B-168588, JAN. 26, 1970

B-168588: Jan 26, 1970

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

IN THE EVENT THAT WE SHOULD DETERMINE THAT APPROPRIATED FUNDS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR ALL OR ANY PART OF THE CLAIM. CONSIDERATION WAS REQUESTED AS A "MERITORIOUS CLAIM" UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 236 OF TITLE 31 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE. IDENTIFICATION OF THE PEDESTRIAN BY THE FRENCH POLICE WAS BASED UPON HIS POSSESSION OF UNITED STATES PASSPORT. THE INJURED PERSON WAS TAKEN TO EDUARD HERRIOT HOSPITAL IN LYON. HE WAS UNABLE TO TALK TO THE INJURED PERSON WHO WAS IN A DEEP COMA. ON THE BASIS OF THE PASSPORT WHICH WAS SHOWN TO THE REPRESENTATIVE BY THE HOSPITAL AUTHORITIES. ANOTHER TELEGRAM WAS RECEIVED FROM THE AMERICAN CONSULATE. THE FUNDS AND APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTIONS WERE TRANSMITTED TO THE CONSULATE AT LYON.

B-168588, JAN. 26, 1970

MISCELLANEOUS--CLAIMS--MERITORIOUS DECISION TO CLAIMANT AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF COST OF PREPARATION AND TRANSPORTATION OF REMAINS OF PERSON ORIGINALLY THOUGHT TO BE SON OF CLAIMANT. HOWEVER, CLAIM FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES INCIDENT TO MATTER MAY NOT BE ALLOWED. NEITHER DOES CLAIM CONTAIN LEGAL OR EQUITABLE FACTORS WARRANTING REPORTING TO CONGRESS UNDER ACT OF APRIL 10, 1928.

TO MR. JOSEPH J. SAVAGO:

YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE MISTAKEN IDENTIFICATION OF THE BODY OF PRIVATE JOSEPH R. SPAMPINATO AS THAT OF YOUR SON, JOSEPH J. SAVAGO, JR; HAS BEEN REFERRED TO THIS OFFICE BY THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF SUPPORT SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY WITH A REQUEST THAT WE DETERMINE THE RESPECTIVE LIABILITIES, IF ANY, OF EITHER THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY OR THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE. IN THE EVENT THAT WE SHOULD DETERMINE THAT APPROPRIATED FUNDS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR ALL OR ANY PART OF THE CLAIM, CONSIDERATION WAS REQUESTED AS A "MERITORIOUS CLAIM" UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 236 OF TITLE 31 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE.

EXAMINATION OF INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE FILE DISCLOSES THAT AT VIENNE (ISERE), FRANCE, ON THURSDAY, JULY 31, 1969, AT 9:15 P.M; A PASSENGER CAR DRIVEN BY GEORGES MATHIEU, FRENCH, COLLIDED WITH A HITCHHIKER, IDENTIFIED BY THE FRENCH POLICE AS JOSEPH SAVAGO, AMERICAN. IDENTIFICATION OF THE PEDESTRIAN BY THE FRENCH POLICE WAS BASED UPON HIS POSSESSION OF UNITED STATES PASSPORT, NO. K449864 WHICH HAD BEEN ISSUED TO JOSEPH JOHN SAVAGO, JR.

THE PERSON IDENTIFIED AS JOSEPH SAVAGO HAD BEEN SEVERELY INJURED. THE POLICE CALLED THE FIREMEN OF THE CITY OF VIENNE WHO ARRIVED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE WITH A DOCTOR. THE INJURED PERSON WAS TAKEN TO EDUARD HERRIOT HOSPITAL IN LYON, FRANCE.

UPON HEARING OF THE ACCIDENT A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE AMERICAN CONSULATE GENERAL, LYON, FRANCE, ON FRIDAY MORNING, AUGUST 1, 1969, WENT TO THE EDUARD HERRIOT HOSPITAL. HE WAS UNABLE TO TALK TO THE INJURED PERSON WHO WAS IN A DEEP COMA. ON THE BASIS OF THE PASSPORT WHICH WAS SHOWN TO THE REPRESENTATIVE BY THE HOSPITAL AUTHORITIES, THE CONSULATE SENT A TELEGRAM TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE REPORTING THE ACCIDENT AND REQUESTING THAT THE PARENTS BE NOTIFIED.

