The opinion of the court was delivered by: LUONGO
Plaintiff, Flying Tiger Line, Inc. (FTL) brought this action to recover $ 37,722.12 pursuant to the Carmack Amendment. 49 U.S.C. § 11707. This sum represents the amount FTL was required to pay for the repair of a jet engine damaged in transit by defendant Pinto Trucking Service, Inc. (Pinto). Pinto concedes responsibility for the damage to the engine, but contends that it effectively limited its liability to the sum of $ 2,079.50, the released rate value of the engine. 49 U.S.C. § 10730.
I. JOINT STIPULATION OF FACTS
1. This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1337, since it arises under an Act of Congress regulating commerce, i.e., Section 11707 of the Revised Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C. § 11707 [formerly Section 20(11) of the Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C. § 20(11)] and the amount in controversy exceeds $ 10,000, exclusive of interest and costs.
2. Plaintiff, Flying Tiger Line, Inc., is a Delaware Corporation with its principal place of business at 7401 World Way West, P.O. Box 92935, Los Angeles, California 90009. FTL is a common carrier operating in interstate commerce.
3. Defendant, Pinto Trucking Service, Inc., is a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal place of business at 1414 Calcon Hook Road, Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania 19079. Pinto is a common carrier operating in interstate commerce.
4. On or about February 16, 1979, FTL tendered three new jet aircraft engines to Pinto at Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, for common carrier motor transportation and delivery to FTL at JFK International Airport, Jamaica, New York. (Attachment to Joint Stipulation 1)
5. The face of the bill of lading for this transportation issued to FTL by Pinto, Pinto Airbill Number 26-12885 dated February 16, 1979, contains printing acknowledging receipt of "the property described below, in apparent good order, except as noted . . ." and no such exceptions are noted thereon. (Attachment to Joint Stipulation 1)
6. The applicable FTL Trucking Manifest contains a similar pre-printed statement: "Rec'd above shipments in good order except as noted in the exceptions column." This statement was signed by Pinto's driver and again no exceptions were noted. (Attachment to Joint Stipulation 2)
7. The face of the bill of lading also contains the typed notation "EXCLU. USE TRK. O/W, BDL/JFK" in its printed Special Services Requested box. (Attachment to Joint Stipulation 1)
8. The face of the bill of lading contains red printing which states:
"Unless a Greater Value is Declared Herein, the Shipper Agrees and Declares that the Value of the Property is Released to an Amount Not Exceeding $ 50 for Any Shipment of 100 Pounds or Less and Not Exceeding 50 Cents Per Pound for Shipments Weighing in Excess of 100 Pounds."
(Attachment to Joint Stipulation 1)
9. FTL declared no "Greater Value."
10. The face of the bill of lading also contains printing which states that the shipment is "RECEIVED, subject to the classifications and tariffs in effect on the date of the issue of this Bill of Lading." (Attachment to Joint Stipulation 1)
11. After the engines had been loaded on the Pinto truck and the truck had moved only a short distance from the FTL loading dock, one of the three jet engines fell from it sustaining damage.
12. The engine was repaired by the manufacturer, the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Group.
13. On February 25, 1980, FTL, which had common carrier responsibility for the engine to the owner of the engine, the Boeing Company ("Boeing"), paid Boeing $ 37,722.12 in repair damage costs. (Attachment to Joint Stipulation 3)
14. On August 22, 1979, FTL filed written notice of claim for damages with Pinto. (Attachment to Joint Stipulation 4)