September 29, 1992 B-239199.3

B-239199.3: Sep 29, 1992

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PROCUREMENT Payment/Discharge Shipment Carrier liability Burden of proof Carrier properly is held liable for the loss of items that do not exactly fit the inventory's description of the carton in which they are claimed to have been packed if it would not have been unusual to pack those items in that carton. We are concerned about certain unexplained discrepancies between the representations made in your appeal and the documentation before us. The box containing the name and address of the claims officer was unreadable. There was no information from which the carrier could identify the shipment for which damages were claimed. Our examination of the photocopy supplied by VanPac Carriers revealed that the Form 1840R did have a reverse side and that the name and address of the claims officer were clearly typed on it.

September 29, 1992 B-239199.3

PROCUREMENT Payment/Discharge Shipment Damages Evidence sufficiency Report of the carrier's inspector that he could see no evidence of a claimed stain to an Air Force member's sofa transported by the carrier does not relieve the carrier of liability where the government inspection report and the repair estimate support the claim. PROCUREMENT Payment/Discharge Shipment Carrier liability Burden of proof Carrier properly is held liable for the loss of items that do not exactly fit the inventory's description of the carton in which they are claimed to have been packed if it would not have been unusual to pack those items in that carton, particularly since the carrier did the packing and prepared the inventory list.

Resource Protection Consultants P.O. Box 3417 Tampa, Florida 33601-3417

Attn: Mr. Bobby L. Cates

Gentlemen:

This responds to your October 28, 1991, appeal on behalf of American VanPac Carriers of our Claims Group's decision in Z-2862806-20 which involved the shipment of the household goods of Air Force member Gerald Swain.

At the outset, we are concerned about certain unexplained discrepancies between the representations made in your appeal and the documentation before us. You represented that the carrier did not receive DD Form 1840R until American VanPac received a photocopy with the Air Force's May 19, 1989, letter demanding reimbursement of the amounts the Air Force had paid to the member--about 10 months after the delivery of the household goods. You also indicated that you enclosed the actual photocopy of the DD Form 1840R that American VanPac received at that time. That copy consisted of only one page, the obverse side of the Form 1840R, and the box containing the name and address of the claims officer was unreadable. You asserted that, without the reverse side of the Form 1840R, there was no information from which the carrier could identify the shipment for which damages were claimed.

However, in its letter dated August 14, 1989, to the Air Force, VanPac Carriers enclosed a copy of a Form 1840R it allegedly received on October 20, 1988. Thus, contrary to your assertion, the carrier received the Form 1840R many months before the Air Force demanded reimbursement. Furthermore, our examination of the photocopy supplied by VanPac Carriers revealed that the Form 1840R did have a reverse side and that the name and address of the claims officer were clearly typed on it.

The record shows that the claims officer signed the Form 1840R on September 16, 1988, the 66th day after delivery of the household goods. There is nothing in the record to show and we have no reason to believe that the claims officer did not dispatch the Form 1840R to the carrier within the next 9 days, or not later than 75 days following delivery as directed by the Military-Industry Memorandum of Understanding governing loss or damage to shipments of household goods. Accordingly, as we find no errors law or fact in the Claims Group's decision, that decision is affirmed.

Date: To: Director, Claims Group/GGD - Sharon S. Green From: General Counsel - James F. Hinchman

Subject: Appeal of Settlement (No. Z-2862806-20) by American VanPac Carriers (B-239199.3)

Returned herewith is Claims File No. Z-2862806-20 and a copy of our letter of today's date, affirming the Claims Group's decision.

Date: To: Associate General Counsel - Robert H. Hunter From: Senior Attorney - Peter A. Iannicelli

Subject: Appeal of Settlement (No. Z-2862806-20) by American VanPac Carriers (B-239199.3)

This case boils down to a factual dispute as to whether the Air Force dispatched the Form 1840R within 75 days as the agency claims. Since there is nothing in the record to refute the Air Force's claim that the claims officer dispatched the form within 75 days after delivery and the record shows that he signed it on the 66th day after delivery, we are affirming the Claims Group's decision that the carrier is liable for the additional damages set forth on the form.

In addition, I pointed out in our letter to Mr. Cates that it is obvious from the record that either the carrier or he has made several misrepresentations concerning when the form was first received by the carrier and whether the form was complete at that time. Basically, these discrepancies between the documentation and the representations made by Mr. Cates cause me to question Mr. Cates' and the carriers' credibility, and I want to let him know that we are aware of them.