« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
North Dakota, and Montana, and at the time of the levy was empty and awaiting reloading by the Minnesota Transfer Company, in its yards, with a return shipment to points in Missouri. The court rested its decision on the commerce clause of the Federal Constitution and provisions of the act to regulate commerce.
FACILITIES OF TRAFFIC.
A recent exhaustive decision by the United States Supreme Court, reversing the district court and court of appeals, is to the effect that a water carrier holding itself out as a common carrier of perishable goods has the initial duty of providing and operating proper refrigerating apparatus for the safe carriage of such commodities (Martin v. Southwark, 191 U. S., 1). This case applies the common law as modified by the Harter Act.
The circuit court of appeals for the eighth circuit in the case of Harp v. Choctaw, Oklahoma & Gulf Railroad Company (125 Fed. Rep., 445) affirmed the decision of the circuit court for the western district of Arkansas, involving preference in furnishing cars, and held that a carrier which transports large quantities of coal is entitled to make regulations with respect to the manner of receiving and transporting it, so that it may be handled expeditiously, safely, and economically, without unnecessary interference with the carrier's other business; and that regulations which are well designed to promote such object can not be complained of on the ground that they operate to give a preference to one who complies with them or as a discrimination against one who does not.
In the case of Robinson v. Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company (129 Fed. Rep., 753), it appeared that a shipper refused to deliver coal to the carrier at a siding designated for that purpose, and, in his endeavor to compel the carrier to receive coal at another siding, intended for shippers of other merchandise, blocked such siding with teams for the purpose of obstructing traffic, and took possession of cars intended for other shippers, and dumped coal at the siding and station, which resulted in the total suspension of all freight business at the station for two days, and he threatened to continue such acts indefinitely until the carrier submitted to his demands. The circuit court of appeals for the fourth circuit held that such acts amounted to a public nuisance and justified relief by injunction.
The circuit court for the northern district of Georgia, in Wilson v. Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company (129 Fed. Rep., 774), held that a railroad company is not required, as a common carrier, to take a circus train, a part of which is loaded with wild animals, and transport the same over its line, but may refuse to transport such train, except under a special contract limiting its liability to that assumed by a private carrier.
STATE RAILROAD COMMISSION CASES.
Thé question regarding liability of a reorganized railroad company under a State statute regulating passenger rates was determined by the United States Supreme Court in February last in the case of Grand Rapids & Indiana Railway Company v. Osborn (193 U. S., 17), which came to that court on writ of error to the supreme court of Michigan. A peremptory writ of mandamus was granted by the circuit court of Kent County, Mich., commanding the defendant carrier to reduce its rates for the transportation of passengers over its lines of railroad from 3 cents per mile to 24 cents per mile, as required by an act of the legislature of Michigan. The supreme court of Michigan affirmed the order of the circuit court, and the Supreme Court of the United States in its decision of affirmance held that the provisions in the railway law of Michigan of 1873, for the creation of a new corporation upon the reorganization of a railroad by the purchaser at a foreclosure sale, did not constitute a contract within the impairment clause of the Constitution of the United States. It also decided that purchasers of a railroad, not having any right to demand to be incorporated under the laws of a State, but voluntarily accepting the privilege and benefits of an incorporation law, are bound by the provisions of existing laws regulating rates of fare and are, as well as the corporation formed, estopped from repudiating the burdens attached by the statute to the privilege of becoming an incorporation.
The Supreme Court of the United States in Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad Company v. State of Minnesota ex rel. Railroad and Warehouse Commission (193 U. S., 53) held that to establish stations at proper places is the proper duty of a railroad company, and it is within the power of the States to make it prima facie a duty of the companies to establish them at all villages and boroughs on their respective lines; and that the law of Minnesota requiring the erection and maintenance of depots by railroad companies on the order of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission under the conditions stated in that law does not deny a railroad company the right to reasonably manage or control property or arbitrarily take its property without its consent or without compensation or due process of law and is not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States.
. In Rosenbaum Grain Company v. Chicago, Rock Island & Texas Railway Company et al. (130 Fed. Rep., 46) the circuit court for the northern district of Texas held that "a State railroad commission is without power to require a railroad company to cancel and abolish 'proportional tariffs' which apply only to interstate or foreign shipments and which were adopted with the approval of this Commission, to prohibit the company from permitting export shipment of grain to be stopped in transit within the State for cleaning and grading, or by similar orders to attempt to regulate interstate or foreign commerce."
The circuit court of appeals for the fifth circuit affirmed the decision of the circuit court (130 Fed. Rep., 110). As has been often stated in previous reports, this Commission is not authorized to and does not approve tariffs applying on interstate traffic.
The supreme court of appeals of Virginia in Atlantic Coast Line Railway Company et al. v. Commonwealth (46 S. E. Rep., 911) decided that the rules prescribed by the corporation commission of the State with reference to storage, demurrage, car service and car-detention charges are not void because in their operation they affect incidentally interstate and foreign commerce.
LIABILITY OF CARRIER FOR LOSS OR DAMAGE.
The Supreme Court of the United States decided last January in the case of Wabash Railroad Company v. Pearce (192 U. S., 179) that where a contract of shipment from a point without to a point within the United States over the lines of several carriers provides that each carrier shall be liable only for loss or damage accruing on its own lines, the last carrier is not responsible for damages resulting from an examination by customs officers at a point not on its own line and different from the point to which the contract provided that the goods should be delivered in bond.
