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TITLE 43TRANSPORTATION
PART 10TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES
CHAPTER 218MOTOR CARRIERS
SUBCHAPTER ECONSUMER PROTECTION
RULE §218.58Moving Services Contract - Options for Carrier Limitation of Liability

(a) General.

  (1) Household goods shipments transported between points in Texas shall be subject to all terms and conditions of the moving services contract, as set forth in §218.57 of this title (relating to Moving Services Contract), except in cases where such terms and conditions are in conflict with the laws of the State of Texas.

  (2) If a household goods carrier chooses to use additional limitations of liability on a shipment, the limitations shall be either of the options specified in subsections (b) or (c) of this section. A household goods carrier may not alter or expand on the limitation to its liability or the exact wording set out in subsections (b) or (c) of this section. The option selected by the household goods carrier shall be included with and is part of the moving services contract.

(b) Option 1. If this option is chosen, the following language must be used verbatim.

  (1) Section 1 - General Provisions.

    (A) For the purposes of this subsection, the following terms will mean:

      (i) Household goods carrier--The motor carrier/mover contracted to transport a shipment of household goods.

      (ii) Shipper--The owner of the household goods shipment or his representative.

    (B) Changes to the moving service contract are not valid unless agreed to in writing by the household goods carrier and the shipper.

    (C) Household goods carriers will transport shipments with reasonable dispatch. Reasonable dispatch requires the transportation of a shipment within the agreed period of time shown on the moving services contract, except when circumstances beyond the carrier's control, force majeure, prevent or delay transportation.

    (D) Moving services contracts must comply with all other applicable laws of the State of Texas.

  (2) Section 2 - Cargo Liability Provisions.

    (A) The household goods carrier is liable for any loss or damage to the shipment, except as listed in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of this paragraph.

    (B) The household goods carrier is not responsible for loss, damage, or delay due to acts of God, acts of civil authorities, defects in the shipment, a riot, a strike, or an act or default of the shipper.

    (C) The household goods carrier is not liable for loss or damage caused by dangerous or explosive goods unless the shipper notifies the carrier, in writing, of the nature of the goods and the carrier agrees, in writing, to the transportation of these goods.

  (3) Section 3 - Claims Provisions.

    (A) A written claim must be filed by the shipper within 90 days of delivery of the shipment to the final destination. In case of failure to make delivery, then a written claim must be filed by the shipper within 90 days after a reasonable time for delivery has elapsed.

    (B) A household goods carrier is not liable for any claim that is not filed within 90 days of the delivery of the shipment to the final destination. A household goods carrier is not liable for any claim that is not filed within 90 days after a reasonable time for delivery has elapsed for shipments that were not delivered.

  (4) Section 4 - Payment Provisions. The shipper must pay the freight charges upon delivery unless the shipper and household goods carrier agree otherwise.

  (5) Section 5 - Provisions for Shipments Not Delivered.

    (A) A household goods carrier may place a shipment of household goods into storage if the shipper is not available for delivery of the goods as scheduled.

    (B) The cost of such storage is the responsibility of the shipper of the household goods.

    (C) A shipment of household goods placed in storage is subject to liens for storage, freight, and other lawful charges.

    (D) A household goods carrier must issue written notice of the storage of the household goods to the shipper at each address shown on the moving services contract within three days of placing the goods in storage.

    (E) If the shipper refuses to accept or does not claim the household goods within 15 days of the written notice of storage, the household goods carrier may begin the process of selling the goods at public sale, as prescribed in Transportation Code, Chapter 6.

    (F) A household goods carrier must give written notice of the public sale to the shipper at each address shown on the moving services contract.

    (G) The moving services contract does not prohibit the sale of the goods under any other lawful manner if the method set out in the contract cannot be reasonably accomplished.

(c) Option 2. If this option is chosen, the following language must be used verbatim.

  (1) Section 1 of contract terms and conditions.

    (A) The household goods carrier or party in possession of any of the property herein described shall be liable at common law for any loss thereof or damage thereto, except as hereinafter provided.

    (B) No household goods carrier or party in possession of all or any of the property herein described shall be liable for any loss thereof or damage thereto or delay caused by an act of God, the public enemy, the authority of law, or an act or default of the shipper or owner. The household goods carrier's liability shall be that of warehouseman only, for loss, damage, or delay caused by fire occurring after the expiration of the free time (if any) allowed by tariffs lawfully on file after notice of the arrival of the property at destination has been duly sent or given, and after placement of the property for delivery at destination, or tender of delivery of the property to the party entitled to receive it, has been made. Except in case of negligence of the household goods carrier or party in possession (and the burden to prove freedom from such negligence shall be on the household goods carrier or party in possession), the household goods carrier or party in possession shall not be liable for loss, damage, or delay occurring while the property is stopped and held in transit upon the request of the shipper, owner, or party entitled to make such request, or resulting from a defect or inherent vice of the article, including susceptibility to damage because of atmospheric conditions such as temperature and humidity or changes therein, or from riots or strikes. Except in the case of household goods carrier's negligence, no household goods carrier, or party in possession of all or any of the property herein described, shall be liable for delay caused by highway obstruction, faulty or impassable highway, or lack of capacity of any highway, bridge, or ferry, and the burden to prove freedom from such negligence shall be on the household goods carrier or party in possession.

    (C) In case of quarantine the property may be discharged at the risk and expense of the owner into quarantine depot or elsewhere, as required by quarantine regulations or authorities, or for the household goods carrier's dispatch at the nearest available point in the household goods carrier's judgment, and in any such case the household goods carrier's responsibility shall cease when property is so discharged, or property may be returned by the household goods carrier at the owner's expense to the shipping point, earning freight both ways. Quarantine expenses of whatever nature or kind upon or in respect to property shall be borne by the owner of the property or the household goods carrier may file a lien. The household goods carrier shall not be liable for loss or damage occasioned by fumigation or disinfection or other acts required or done by quarantine regulations or authorities even though the same may have been done by the household goods carrier's officers, local agents, or employees, nor for detention, loss, or damage of any kind occasioned by the quarantine or its enforcement. A household goods carrier shall not be liable, except in the case of negligence, for any mistake or inaccuracy in any information furnished by the household goods carrier, its local agents, or officers, as to quarantine laws or regulations. The shipper shall hold the household goods carrier harmless from any expense it may incur, or damages it may be required to pay, by reason of the introduction of the property covered by this contract into any place against the quarantine laws or regulations in effect at such place.

  (2) Section 2 of contract terms and conditions.

    (A) A household goods carrier is not bound to transport property by any particular scheduled vehicle or in time for any particular market other than with reasonable dispatch. A household goods carrier shall have the right, in case of physical necessity, to forward the property by any household goods carrier or route between the point of shipment and the point of destination. In all cases not prohibited by law, where a lower value than actual value has been represented in writing by the shipper or has been agreed upon in writing as the released value of the property as determined by the classification or tariffs upon which the rate is based, such lower value plus freight charges, if paid, shall be the maximum amount recovered, whether or not such loss or damage occurs from negligence.

    (B) As a condition precedent to recovery, a claim must be filed in writing with the receiving or delivering household goods carrier, or the household goods carrier issuing the bill of lading or receipt, or the household goods carrier on whose line the loss, damage, injury, or delay occurred, or the household goods carrier in possession of the property when the loss, damage, injury, or delay occurred, within 90 days after delivery of the property or, in case of failure to make delivery, then within 90 days after a reasonable time for delivery has elapsed; and suits shall be instituted against any household goods carrier only within two years and one day from the day when notice in writing is given by the household goods carrier to the claimant that the household goods carrier has disallowed the claim or any of its part or parts specified in the notice. Where a claim is not filed or a suit is not instituted in accordance with the foregoing provisions, a household goods carrier hereunder shall not be held liable, and the claim will not be paid.

    (C) Any household goods carrier or party liable on account of loss of or damage to any of the property shall have the full benefit of any insurance that may have been effected, upon, or on account of, said property, so far as this shall not avoid the policies or contracts of insurance; provided, that the household goods carrier reimburses the claimant for the premium paid.

  (3) Section 3 of contract terms and conditions. Except where such service is required as the result of household goods carrier's negligence, all property shall be subject to necessary cooperage and baling at the owner's cost.

  (4) Section 4 of contract terms and conditions.

    (A) Property not removed by the party entitled to receive it within the free time (if any) allowed by tariff lawfully on file (such free time to be computed as therein provided), after notice of the arrival of the property at destination has been duly sent or given, and after tender of the property for delivery at destination has been made, or property not received, at time tender of delivery of the property to the party entitled to receive it has been made, may be kept in vehicle, warehouse, or place of business of the household goods carrier, subject to the tariff charge for storage and to household goods carrier's responsibility as warehouseman, only, or at the option of the household goods carrier, may be removed to and stored in a public or licensed warehouse at the point of delivery or other available point, or if no such warehouse is available at point of delivery or at other available storage facility, at the cost of the owner and there held without liability on the part of the household goods carrier, and subject to a lien for all freight and other lawful charges, including a reasonable charge for storage. In the event consignee cannot be found at address given for delivery, notice of the placing of such goods in warehouse shall be mailed to the address given for delivery and mailed to any other address given on the bill of lading or receipt for notification, showing the warehouse in which the property has been placed.

    (B) If nonperishable property which has been transported to destination hereunder is refused by consignee or the party entitled to receive it upon tender of delivery, or said consignee or party entitled to receive it fails to receive or claim it within 15 days after notice of arrival shall have been duly sent or given, the household goods carrier may sell the same at public auction to the highest bidder, at such place as may be designated by the household goods carrier; provided, that the household goods carrier shall have first mailed, sent, or given to the consignor notice that the property has been refused or remains unclaimed, as the case may be, and that it will be subject to sale under the terms of the bill of lading or receipt if disposition be not arranged for, and shall have published notice containing a description of the property, the name of the party to whom consigned, or, if shipped order notify, the name of party to be notified, and the time and place of sale, once a week for two successive weeks, in a newspaper of general circulation at the place of sale or nearest place where such newspaper is published. Thirty days must elapse after notice that the property was refused or remains unclaimed was mailed, sent, or given before notice of sale may be published.

Cont'd...

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