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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/71

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Preventing vs. Paying Claims.

of your men and you will be astonished at the response. Let them know that you know what they are doing, and it becomes easier for them to withstand temptation.

Freight claims are a fine example of an exaggerated specialty resulting in unnecessary centralization. The whole proposition can be decentralized for the good of the service. Because the division superintendent can not well settle interline claims of other divisions is no reason why his forces should not settle such local claims as concern his division.

A thorough study of freight claims will bring you early to a consideration of personal injury, stock and fire claims. The fad has been on many railroads to take these items of operating expenses away from their former location in the operating department and give them to the legal department. This exaggerated view of the laws of liability is partly responsible for the growth of the damage suit industry. It is another case of considering a part of the railway at the expense of the whole. We need legal advice and expert knowledge. The true function of the expert and the specialist is to see how much working knowledge he can impart to the layman for everyday use and