In re Caisson Forwarding Co., Inc., B-256686

CourtComptroller General of the United States
PartiesMatter of: Caisson Forwarding Company, Inc.
Docket NumberB-256686
Decision Date07 November 1994

Matter of: Caisson Forwarding Company, Inc.

No. B-256686

Comptroller General of the United States

November 7, 1994


Carrier cannot disclaim responsibility for failure to locate a member's missing lawn mower when carrier delayed effort to find mower until after the Air Force had paid the member's claim for nondelivery of the lawn mower and the member had bought a replacement mower. The member had advised the carrier at the time his household goods were delivered that the lawn mower was missing. The carrier had not properly accounted for the lawn mower at the storage facility when it picked up the shipment, and it not seek to locate the missing mower within a reasonable time after receiving notice that it was missing. Therefore, Air Force properly recovered the value of the lawn mower from the carrier.

Caisson Forwarding Company requests review of our Claims Group's settlement denying the company a refund of $1, 443.75 set off by the Air Force against funds otherwise due Caisson, for loss of a lawn mower in a shipment of a service member's household goods.[1]We affirm our Claims Group's settlement.

The service member's shipment of household goods was picked up in Homestead, Florida, in January 1987, and placed into storage at the warehouse of Abbot Moving & Storage, Inc. in Miami. Caisson's agent obtained the shipment on August 27, 1990, placed it in storage in transit at Herndon, Virginia, on September 6, 1990, and delivered it to the service member in Montclair, Virginia, on September 24, 1990. At delivery, the service member and Caisson's agent prepared a Joint Statement of Loss or Damage at Delivery (DD Form 1840) reporting, among other things, that the lawn mower (listed as item 1 on the shipment inventory) was missing. The member filed a claim with the Air Force for the mower and other items on October 18, 1990.

On February 26, 1991, the Air Force paid the member's claim. By letter of the same date, the Air Force informed Caisson of a claim for $1, 443.75 against Caisson for loss of the mower. On May 15, 1991, Caisson informed the Air Force that it had found the mower in Abbot's warehouse and was ready to deliver it, but the service member, who had bought a replacement mower in the interim, refused delivery.

Caisson denies responsibility for the late delivery of the mower, pointing out that the mower was never tendered to it. Caisson asserts that Abbot is responsible for any damages because it had mistakenly crated the lawn mower with another shipment and the lawn mower was left in the warehouse when Caisson obtained the goods. Caisson also contends that the copy of the inventory it obtained from Abbot was extremely difficult to read and that parts of the entry for the item were scratched out or obscured.


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