BEFORE NOTIFICATION COULD BE SENT TO THE PARENTS, ANOTHER TELEGRAM WAS RECEIVED FROM THE AMERICAN CONSULATE, LYON, FRANCE, REPORTING THAT SHORTLY AFTER 12:00 O'CLOCK NOON, AUGUST 1, 1969, THE HOSPITAL HAD ADVISED THE CONSULATE THAT THE INJURED PERSON HAD DIED OF HIS INJURIES. THE STATE DEPARTMENT BY TELEGRAM NOTIFIED YOU OF THE DEATH. ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 2, 1969, THE STATE DEPARTMENT DUTY OFFICER RECEIVED FUNDS FROM YOU FOR THE AIR SHIPMENT OF THE REMAINS. THE FUNDS AND APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTIONS WERE TRANSMITTED TO THE CONSULATE AT LYON.

IN A STATE DEPARTMENT MEMORANDUM DATED AUGUST 14, 1969, THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION APPEARS:

"ON AUGUST 4, THE DEPARTMENT CONTACTED THE FATHER, MR. JOSEPH SAVAGO, BOX 102, BAYBERRY LANE, SOUTH SALEM, NEW YORK (914 - 503-3422) BY PHONE AND REQUESTED THE NAME OF THE CONSIGNEE FOR THE REMAINS WHICH HAD NOT BEEN GIVEN IN THE TELEGRAM RECEIVED BY THE DUTY OFFICER. MR. SAVAGO PROVIDED THE NAME OF THE FUNERAL HOME TO WHICH THE REMAINS WERE TO BE CONSIGNED AND ALSO INFORMED THE DEPARTMENT THAT HIS NEPHEW, MICHAEL MOSER, WAS IN LYON AND HAD CONTACTED THE CONSULAR OFFICER. MR. SAVAGO HAD REQUESTED MOSER TO GO TO LYON AND PICK UP THE PERSONAL EFFECTS OF THE DECEASED. MOSER REPORTED TO MR. SAVAGO THAT THE CONSULAR OFFICER HAD SAID HE COULD NOT RELEASE THE PERSONAL EFFECTS WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION FROM THE FATHER. MR. SAVAGO SAID HE WOULD SEND A TELEGRAM OF AUTHORIZATION TO THE DEPARTMENT.

"THE NAME OF THE CONSIGNEE FOR THE REMAINS AND MR. SAVAGO'S AUTHORIZATION WERE BOTH TELEGRAPHED TO LYON.

"DURING THE DAY THE DEPARTMENT RECEIVED TELEPHONE CALLS FROM THE OFFICES OF CONGRESSMAN REID (MRS. FALKENBERG) AND CONGRESSMAN FISH (MISS CLOW) REQUESTING INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS CASE AND TO BE KEPT ABREAST OF ALL DEVELOPMENTS.

"ON AUGUST 5TH THE DEPARTMENT RECEIVED A TELEGRAM FROM LYON GIVING THE ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL OF THE REMAINS AND INFORMING US THAT THE PERSONAL EFFECTS WERE GIVEN TO MOSER.

