B-174982, APR 20, 1973

B-174982: Apr 20, 1973

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CHRISTENSEN: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF DECEMBER 19. THE EVENTS GIVING RISE TO YOUR CLAIM WERE FULLY STATED IN OUR DECISION AND WILL BE ONLY BRIEFLY STATED HEREIN. YOU WERE ORDERED TO AN OVERSEAS DUTY STATION AND A PORTION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE PLACED IN NONTEMPORARY STORAGE WITH COLUMBIA VAN LINES. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ONLY 9. YOUR EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING FROM ALEXANDRIA. THE GOODS WERE WEIGHED BY THE CARRIER AND FOUND TO WEIGH 9. IT WOULD HAVE ESTABLISHED THAT THERE HAD BEEN NO EXCESS WEIGHT OF THE EFFECTS IN STORAGE. AS IT APPEARS NO ITEMS WERE REMOVED FROM STORAGE DURING THE THREE -YEAR PERIOD.

B-174982, APR 20, 1973

AFFIRMATION, UPON REVIEW, OF DISALLOWANCE OF CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXCESS COST FOR NONTEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 11, 1966, THROUGH AUGUST 10, 1969. NO BASIS TO RECOMMEND TO CONGRESS UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT OF 1928.

TO COL. SWEN A. CHRISTENSEN:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF DECEMBER 19, 1972, AND JANUARY 9, 1973, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1972, IN WHICH WE DECLINED TO REPORT TO CONGRESS UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT OF 1928, YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXCESS COST FOR NONTEMPORARY STORAGE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 11, 1966, THROUGH AUGUST 10, 1969.

THE EVENTS GIVING RISE TO YOUR CLAIM WERE FULLY STATED IN OUR DECISION AND WILL BE ONLY BRIEFLY STATED HEREIN.

ON MAY 2, 1966, YOU WERE ORDERED TO AN OVERSEAS DUTY STATION AND A PORTION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE PLACED IN NONTEMPORARY STORAGE WITH COLUMBIA VAN LINES, MOVING AND STORAGE COMPANY, ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. COLUMBIA VAN LINES ISSUED A WEIGHT CERTIFICATE ON AUGUST 11, 1966, SHOWING A WEIGHT OF 10,650 POUNDS FOR THE GOODS STORED. BASED ON THIS CERTIFICATE, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ONLY 9,477 POUNDS AND THAT THE HANDLING AND STORAGE OF THE EXCESS WEIGHT OF 1,173 POUNDS WOULD BE AT YOUR EXPENSE. THESE CHARGES AMOUNTED TO $385.55 WHICH YOU PAID DIRECTLY TO THE COMPANY.

ON AUGUST 8, 1969, UPON YOUR RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES, YOUR EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING FROM ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA TO GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, NORTH DAKOTA. PRIOR TO THIS SHIPMENT, THE GOODS WERE WEIGHED BY THE CARRIER AND FOUND TO WEIGH 9,170 POUNDS. THIS WEIGHT HAD BEEN VERIFIED AND FOUND TO BE CORRECT, IT WOULD HAVE ESTABLISHED THAT THERE HAD BEEN NO EXCESS WEIGHT OF THE EFFECTS IN STORAGE, AS IT APPEARS NO ITEMS WERE REMOVED FROM STORAGE DURING THE THREE -YEAR PERIOD. HOWEVER, THE GOODS WERE NOT REWEIGHED AND IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE MATTER OF THE CHARGES WHICH YOU PAID WAS FOR SETTLEMENT BETWEEN YOURSELF AND COLUMBIA VAN LINES.

YOU CONTEND THAT THE RESPONSIBLE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER WAS NEGLIGENT IN NOT HAVING YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS REWEIGHED WHICH HE WAS REQUIRED TO DO UNDER THE APPLICABLE AIR FORCE DIRECTIVE, PARAGRAPH 5305C OF AIR FORCE MANUAL 75-4 (1963 ED.) WHICH STATES, IN PART:

C. IN ADDITION TO THE REQUIREMENT OF B ABOVE, CARRIERS WILL BE DIRECTED TO REWEIGH SHIPMENTS UNDER ANY OF THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES:

(1)IF UPON RETURN OF THE NUMBER 10 MEMORANDUM COPY OF THE GBL BY THE CARRIER, IT IS DETERMINED THAT THE RECORDED NET WEIGHT EXCEEDS THE MEMBER'S WEIGHT ALLOWANCE (INCLUDING THE RECORDED NET WEIGHT OF ANY KNOWN PREVIOUS SHIPMENTS ON THE SAME CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS), THE ORIGIN TRANSPORTATION OFFICER WILL REQUEST THE DESTINATION TRANSPORTATION OFFICER TO ORDER A REWEIGH OF THE SHIPMENT BEFORE DELIVERY TO THE MEMBER, OR BEFORE PLACING THE SHIPMENT IN STORAGE AT DESTINATION.

(2) WHEN SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED BY THE MEMBER.

APPARENTLY, YOU HAVE CONCLUDED THAT THE WEIGHT CERTIFICATE OF AUGUST 11, 1966, SHOWING 10,650 POUNDS IS INCORRECT, BUT THAT THE CERTIFICATE ISSUED ON AUGUST 8, 1969, FOR 9,170 POUNDS, SHOWS THE TRUE WEIGHT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS. SINCE THERE IS NO FACTUAL BASIS FOR DETERMINING WHICH WEIGHT IS ACCURATE, YOU HAVE NOT ESTABLISHED THAT YOU HAVE SUFFERED A LOSS. A REWEIGH CONDUCTED IN ACCORD WITH AIR FORCE REQUIREMENTS MIGHT HAVE DETERMINED THAT YOUR GOODS WEIGHED ONLY 9,170 POUNDS. HOWEVER, THE FAILURE TO REWEIGH YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS, IN OUR OPINION, DOES NOT RENDER THE GOVERNMENT LEGALLY LIABLE FOR POSSIBLY EXCESSIVE CHARGES PAID BY YOU TO THE STORAGE COMPANY, NOR MAY IT PROPERLY SERVE AS THE BASIS FOR A RECOMMENDATION TO CONGRESS UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT OF 1928.

ACCORDINGLY, OUR DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1972, IS AFFIRMED.