2006 Transportation and Contractual Decisions
These 7 Board decisions involve a carrier's dispute over whether it is liable for transit loss or damage. They also include all kinds of quasi-contractual disputes which are settled under Section 3702 of title 31 of the United States Code. They do not include requests by carriers for review of the General Services Administration's transportation audit; the General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals reviews such matters.
Where the non-temporary storage (NTS) contractor re-inventories a household goods shipment upon transfer from another NTS contractor's warehouse to its warehouse but omits various items that were on the original inventory, the carrier who removes the goods from the NTS contractor, absent evidence of tender, is not liable for the loss of items not listed on the re-inventory.
A shipper offers sufficient proof of a prima facie case of liability against a carrier for damage to a computer monitor when he offers evidence that the monitor was in good working order prior to tender to the carrier and the nature of the internal damage is consistent with its having been mishandled or dropped, e.g., physical damage to otherwise sturdy components. The mere lack of external damage is not sufficient evidence to rebut the carrier's liability.
The Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals will not question an agency's calculation of the value of the damages to items in the shipment of an employee's household goods unless the carrier presents clear and convincing evidence that the agency acted unreasonably.
Generally, the service member/shipper is not estopped from claiming more damage to an item than that specifically noted on the DD Form 1840/1840R, when the DD Form 1840/1840R is timely and adequate.
We accept an agency's finding that proof of a claimant's officially recognized absence was attached to the demand on carrier absent clear and convincing contrary evidence in the record.
A carrier can be held liable for loss even if items are not listed on the inventory, where other circumstances are sufficient to establish that goods were tendered and lost.
As the last custodian of the shipment, a carrier removing goods from nontemporary storage without inventorying it (or preparing a rider or exception sheet), will be presumed liable for any damage.