"THE DEPARTMENT IMMEDIATELY NOTIFIED MISS CLOW (CONG. FISH) AND SHORTLY THEREAFTER MISS FALKENBERG (CONG. REID). BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT COULD NOTIFY THE FUNERAL HOME AND MR. SAVAGO, MISS CLOW CALLED AND SAID THAT THE RELATIVES OF THE DECEASED WERE UNCERTAIN OF THE IDENTITY OF THE DECEASED. MISS CLOW WAS INFORMED TO NOTIFY THE DEPARTMENT IMMEDIATELY IF THE RELATIVES WANTED THE SHIPMENT STOPPED AND THE REMAINS TO STAY IN FRANCE FOR FURTHER IDENTIFICATION. MISS CLOW SAID SHE WOULD FIND OUT. THE DEPARTMENT THEN CALLED MISS FALKENBERG AND INFORMED HER OF THIS DEVELOPMENT. SHE SEEMED SURPRISED TO LEARN THAT ANOTHER CONGRESSMAN WAS INVOLVED IN THIS CASE SINCE SHE STATED HER OFFICE WAS DEALING WITH THE PARENTS AND ASKED ON WHOSE BEHALF THE OTHER CONGRESSMAN WAS ACTING. THE DEPARTMENT WAS NOT AWARE OF WHOM CONGRESSMAN FISH WAS ACTING FOR AND MISS FALKENBERG SAID SHE WOULD GET IN TOUCH WITH MISS CLOW AND COORDINATE. LATE IN THE AFTERNOON MISS CLOW CALLED AND SAID THAT THE RELATIVES HAD SAID TO PROCEED WITH THE SHIPMENT AND SHORTLY THEREAFTER MISS FALKENBERG CALLED GIVING THE SAME INFORMATION.

"THE DEPARTMENT HEARD NOTHING FURTHER IN THIS CASE UNTIL THE MORNING OF AUGUST 11 WHEN MR. SAVAGO CALLED AND INFORMED THE DEPARTMENT THAT HE HAD JUST RECEIVED A LETTER IN HIS SON'S HANDWRITING DATED AUGUST 5TH AND POSTMARKED IN LONDON ON AUGUST 8TH. THE LETTER STATED THAT THE SON HAD ARRIVED IN ENGLAND ON JULY 30TH AND DESCRIBED HIS DOINGS FOR SEVERAL DAYS. THE LETTER STATED THAT THE SON COULD BE REACHED THROUGH THE AMERICAN EXPRESS IN LONDON BUT GAVE NO FURTHER ADDRESS. THE FATHER ALSO SAID THAT THE REMAINS HAD BEEN BURIED BUT HAD NOT BEEN VIEWED PRIOR TO BURIAL AS THE UNDERTAKER RECEIVING THE REMAINS SAID THAT THE CASKET COULD NOT BE OPENED.

"THE DEPARTMENT IMMEDIATELY TELEPHONED THE EMBASSY AT LONDON GIVING THEM THE FACTS OF THIS CASE AND REQUESTED THE EMBASSY TO MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO LOCATE A RECORD OF SAVAGO, OR SAVAGO HIMSELF IN LONDON.

"ON AUGUST 12 THE EMBASSY AT LONDON CALLED THE DEPARTMENT AND SAID THAT THE HOME OFFICE HAD NOTIFIED THE EMBASSY THAT THEY HAD A RECORD OF THE ENTRY OF ONE JOSEPH JOHN SAVAGO ON JULY 30, BEARER OF PASSPORT Z1024675. (PASSPORT K449864 WAS FOUND ON THE BODY OF THE DECEASED.)

"THE DEPARTMENT QUERIED FLORENCE AND LEARNED BY TELEGRAM ON AUGUST 13, THAT PASSPORT Z1024675 WAS ISSUED BY FLORENCE, ITALY ON JULY 17 AS A REPLACEMENT FOR PASSPORT K449864 WHICH WAS REPORTED LOST.

"THE EMBASSY AT LONDON IS ENDEAVORING TO LOCATE THE BEARER OF PASSPORT Z1024675 BUT TO DATE WITHOUT SUCCESS. THE FATHER OF SAVAGO HAS INSERTED ADVERTISEMENTS IN THE PARIS HERALD FOR SAVAGO TO CONTACT THE FAMILY BUT SO FAR NO RESULTS.

"THE AMERICAN CONSULATE AT LYON REPORTED BY TELEGRAM ON AUGUST 13 THAT THE NEPHEW, MICHAEL MOSER, POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED THE REMAINS AS JOSEPH JOHN SAVAGO. ALSO STATES THAT MORGUE ATTENDANTS COMPARED PASSPORT PHOTO WITH THE BODY AND STATED BOTH TO BE THE SAME PERSON.

"POLICE AT VIENNE, WHERE THE FATAL ACCIDENT OCCURRED, STATED THAT THE TRAVELING COMPANION OF THE DECEASED WAS AN AUSTRALIAN, JOHN ROWLAND DENIS WADE WHO HAD MET THE DECEASED THREE DAYS PRIOR IN SPAIN AND KNEW HIM ONLY AS 'JOEY'. WADE'S PRESENT WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN."