The same court rendered another decision at its last term, involving limitations of common-law liability by contract (Cau v. Texas & Pacific Railway Company, 194 U. S., 427). The rulings of the court in this case were as follows: While primarily the responsibility of a common carrier is that expressed by the common law, and the shipper may insist upon such responsibility, he may consent to a limitation of it, and so long as there is no stipulation for an exemption which is not just and reasonable in the eye of the law the responsibility may be modified by contract. It is not necessary that an alternative contract be presented to the shipper for his choice. A bill of lading is a contract, and knowledge of its contents by the shipper will be presumed, and a provision therein against liability for damage by fire is not unjust or unreasonable. It is not necessary that there be an independent consideration apart from that expressed in the bill of lading to support a reasonable stipulation by exemption from liability. While the burden may be on the carrier to show that the damage resulted from the excepted cause, after that has been shown the burden is on the plaintiff to show that it occurred by the carrier's own negligence from which it could not be exempted.
The question as to when connecting carriers on through shipments are partners and jointly liable arose last February in the circuit court of appeals for the second circuit, in the case of Lehigh Valley Railroad Company v. Dupont (128 Fed. Rep., 840); and the court held that where the lines of several railroad corporations are conducted as a
single system for the purpose of the traffic between different points, originating on either, and such corporations divided the proceeds of such business on a mileage basis, the several corporations as to such business were partners and liable to third parties on the principles of the law of agency. But it appeared that though the connecting carrier of the defendant in this case, upon whose line the accident occurred, operated and maintained the line financially and physically, yet the potential and ultimate control of all its property and business affairs was lodged in the defendant, and this control was exercised as completely and as directly as the machinery of corporate organisms would permit.
The act of Congress of July 2, 1864, which requires land-grant railroads to carry freight for the army at not exceeding 50 per cent of the tariff rates charged the general public, was construed by the circuit court for the district of Oregon, in August last, in the case of United States v. Astoria & Columbia River Railroad Company (131 Fed. Rep., 1006), wherein it was held that such law does not entitle the Government to a reduced rate for the carriage of freight between two points by a railroad company which received no land grant, merely because its trains run for a part of the distance over the track of a land-grant road.
ACCIDENT TO PASSENGER RIDING ON A PASS.
In the United States Supreme Court it was held in Northern Pacific Railway Company v. Adams (192 U. S., 440) that when a railroad company gives gratuitously, and a passenger accepts, a pass, the former waives its rights as a common carrier to exact compensation; and, if the pass contains a condition to that effect, the latter assumes the risks of ordinary negligence of the company's employees; that the arrangement is one which the parties may make, and no public policy is violated thereby; and that if the passenger is injured or killed while riding on such a pass gratuitously given, which he has accepted with knowledge of the conditions therein, the company is not liable therefor either to him or to his heirs, in the absence of willful or wanton negligence. The same court in another case, that of Boering v. Chesapeake Beach Railway Company (193 U. S., 442) decided last March that a wife may not, through the intermediary of her husband, obtain a pass and then plead ignorance of the conditions upon which it was granted; and that the carrier is not bound at its peril to see that the conditions plainly printed on the pass are made known to the person accepting it.
INJUNCTIONS TO RESTRAIN TICKET BROKERS.
Two important opinions upon this subject have been rendered since the last report of the Commission, one being by the supreme court of
Missouri and the other by the United States circuit court for the eastern district of Missouri. In the former court, in the case of Schubach v. McDonald (65 L. R. A., 136), it was held that equity had jurisdiction to enjoin ticket brokers from dealing in nontransferable railroad tickets where there is no adequate remedy at law because of their insolvency and the frauds which by such dealing will be perpetrated upon the railroads and innocent purchasers of tickets which can not be used, and because of the many suits necessary to recover damages in each case separately. In the latter court, in the case of Illinois Central Railroad Company v. Caffrey (128 Fed. Rep., 770), a similar conclusion was reached, with the addition that the bill and proofs should show that the action of the ticket brokers is in violation of the laws of the State and the United States.
The court decisions relating to safety appliances are stated under that heading.
CIVIL CASES PENDING IN THE COURTS.
Brewer et al. v. Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company et al. Griffin, Ga., long and short haul case. United States circuit court,
southern district of Georgia.
Interstate Commerce Commission v. Northern Pacific Railroad Company et al. Fargo, N. Dak., long and short haul case. United States circuit court, district of North Dakota.
Interstate Commerce Commission v. Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad Company et al. Discriminating rates on petroleum oil. United States circuit court, western district of Pennsylvania.
Interstate Commerce Commission v. Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway Company et al. Classification of hay. United States circuit court, northern district of Ohio. Argued and submitted. United States v. Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company. Proceeding to enjoin departure from published tariff rates. Temporary injunction granted. United States circuit court, northern district of Illinois.
United States v. Illinois Central Railroad Company. Proceeding to enjoin departure from published tariff rates. Temporary injunction granted. United States circuit court, northern district of Illinois.
United States v. Michigan Central Railroad Company. Proceeding to enjoin departure from published tariff rates. Temporary injunction granted. United States circuit court, northern district of Illinois.
United States v. Pennsylvania Company. Proceeding to enjoin departure from published tariff rates. Temporary injunction granted. United States circuit court, northern district of Illinois.
United States v. Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway Company. Proceeding to enjoin departure from published tariff