Appeal of Claim Settlement for Damage to Household Goods

B-197911.2: Sep 9, 1988

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Two firms requested reconsideration of their denied claim for reimbursement of a Navy offset for damages to a service member's household goods, contending that: (1) one item had preexisting damage; and (2) their liability for damage that they admittedly caused to a second item should be limited, since the item had documented, preexisting damage. GAO held that the carriers: (1) were not liable for the damage of one item, since the Navy failed to show that the extent of the damage was greater than the preexisting damage noted on the inventory when it was picked up; and (2) were liable for the full cost of repairing the damage to the second item, even though some incidental preexisting scratches would be repaired in the process. Accordingly, the claim was denied in part and affirmed in part.