B-240051, Dec 12, 1990, 90-2 CPD

B-240051: Dec 12, 1990

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The measure of damages to repair an item damaged in shipment is the reasonable cost to put it in as good a condition as it was in before the damage occurred. So long as the cost is not out of proportion to the item's value and does not exceed the value before injury. Shipper whose goods were damaged in transit is not required to use the repair method or repair person offered by the carrier. There is no requirement that an estimator be licensed in the state in which an estimate was proposed. The Claims Group decision is affirmed. Inc.: FACTS: This is an appeal from a Claims Group decision. The cost was based on an estimate furnished by the member from IHI Furniture Service. The carrier complains that IHI is not licensed to do business in Fla.

B-240051, Dec 12, 1990, 90-2 CPD

PROCUREMENT - Payment/Discharge - Shipment - Carrier liability - Amount determination DIGEST: 1. The measure of damages to repair an item damaged in shipment is the reasonable cost to put it in as good a condition as it was in before the damage occurred, so long as the cost is not out of proportion to the item's value and does not exceed the value before injury. PROCUREMENT - Payment/Discharge - Shipment - Damages - Repairs 2. Shipper whose goods were damaged in transit is not required to use the repair method or repair person offered by the carrier.

Resource Protection Consultants:

This responds to your May 17, 1990, appeal on behalf of Florida Intrastate Moving Storage, Inc., of our Claims Group's decision in Z 2861909, which involved the shipment of the household goods of Air Force member Jonathan Thornton.

Upon review of the record, we find no error of law or fact in the Claims Group's decision. Air Force Regulation 112-1, para. 4-10, Estimates on Appraisals, provides only that estimates and appraisals should be submitted on business letterheads or with other business identification. There is no requirement that an estimator be licensed in the state in which an estimate was proposed. Accordingly, the Claims Group decision is affirmed.

Florida Intrastate Moving & Storage, Inc.:

FACTS:

This is an appeal from a Claims Group decision. The Air Force, in an action endorsed by our Claims Group, set off $350 from money due Florida Intrastate Moving & Storage, Inc., as the cost to refinish a member's dining room table damaged in shipment. The cost was based on an estimate furnished by the member from IHI Furniture Service, which found the table gouged and scratched. The carrier complains that IHI is not licensed to do business in Fla., but was established by a civilian govt. employee at MacDill AFB just to give estimates. Carrier presents estimate from its own repairman of $80 to repair "dented" d/r table.

LAW:

(1) AF Reg. 112-1, para. 4-10, provides only that estimates and appraisals should be submitted on business letterheads or with other business identification.

(2) The measure of damages ordinarily is reasonable cost of repairs to put the item in as good condition as it was in before the damage occurred, so long as the cost of repair is not out of proportion to the property's value or exceeds the value before injury. Allied Van Lines, Inc., B-182696, May 20, 1977.

(3) Shipper whose goods were damaged in transit is not required to use the repair service offered by the carrier. Id.

FINDINGS:

We know of no cases that require the estimator to be licensed. The carrier offers no evidence that the estimator otherwise was unqualified to estimate or to repair.

The carrier has not shown that the table could have been fixed adequately by repair as opposed to by refinishing. Carrier has not shown that shipper's estimate for refinishing is by itself unreasonably high.

Member does not have to agree to least expensive repair or use carrier's repairman.

CONCLUSION:

Setoff was proper, and Claims Group's decision therefore is affirmed.