Request for Review of Claim Disallowance
B-197911: Nov 24, 1981
- Full Report:
An interstate van line requested the review of an action taken by the GAO Claims Group in disallowing its claim for the refund of an amount which was deducted from monies otherwise owed it because of damage to articles in the shipment of household effects. The van line had picked up the household goods at a residence, transferred the goods to two storage facilities, and then delivered them to the owner who noted that several items were damaged or missing. Both storage facilities had prepared an inventory listing pre-existing damage and the crushed condition of several containers. The damage in question represents damage to goods that, according to the inventories, were given to the van line in good condition or were given to the van line in less damaged condition than that in which they were received by the owner. The van line contended that it delivered the household effects in the same condition that it received them, and thus it was not responsible for the damage. The record did not support the van line's contentions. To relieve itself of liability for damage, a carrier must show convincing proof that it was not responsible for the damage. The inventories noted that the household goods arrived with greater damage than noted on the inventories. A contention of the van line that the damage was caused by improper packing did not free the van line of negligence in its handling of the shipment. The van line failed to show that improper packing was the sole cause of the damage sustained. The van line had decided to accept and deliver the household goods despite noticing that some goods were packed improperly. As the carrier did not prove that improper packing caused the damage to the goods, the action of the Claims Group in disallowing the claim was sustained.