Please Help! AMSA arbitrator ruled against because damages were noted at time of delivery

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Please Help! AMSA arbitrator ruled against because damages were noted at time of delivery

Postby Greygrey58 » Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:28 pm

I decided to use AMSA arbitration as my mover refused to compensate on all of my items damaged during the move, citing inherent vice. I felt like I had a good case to demonstrate otherwise.

However, the arbitrator didn't even consider my case. He ruled that since I signed that the shipment was received in APPARENT good condition at the time of delivery then I didn't prove that they were received in damaged condition per Carmack.

Many of the items in the claim were inside boxes that weren't externally damaged so there was no reason to open them during the less than 2 hours that the movers were there. I had over 200 boxes, over 60 pieces of furniture and another 200 plus items (some of which were also packed). It is impossible to unpack and inspect all of this during the time of delivery. I don't understand how the arbitrator can expect this. Even the while the mover states that you should note damage at the time of delivery, they don't state that you MUST.

I provided time-stamped photos of the damaged items inside and outside the boxes, texts and emails to the mover's rep - all within days of delivery along with expert statements that the type of damage could only have happened during transit. There was proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the damage was done by the mover. All of this was disregarded.

Furthermore, the arbitrator allowed compensation for some lost and damaged items that the mover had previous agreed to and these were NOT noted at the time of delivery. So he disregarded his own ruling.

Is there anything I can do? I can only appeal if there are evident material mistakes.

I think this was the easy decision for the arbitrator - he got paid, but didn't have to actually get into the challenging aspects of the case or spend any time on it. He rendered the decision almost immediately.

The AMSA arbitration seems like a good idea, but in reality you are at the mercy of the arbitrator who can choose to ignore the law and rule however he/she chooses and you have no recourse. Arbitration is binding. It is NOT like going to court where you can appeal or they have to actually follow the law.

It seems something must be done here. It is impossible to unpack and inspect all items during delivery. Other carriers such as Fedex and UPS allow you to report damages after delivery. Why can't you with mover's??? You need to be able to when you are considering an entire household and in my case, only 1 adult doing all the unpacking yourself. It's just not right.

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Re: Please Help! AMSA arbitrator ruled against because damages were noted at time of delivery

Postby BigLeeCalif » Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:33 am

A couple of questions...

#1 - What type of valuation did you request and pay for at the time you arranged your move?

#2 - What prompted you to go to Arbitration? Had you filed a claim with your mover?

You say that the mover claimed "inherent vice". Did they inventory your property, and what conditions did they note on the inventories? When a shipment is inventoried, the mover has to note the condition of the items, and the shipper [you] has to sign off, or note discrepancies on the movers' comments.

Were the damaged items in cartons packed by you, or the mover?

I don't know who arranged the arbitrator, but noting that items were received in apparent good condition does not close the book on a claim. It is common for people to not unpack everything the day of the move. What you need to do is consult your bill of lading and/or estimate, or both. There should be statements saying what the period is to file a claim..

I retired in 2015 from 28 years in the moving industry from the administrative side of the business, but I don't think it has changed that much.

Did your mover give you this booklet, if you moved with a National Moving Company from one state to another? ... s-2013.pdf
They are required to give you that booklet.

If you wish to discuss the matter, you can reach me through this site, or at
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

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