Weekly Law Resume - May 5, 2011: Interstate Transport - Carmack Amendment In Absence Of Declared Value, Carrier Liability for Lost Goods Limited to Regulated Rate

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Pacific Indemnity Company v. Pickens Kane Moving & Storage Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (April 20, 2011)

The Carmack Amendment, 49 U.S.C. § 14706, regulates the liability of shippers and carriers for household goods lost or damaged in interstate transport. In this case, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed an issue of first impression in the circuit: the respective liability of shipper and carrier for lost or damaged goods where the shipper neglected to declare a value of the goods.

Ina and Murray Manaster desired to move their household goods, consisting mainly of fine arts and antiques, from Chicago to Phoenix. They requested a quote from Pickens Kane Moving & Storage ("Pickens") which, through the freight broker TCI, contracted with Atlas Van Lines, Inc., to transport the goods. The Manasters requested $1 million in insurance coverage, and Pickens adjusted its rate accordingly. However, Pickens never informed TCI or Atlas of the $1 million valuation.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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