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

49 CFR 370.9 Disposition of claims.

(a) Each carrier subject to 49 U.S.C. subtitle IV, part B which receives a written or electronically transmitted claim for loss or damage to baggage or for loss, damage, injury, or delay to property transported shall pay, decline, or make a firm compromise settlement offer in writing or electronically to the claimant within 120 days after receipt of the claim by the carrier; Provided, however, That, if the claim cannot be processed and disposed of within 120 days after the receipt thereof, the carrier shall at that time and at the expiration of each succeeding 60-day period while the claim remains pending, advise the claimant in writing or electronically of the status of the claim and the reason for the delay in making final disposition thereof and it shall retain a copy of such advice to the claimant in its claim file thereon.

(b) When settling a claim for loss or damage, a common carrier by motor vehicle of household goods as defined in Sec. 375.1(b)(1) of this chapter shall use the replacement costs of the lost or damaged item as a base to apply a depreciation factor to arrive at the current actual value of the lost or damaged item: Provided, That where an item cannot be replaced or no suitable replacement is obtainable, the proper measure of damages shall be the original costs, augmented by a factor derived from a consumer price index, and adjusted downward by a factor depreciation over average useful life.