YOUR SON CALLED IN PERSON AT THE AMERICAN EMBASSY IN LONDON, ENGLAND, IN THE LATE AFTERNOON OF AUGUST 15, 1969. HE SIGNED A STATEMENT INDICATING THAT HE HAD BEEN IN FLORENCE, ITALY, FOR A WEEK WHEN HE WENT TO THE AMERICAN EMBASSY AND CASHED SOME TRAVELLERS' CHECKS; THAT WHEN HE GOT HOME HIS PASSPORT WAS MISSING; THAT HE REALIZED IT MUST HAVE BEEN TAKEN IN THE STREET; AND THAT HE APPLIED AT THE CONSULATE IN FLORENCE AND WAS GIVEN ANOTHER PASSPORT.

ON AUGUST 15, 1969, YOU WERE CONTACTED BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT. YOU INFORMED THE REPRESENTATIVE THAT YOUR NEPHEW MICHAEL MOSER WHO WAS TRAVELLING IN EUROPE AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT VIEWED THE BODY. YOU STATED THAT MR. MOSER, BECAUSE OF HEAD INJURIES TO THE DECEASED WAS ONLY ABLE TO STATE THAT THE SKIN COLORING AND THE GENERAL FEATURES APPEARED THE SAME BUT THAT THE INDIVIDUAL HAD PUT ON A LITTLE MORE WEIGHT THAN WHEN LAST SEEN THREE YEARS PREVIOUSLY. YOU ALSO STATED THAT MR. MOSER TENTATIVELY IDENTIFIED THE BODY AND THAT HOSPITAL ATTENDANTS IDENTIFIED THE BODY APPARENTLY ON THE BASIS OF THE PASSPORT. YOU FURTHER STATED THAT YOU HAD BEEN INFORMED BY MICHAEL SMITH, AMERICAN CONSUL AT LYON, FRANCE, THAT THERE WERE SEVERAL TRAVELING COMPANIONS WHO REFERRED TO THE DECEASED AS "JOE SAVAGO." YOU INFORMED THE REPRESENTATIVE THAT THE BODY HAD BEEN FLOWN BACK TO THE UNITED STATES IN A SEALED CASKET AND BURIED ON AUGUST 8, 1969, AT ST. MARY'S CEMETERY, KINGSTON, NEW YORK. YOU ALSO STATED THAT YOU HAD RECEIVED THE PERSONAL EFFECTS OF THE DECEASED AND NONE OF THEM BELONGED TO YOUR SON.

ON AUGUST 18, YOU TURNED OVER TO A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT THE PERSONAL EFFECTS OF THE DECEASED. UNITED STATES PASSPORT NO. K449864 ISSUED APRIL 7, 1969, WAS ALSO PICKED UP AT THAT TIME. THIS WAS THE PASSPORT WHICH HAD BEEN FOUND ON THE BODY OF THE DECEASED. YOUR SON'S PHOTOGRAPH WAS STILL IN THE PASSPORT WHICH HAD NOT BEEN ALTERED. IT BORE NO VISA OR IMMIGRATION STAMPS OTHER THAN TWO FROM LONDON, ENGLAND, DATED JUNE 11, AND JUNE 20, 1969.

AS A RESULT OF FURTHER INVESTIGATION IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE REMAINS WHICH HAD BEEN BURIED WERE THOSE OF JOSEPH STAMPINATO, PRIVATE, U.S. ARMY, BORN DECEMBER 8, 1948, AT NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS, AND LISTED AS ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE (AWOL) ON JUNE 18, 1969, FROM A MILITARY BASE AT LIVORNO, ITALY. THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY TOOK CHARGE OF THE REMAINS OF PRIVATE SPAMPINATO UNDER ITS PROCEDURES FOR CARE AND DISPOSITION OF REMAINS. HAS PAID THE EXPENSES ARISING OUT OF THE DISINTERMENT, IDENTIFICATION, RE- CASKETING, AND TRANSPORTATION OF THE REMAINS AS WELL AS AN INTERMENT ALLOWANCE TO THE SPAMPINATO FAMILY.

