DESTINATION. THE REGULATIONS TAKE COGNIZANCE, HOWEVER, OF THE FACT THAT EFFECTS OCCASIONALLY MAY BE IMPROPERLY SHIPPED OR OTHERWISE UNAVOIDABLY SEPARATED FROM THE MEMBER WITHOUT FAULT ON HIS PART. IN THOSE CASES, THE REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT THE EFFECTS MAY BE FORWARDED TO THE PROPER DESTINATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UPON APPROVAL OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED.

IN THE PRESENT CASE, WHILE IT APPEARS THAT AN ERROR OCCURRED, THE RECORD DOES NOT ESTABLISH THAT THE HAULING OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM THE TRANSFER COMPANY'S WAREHOUSE TO YOUR RESIDENCE AND RETURN WAS WITHOUT FAULT ON YOUR PART. SUCH BEING THE CASE, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 30, 1957, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.