A firm appealed a settlement of the Claims Group which disallowed its claim for $72. The amount was set off from monies otherwise due the claimant for damage sustained to a sofa which was contained in a shipment of household goods belonging to an Army captain. The claimant contended that the specific damages asserted by the Army existed upon receipt of the sofa and were noted at the time as preexisting damage. The Claims Group rejected the contentions referring to Army records which indicated that the sofa sustained additional damage while in the claimant's possession. GAO did not believe that the Government could establish a prima facie case of carrier liability because of substantial doubt in the record as to whether the damages claimed were preexisting or not. The record failed to establish certain elements of liability that (1) the goods were tendered to the carrier in good condition; and (2) the carrier delivered the property in a more damaged condition. Therefore, the Claims Group was instructed to allow the firm's claim for $72.
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