247 U.S. 201 (1918), 74, Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company v. Rice

Docket Nº:No. 74
Citation:247 U.S. 201, 38 S.Ct. 429, 62 L.Ed. 1071
Party Name:Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company v. Rice
Case Date:May 20, 1918
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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247 U.S. 201 (1918)

38 S.Ct. 429, 62 L.Ed. 1071

Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company

v.

Rice

No. 74

United States Supreme Court

May 20, 1918

Submitted April 1, 1918

ERROR TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA

Syllabus

Judicial Code, 24, give jurisdiction to the district courts "of all suits and proceedings arising under any law regulating commerce." Held that a suit so arises where the carrier sues the consignee of an interstate shipment of livestock to collect a charge for disinfecting the cars, alleged to be due under tariffs approved and published as required by the Interstate Commerce Act, and where the consignee, admitting the interstate character of the shipment and propriety of the charges under the act, defends on the ground that the carrier, by its acts, is estopped from holding him responsible.

Reversed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

MCREYNOLDS, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE McREYNOLDS delivered the opinion of the Court.

Did the district court rightly decide that it had no jurisdiction is the only question presented.

Plaintiff in error sued to recover one hundred and forty-five dollars claimed to be due under tariffs approved and published as required by Interstate Commerce Act, for disinfecting fifty-eight cars containing livestock shipped

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from points outside the state and delivered to defendant, the consignee at New Orleans, Louisiana. It alleged presentation of bills covering each shipment and payment by defendant of all charges except those for disinfecting -- two dollars and fifty cents per car.

Answering, defendant admitted the shipments were interstate; that he paid all lawful charges, except those sued for, and that these had been properly prescribed under and pursuant to the Interstate Commerce Act. But he denied liability for these reasons: as the carrier well knew, or should have known, he had long been engaged in the business of factor or commission merchant; in due course, while acting as representative for their owners and consignors he received the livestock, sold them immediately upon arrival, deducted expenses, etc., and remitted balance of proceeds to his principals; when the cars arrived, he paid all charges actually demanded; he was not then advised and remained unaware that any others were contemplated until such...

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