YOUR ITEMIZED CLAIM FOR EXPENSES IS AS FOLLOWS:

"PREPARATION AND SHIPMENT OF BODY AIR-FREIGHT $ 2,000.00

LYON-PARIS-JFK

"WESTERN UNION MONEY ORDER FEES 22.02

"CABLEGRAM TO LYON, FRANCE 5.00

"FUNERAL EXPENSES HOLLORAN FUNERAL HOME 793.40

"FLOWERS AND MASS CARDS 104.50

"AIR FARE LONDON-JFK TO RETURN SON HOME 255.00

IMMEDIATELY AND PREMATURELY

"DOMESTIC PHONE CALLS 86.75

"OVERSEAS PHONE CALLS 203.50

"LOSS OF TWO WEEKS AND TWO DAYS WORK BY 979.50

JOSEPH SR.

"INTEREST ON LOAN TAKEN OUT TO PAY EXPENSES 210.00

"SON'S STUDENT CHARTER RETURN FLIGHT TICKET 125.00

PARIS-JFK FOR SEPT. 3RD NOT REIMBURSED

"PURCHASE OF CEMETERY PLOT $250 AND PERPETUAL 450.00

CARE $200

"TWO WEEK'S RENT PAID IN ADVANCE ON LONDON FLAT 25.00

"LEGAL EXPENSES 375.00

"NEPHEW'S TRAVEL FARE FROM MADRID TO LYON AND 140.00

EXPENSES AT LYON

"NEPHEW'S AIR FARE LYON-PARIS-JFK TO RETURN300.00

HOME PREMATURELY

"NEPHEW'S STUDENT CHARTER RETURN FLIGHT TICKET 125.00

MADRID-JFK FOR AUG. 16 NOT REIMBURSED

"COMPENSATION FOR ADDITIONAL BURDENS AND 500.00

INCONVENIENCES PLACED ON MRS. SAVAGO

"MISCELLANEOUS 300.33

"TOTAL $ 7,000.00"

THE STATE DEPARTMENT HAS INFORMED US THAT SUBSEQUENT TO THE PRESENTATION OF YOUR CLAIM THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT OF $2,000 WHICH YOU SUBMITTED TO COVER THE COST OF PREPARATION AND TRANSPORTATION OF REMAINS AND THE AMOUNT OF $1,229.92, ACTUALLY EXPENDED HAS BEEN REFUNDED TO YOU.

INSOFAR AS THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY (ARMY) IS CONCERNED, IT IS CLEAR FROM WHAT IS SET FORTH ABOVE THAT THE ARMY WAS IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MISTAKEN IDENTIFICATION WHICH GAVE RISE TO THE CLAIM. THE ARMY CONCEDES, HOWEVER, THAT HAD THE BODY OF THE DECEASED BEEN PROPERLY IDENTIFIED AT THE OUTSET, THE ARMY WOULD HAVE INCURRED EXPENSES OF APPROXIMATELY $1,100 FOR PREPARATION OF THE REMAINS IN EUROPE AND THEIR TRANSPORTATION TO THE UNITED STATES. WHILE THE ARMY INDICATES THAT ITS COST WOULD HAVE BEEN SLIGHTLY LESS THAN THE AMOUNT ($1,229.92) YOU EXPENDED FOR PREPARATION AND SHIPMENT OF THE REMAINS, IT IS THE ARMY'S VIEW THAT THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY EXPENDED BY YOU FOR THESE PURPOSES WAS REASONABLE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE THE ARMY, IN EFFECT, RECEIVED A BENEFIT FOR WHICH IT OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE EXPENDED APPROPRIATED FUNDS, WE ARE INSTRUCTING OUR CLAIMS DIVISION TO ALLOW THAT PORTION OF YOUR CLAIM ($1,229.92) COVERING THE EXPENSE OF PREPARING AND SHIPPING THE REMAINS OF PRIVATE JOSEPH SPAMPINATO TO THE UNITED STATES.

