Attorney Leonard M. Singer, Boston, MA  (617) 737-7670  (www.LeonardMSinger.com)

Excerpt from:

49 CFR 370.3. Filing of claims.

************************************************

(b) Minimum filing requirements. A written or electronic communication (when agreed to by the carrier and shipper or receiver involved) from a claimant, filed with a proper carrier within the time limits specified in the bill of lading or contract of carriage or transportation and:

(1) Containing facts sufficient to identify the baggage or shipment (or shipments) of property,

(2) Asserting liability for alleged loss, damage, injury, or delay, and

(3) Making claim for the payment of a specified or determinable amount of money, shall be considered as sufficient compliance with the provisions for filing claims embraced in the bill of lading or other contract of carriage; Provided, however, That where claims are electronically handled, procedures are established to ensure reasonable carrier access to supporting documents.

(c) Documents not constituting claims. Bad order reports, appraisal reports of damage, notations of shortage or damage, or both, on freight bills, delivery receipts, or other documents, or inspection reports issued by carriers or their inspection agencies, whether the extent of loss or damage is indicated in dollars and cents or otherwise, shall, standing alone, not be considered by carriers as sufficient to comply with the minimum claim filing requirements specified in paragraph (b) of this section.

(d) Claims filed for uncertain amounts. Whenever a claim is presented against a proper carrier for an uncertain amount, such as ``$100 more or less,'' the carrier against whom such claim is filed shall determine the condition of the baggage or shipment involved at the time of delivery by it, if it was delivered, and shall ascertain as nearly as possible the extent, if any, of the loss or damage for which it may be responsible. It shall not, however, voluntarily pay a claim under such circumstances unless and until a formal claim in writing for a specified or determinable amount of money shall have been filed in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section.