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COMMISSIONER CLAPP, concurring in part:
I believe that the majority has been too lenient in dealing with Sammons. Considering the serious nature of Sammons' offenses and the evidence indicating that it obtained a finding of fitness in its Sub-No. 84 proceeding through fraudulent means, I would, in addition to the action taken by the majority, institute investigation proceeding against Sammons under section 212(a) of the act in order to determine whether its outstanding authority should be revoked. Surely a higher standard of behavior than that evidenced by Sammons and its officers must be demanded by this Commission. Obviously, death threats cannot be tolerated under any circumstances.
Except as indicated herein, I agree with the decision of the majority.
Ex Parte No. MC-19 (SUB-No. 20)
PRACTICES OF MOTOR COMMON CARRIERS OF
Decided February 23, 1976
1. Upon investigation and consideration of views, arguments, and representations of
the parties, the adoption of certain rules designed to clarify acceptable liability limitations which may be imposed by motor common carriers of household goods
found to be in the public interest. 2. Proceeding held open to allow all parties and other interested persons to file
further statements of facts, views, and arguments respecting the adoption of uniform shipping documents for use by motor common carriers of household goods as proposed in appendix C to the interim report entered herein March 28, 1975. Appropriate order entered.
Mrs. John H. Coe, Mitchell S. Cwiek, James A. Fraley, Jr., Alma M. Hofer, Edwina Hulsart, J. R. Johnson, Jr., Arthur Kamholz, Ernest J. King, Mrs. Harry C. Long, L. J. Maher, John V. McGlaun, Alison Mish, Mrs. Edward Molesworth, Margaret Testo, Kevin E. Thomas, Geneva K. Thornberg, and John Douglas Williams III for individual consumers.
Dellon E. Coker and Paul M. Scott for the United States Department of Defense.
Constance L. Abrams, Rodney E. Eyster, and William A. Kutzke for the United States Department of Transportation.
Leonard A. Salters, Arthur F. Sampson, and M. J. Timbers for the General Services Administration of the United States.
Theodore J. Garrish, Virginia H. Knauer, and Michael A. Sterlacci for the Office of Consumer Affairs, United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
Warren 1. Cohn for the Bureau of Enforcement, Interstate Commerce Commission.
William J. Augello, Peter Brown, John M. Cleary, John F. Donelan, Alfred N. Lowenstein, Bennett B. Watson, Charles G. Wise, and Frederic L. Wood for consumer and governmental groups.
Thomas W. Cartwright, Carl Colleknon, Theodore A. Coulter, David W. Fridrich, Archie Lester, David Macaulay, J. Clell Miller, Nicholas Shishkoff. E. S. Wheaton, Alan F. Wohlstetter, and
, Charles Wolchansky for motor carriers of household goods.
Russell S. Bernhard, David Brodsky, Herbert Burstein, Carroll F. Genovese, Flo Humphreys, Thomas R. Kingsley, Kenneth C. Tyler, and Francis L. Wyche for certain carrier and warehouse men associations and organizations.
REPORT OF THE COMMISSION
BY THE COMMISSION:
In a Notice of Proposed Investigation and Order entered May 9, 1973, we explained that the many complaints filed with this Commission as to the transportation of household goods in interstate or foreign commerce, and the handling of freight claims following such transportation, have revealed a serious problem with respect to the efforts of many carriers to limit their liability by methods which appear to be in violation of sections 20(11) and 219 of the Interstate Commerce Act. In our interim report (Practices of Motor Common Carriers of Household Goods, 121 M.C.C. 347), dated March 28, 1975, we investigated and considered the views, arguments, and representations of the parties to this proceeding.' and reached certain tentative conclusions as to the practices of motor common carriers of household goods, and proposed in appendix B to the interim report (page 377) (see also appendix B to this report) regulations aimed at eliminating some of the noted problems by clarifying certain of the carriers' rights and obligations
'The above-described Notice of Proposed Investigation and Order was published in the Federal Register on May 16, 1973 (38 F. R. 12820). All motor common carriers of household goods operating in interstate or foreign commerce within the United States and subject to the Interstate Commerce Act were designated respondents and were required to submit as part of their representations in this proceeding the following materials: (1) a list and description of presently utilized tariff provisions which limit liability, (2) a list and description of presently utilized bill of lading provisions which limit liability, (3) the bases for the belief that the above provisions are lawful, and (4) views on the desirability of this Commission designing and adopting a uniform bill of lading and other uniform shipping documents for use by all motor common carriers of household goods. The Notice also directed the Bureau of Enforcement of this Commission to participate in this proceeding and requested the participation of the Office of Consumer Affairs. Finally, all persons desiring to participate in the proceeding were invited to file representations supporting or opposing the relief sought.