UNDER THE REPORTED CIRCUMSTANCES, HOWEVER, THE APPROPRIATIONS OF NEITHER THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY NOR THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE WOULD BE AVAILABLE TO PAY THE BALANCE OF YOUR CLAIM.

AS TO THE CONSIDERATION OF ALL OR ANY PART OF YOUR CLAIM UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT (ACT OF APRIL 10, 1928), 31 U.S.C. 236, THAT ACT PROVIDES THAT WHEN A CLAIM IS FILED IN THIS OFFICE THAT MAY NOT BE LAWFULLY ADJUSTED BY THE USE OF AN APPROPRIATION THERETOFORE MADE, BUT WHICH CLAIM IN OUR JUDGMENT CONTAINS SUCH ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY AS TO BE DESERVING OF THE CONSIDERATION OF THE CONGRESS, IT SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE CONGRESS WITH OUR RECOMMENDATIONS. WHILE SOME OF THE COSTS INVOLVED WERE INCURRED BY YOU BECAUSE OF CERTAIN INFORMATION FURNISHED YOU BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, AT THE TIME THE INFORMATION WAS FURNISHED THERE WAS NO REASON TO DOUBT THE ACCURACY OF THAT INFORMATION. FURTHER, YOUR REPRESENTATIVE MR. MICHAEL MOSER (YOUR NEPHEW) VIEWED THE BODY IN LYON, FRANCE, AND IDENTIFIED THE REMAINS AS THOSE OF YOUR SON JOSEPH JOHN SAVAGO. WHILE YOU INDICATED TO STATE DEPARTMENT REPRESENTATIVES THAT BECAUSE OF THE HEAD INJURIES MR. MOSER WAS ABLE TO MAKE ONLY A TENTATIVE IDENTIFICATION OF THE BODY, THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT THE CORONER OF ULSTER COUNTY, NEW YORK--WHEN HE EXHUMED THE BODY--STATED THAT THE FACE WAS NOT SO DISFIGURED AS TO PREVENT IDENTIFICATION. MOREOVER, THE AMERICAN CONSULATE AT LYON REPORTED THAT MR. MOSER POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED THE REMAINS AS THOSE OF JOSEPH JOHN SAVAGO. ALSO, IT APPEARS FROM THOSE PORTIONS OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT MEMORANDUM OF AUGUST 14, 1969, QUOTED ABOVE, THAT ON AUGUST 5, 1969 (I.E; THE DAY BEFORE THE BODY LEFT THE UNDERTAKER'S FOR SHIPMENT TO THE UNITED STATES) YOU WERE UNCERTAIN AS TO THE IDENTITY OF THE DECEASED BUT DECIDED TO PROCEED WITH THE SHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS. IN FACT, IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD THAT YOUR DOUBT WAS CONVEYED TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT ON AUGUST 5; THAT THE DEPARTMENT REQUESTED TO BE NOTIFIED IMMEDIATELY IF YOU WANTED THE REMAINS TO STAY IN FRANCE PENDING FURTHER IDENTIFICATION; AND THAT THE DEPARTMENT WAS ADVISED ON YOUR BEHALF LATER THAT SAME DAY TO PROCEED WITH THE SHIPMENT OF THE BODY.

IN LIGHT OF THE ABOVE CIRCUMSTANCES WE SEE NO LEGAL OR EQUITABLE REASON WHY THE COSTS REPRESENTING THE BALANCE OF YOUR CLAIM SHOULD BE BORNE BY THE UNITED STATES. THEREFORE, WHILE YOU HAVE OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHY AND WHILE WE REGRET THAT THE COSTS REPRESENTING THE BALANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WERE INCURRED, WE WOULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED IN REPORTING THE MATTER TO THE CONGRESS AS A MERITORIOUS CLAIM UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT (ACT OF APRIL 10, 1928).

AS INDICATED ABOVE, A SETTLEMENT IN YOUR FAVOR IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,229.92 COVERING THE COST OF PREPARATION AND TRANSPORTATION OF THE REMAINS OF PRIVATE JOSEPH SPAMPINATO, UNITED STATES ARMY, WILL BE STATED IN DUE COURSE BY THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE.