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Service members will get compensation for losses. (Storm damage).

More than 160 Department of Defense service members who had their personal vehicles damaged in a severe storm in the English Channel will be compensated for their losses.

The military members will receive the full U. S. Blue Book value of their vehicles, said Bill Antonelli, Vice President, American Auto Logistics, Inc. The Monroe, N.Y., firm operates the privately owned vehicle movement program of the Military Traffic. Management Command.

The vehicles were damaged by diesel fuel oil aboard the MV Faust during the storm on Nov. 5. With the ship rolling in rough seas as much as 35 degrees, a large vehicle broke free from its lashings and ruptured a diesel fuel oil tank. Over 10 tons of oil leaked out and dripped down on 165 service members' vehicles stored on several lower decks.

The vessel was on a voyage from Baltimore to Europe. The vehicles were discharged in Bremerhaven, Germany.

Efforts were made to clean the contaminated vehicles, but there was concern about the impact of the oil on mechanical parts, rubber fittings and gaskets.

The ship operator, American Roll-on Roll-Off Carrier, of Montvale, N.J., conducted preliminary assessments of the first group of the repaired affected vehicles, but was not satisfied with the results.

"The possible risk to the members is too great" said John M. Ridlon, General Counsel for the firm. "We are concerned for the health and safety of the service members and their families."

Rehabilitation of the damaged cars is not a possibility, said Antonelli.

"Often, the vehicles smelled of oil, or the car's finish was severely damaged," said Antonelli.

"I've inspected some of these vehicles myself--one day everything is fine, and the next day, the bottoms are coated with diesel oil."

An official of the shipping firm agreed.

"We began by replacing tires and windshield wipers, and cleaning exteriors and interiors," said Anthony M. Ryan, of American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier.

"Because of the possible long-term safety effects of the oil damage, all the vehicles will be totaled."

The compensation to service members was announced Dec. 19 in a meeting of the carrier, American Auto Logistics, with MTMC.

Due to the severe impact on service members, American Auto Logistics will offer loss claims settlement arrangements on "a favorable and expedited basis."

To date, five claims are already undergoing processing and claim resolution through the firm.

Service members with damaged cars will be contacted directly by American Auto Logistics. The firm has representatives in Germany who are ready to assure quick processing for claims.

Service members may be eligible for several special features in the settlement:

* American Auto Logistics will waive its $20,000 maximum liability limit for this specific incident.

* Service members with rented vehicles may continue to use their rental cars for up to 30 days following the notification of their vehicle's total loss, or receive $1,000 in lieu of a rental Car.

* In cases where liens on cars are higher than the U.S. Blue Book value, American Auto Logistics will seek a settlement with both the owner and lien holder.

* Vehicles that are antiques, or restored collector's items, will be paid at the appropriate market value.

* Service members will have an opportunity to recover personal items from the vehicles at the vehicle processing centers.

Service members with damaged vehicles should immediately contact Richard Holland-Moritz or Evelyn Dullagahan at:
Transcar GmbH
Langer Kornweg 16
65451 Kelsterbach, Germany
Telephone: 49-0-6107-944117/16
Facsimile: 49-0-6107-8691
COPYRIGHT 2001 U.S. Military Traffic Management Command
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Department of Defense
Author:Galery, Leesha
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Previous Article:Freak ocean wave damages MTMC cargo. (Anatomy of a catastrophe).
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