insofar as liability limitation is concerned. Finally, we proposed in appendix C to the interim report (pages 378-387) certain uniform shipping documents designed to be used by all house hold goods carriers and to alleviate shipper confusion.
As noted, the proposed rules are designed to clarify certain of the carriers' rights and obligations insofar as liability limitation is concerned. The proposed subsection 1056.16(c) specifies those situations wherein a carrier need not assume liability. The proposed subsection 1056.16(d) deals with the requirement for notice to the shipper of the carriers' obligations insofar as storage-in-transit is concerned. The proposed uniform documents are a composite of existing forms designed to eliminate those provisions which violate the proposed regulations.
Our interim report invited all parties and other interested persons to file further statements of facts, views, and arguments respecting our tentative conclusions and the effectuating rules and regulations proposed. Representations have been received from those persons listed in appendix A herein, and such persons will be referred to in this report by their appropriate short titles.
By petition filed May 22, 1975, the House hold Goods Carriers Bureau requests that the Commission consider herein only the adoption of the proposed rules, and that it delay further consideration of the proposed uniform shipping documents until a later date and in a separate proceeding. It states that the carriers had no knowledge that the Commission intended in this proceeding to actually design and prescribe uniform shipping documents inasmuch as the Notice of Proposed Investigation merely requested carriers' opinions as to whether such action by the Commission would be desirable. Accordingly, it contends that carriers have concentrated their thoughts and efforts in this proceeding on the limitation of liability issues and have not really had an adequate opportunity to give comparable time and attention to the matter of the design and content of shipping documents. By separate pleading filed May 28, 1975, the Movers' & Warehouse men's Association of America, concurs in the arguments made by the Carriers' Bureau in support of its petition. Finally, by separate pleading filed May 30, 1975, Wheaton Van Lines states that it shares the view of the Carriers' Bureau that the public interest would best be served by a separate consideration of the proposed uniform shipping documents.
248-348 0.77 • 27
The Department of Defense filed a reply opposing the relief sought in above-described petitions. It states that parties were given proper notice that the Commission was considering the desirability of designing and adopting a uniform bill of lading and other uniform shipping documents. DOD does state that a reasonable extension of time for the submission of comments relative to the proposed forms should be granted, but is against any splitting of this proceeding which would result in separate consideration of the uniform documents.
We believe it appropriate to grant the relief sought in part. A review of the statements filed convinces us that if uniform forms are to be established, such action should not be taken withou the benefit of more careful analysis by all carriers and a later evaluation of this input by us. This is possible in the instant proceeding without incurring any delays in the resolution of the issue of liability limitation. Accordingly, our order entered herein will provide for the separate consideration at a later date of the uniform shipping documents proposed in appendix C to the interim report.
Within the text of its statement filed June 2, 1975, Movers Round Table submitted a motion to require this Commission to produce for inspection and copy any and all complaints pertaining to household goods transportation as received by the Commission and upon which the Commission assertedly has based its decision to promulgate the proposed rules. Movers Round Table is of the opinion that the consumer complaints relative to improper practices are not representative of the daily operations of the household goods moving industry and that, accordingly, there is no evidence on this record to support the proposed rules.
We disagree. Numerous statements of record herein, filed on behalf of individual consumers and Government and industry representatives and associations, indicate support for the proposed regulations. Such statements were considered in our interim report and are similarly discussed herein. Thus, we cannot agree that the rules promulgated herein will have no justifiable basis. Accordingly, the above-described motion of Movers Round Table will be overruled.
Our initiating Notice and Order stated that, as applied to motor common carriers by section 219 of the act, section 20(11) basically provides that common carriers: