Georgia, Florida Alabama Railway Company v. Blish Milling Company, No. 292

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHughes
Citation60 L.Ed. 948,241 U.S. 190,36 S.Ct. 541
PartiesGEORGIA, FLORIDA, & ALABAMA RAILWAY COMPANY, Plff. in Err., v. BLISH MILLING COMPANY
Docket NumberNo. 292
Decision Date08 May 1916

241 U.S. 190
36 S.Ct. 541
60 L.Ed. 948
GEORGIA, FLORIDA, & ALABAMA RAILWAY COMPANY, Plff. in Err.,

v.

BLISH MILLING COMPANY.

No. 292.
Argued and Submitted March 15, 1916.
Decided May 8, 1916.

Page 191

Messrs. T. S. Hawes, Alexander Akerman, and Charles Akerman for plaintiff in error.

Messrs. A. L. Miller and E. M. Donalson for defendant in error.

[Argument of Counsel from page 191 intentionally omitted]

Page 192

Mr. Justice Hughes delivered the opinion of the court:

The Blish Milling Company brought this action in trover against the Georgia, Florida, & Alabama Railway Company, and recovered judgment, which was affirmed by the court of appeals of Georgia. 15 Ga. App. 142, 82 S. E. 784. The facts are these:

On May 13, 1910, the Blish Milling Company shipped from Seymour, Indiana, to Bainbridge, Georgia, a carload of flour consigned to its own order, with direction to notify Draper-Garrett Grocery Company at Bainbridge. The bill of lading was issued by the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroad Company. The shipper's sight draft upon the Draper-Garrett Grocery Company, for $1,109.89, covering the price of the flour, with a carrying charge, was attached to the bill of lading and forwarded to a bank in Bainbridge for collection. The flour was transferred to another car by the Central of Georgia Railway Company, a connecting carrier, and reached Bainbridge on June 2, 1910, over the line of the Georgia, Florida, & Alabama Railway Company, the plaintiff in error, in accordance with routing. The plaintiff in error, without requiring payment of the draft and surrender of the bill

Page 193

of lading (which were ultimately returned to the Blish Milling Company), delivered the car to the Draper-Garrett Grocery Company immediately on its arrival by placing it on the sidetrack of that company. In the course of unloading, the Grocery Company discovered that some of the flour was wet, and thereupon reloaded the part removed and returned the flour to the plaintiff in error. The subsequent course of events is thus stated by the court of appeals (id. pp. 144, 145):

'The railway company' (that is, the plaintiff in error) 'retook possession of the car and unloaded it, and in a few days sold, as perishable property, a part of the flour alleged to be damaged, and on December 23, 1910, sold the remainder. On June 3, 1910, after the Grocery Company had turned the flour back to the railway company, B. C. Prince, traffic manager of the Georgia, Florida, & Alabama Railway Company, telegraphed to the Blish Milling Company as follows: 'Flour order notify Draper-Garrett Grocery Company refused account damage. Hold at your risk and expense. Advise disposition.' On the next day the Miling Company replied by telegraphing to Prince, 'Sending our representative there. What is nature of damage?' To this Prince replied: 'Flour transferred in route. Slight damage by water, apparently rough handling. When will your representative reach Bainbridge?' The Blish Milling Company replied that its man would be there that night or the next day. On June 7 (after the Milling Company's representative had reached Bainbridge and conferred with the agents of the railway company and with the Grocery Company) the Milling Company sent a final telegram, saying, 'We will make claim against railroad for entire contents of car at invoice price. Must refuse shipment as we cannot handle.' It appears, from the evidence of Mr. Draper, that the price of flour declined after his order was given and before the flour reached Bainbridge. There

Page 194

is conflict in the evidence as to a tender of the flour by the railway company to the Milling Company's representative. According to some of the testimony, about 18 barrels of the flour had been sold by the railway company before the alleged tender was made, and therefore it was not within the power of the carrier to tender the shipment in its entirety.' The verdict in favor of the Milling Company was for $1,084.50, from which the court of appeals required a deduction of the amount of the unpaid freight, which was held to have been erroneously included.

With other defenses the railway company pleaded that the shipper had failed to comply with the following provision of the bill of lading, issued by the initial carrier: 'Claims for loss, damage, or delay must be made in writing to the carrier at the point of delivery or at the point of origin within four months after the delivery of the property, or, in case of failure to make delivery, then within four months after a reasonable time for delivery has elapsed. Unless claims are so made, the carrier shall not be liable.' This defense was overruled. The court of appeals stated that 'so far as appears from the record, no claim was filed by the shipper,' but deemed the provision to be inapplicable. Id. p. 149.

There are only two questions presented here, and these are thus set forth in the brief of the plaintiff in error:

'1st. That the plaintiff's exclusive remedy was against the initial carrier, the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroad Company, under the Carmack amendment of § 20 of the Hepburn bill [34 Stat. at L. 593, chap. 3591, Comp. Stat. 1913, § 8592].

'2d. That, under the stipulation in the bill of lading providing for the filing of claims for loss or damage, the action was barred.'

The first contention is met by repeated decisions of this court. The...

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555 practice notes
  • Union Pacific R.R. Co. v. Coast Packing Co., No. CIV-01-01326-GHK.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • January 29, 2002
    ...Taylor v. May-flower Transit, Inc., 22 F.Supp.2d 509, 510 (W.D.N.C.1998) (quoting Ga., Fla. and Ala. Ry. v. Blish Milling Co., 241 U.S. 190, 196, 36 S.Ct. 541, 60 L.Ed. 948 (1916)). It encompasses harms caused by the late arrival of goods, see Southeastern Exp Co. v. Pastime Amusement Co., ......
  • Lichten v. Eastern Airlines, No. 166
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • May 22, 1951
    ...limiting liability. Missouri Pac. R. R. v. Boone, 270 U.S. 466, 46 S.Ct. 341, 70 L.Ed. 688; Georgia, Fla. & Ala. Ry. v. Blish Milling Co., 241 U.S. 190, 36 S.Ct. 541, 60 L.Ed. Judgment affirmed. FRANK, Circuit Judge (dissenting). 1. The exemption-from-all-liability provision. My colleagues,......
  • Union Pac. R.R. Co. v. Beemac Trucking, LLC, Case No. 8:11CV8.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Nebraska
    • March 7, 2013
    ...715, 718 (9th Cir.2008)4; Intech, 836 F.2d at 674 (first alteration in original) (quoting Ga., F. & A. Ry. Co. v. Blish Milling Co., 241 U.S. 190, 195, 36 S.Ct. 541, 60 L.Ed. 948 (1916)) (“ ‘[D]elivery’ must mean delivery as required by the contract [of carriage],' ( i.e., the bill of ladin......
  • Molloy v. Allied Van Lines, Inc, No. 602CV402ORLJGG.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • May 28, 2003
    ...pers by paying claims of favored shippers while rejecting claims of others. See Georgia, Florida & Alabama Railway v. Blish Milling Co., 241 U.S. 190, 195-97, 36 S.Ct. 541, 60 L.Ed. 948 (1916); East Texas Motor Freight Lines v. U.S., 239 F.2d 417, 420 (5th Pursuant to the Carmack Amendment,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
554 cases
  • Union Pacific R.R. Co. v. Coast Packing Co., No. CIV-01-01326-GHK.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • January 29, 2002
    ...Taylor v. May-flower Transit, Inc., 22 F.Supp.2d 509, 510 (W.D.N.C.1998) (quoting Ga., Fla. and Ala. Ry. v. Blish Milling Co., 241 U.S. 190, 196, 36 S.Ct. 541, 60 L.Ed. 948 (1916)). It encompasses harms caused by the late arrival of goods, see Southeastern Exp Co. v. Pastime Amusement Co., ......
  • Lichten v. Eastern Airlines, No. 166
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • May 22, 1951
    ...limiting liability. Missouri Pac. R. R. v. Boone, 270 U.S. 466, 46 S.Ct. 341, 70 L.Ed. 688; Georgia, Fla. & Ala. Ry. v. Blish Milling Co., 241 U.S. 190, 36 S.Ct. 541, 60 L.Ed. Judgment affirmed. FRANK, Circuit Judge (dissenting). 1. The exemption-from-all-liability provision. My colleagues,......
  • Union Pac. R.R. Co. v. Beemac Trucking, LLC, Case No. 8:11CV8.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Nebraska
    • March 7, 2013
    ...715, 718 (9th Cir.2008)4; Intech, 836 F.2d at 674 (first alteration in original) (quoting Ga., F. & A. Ry. Co. v. Blish Milling Co., 241 U.S. 190, 195, 36 S.Ct. 541, 60 L.Ed. 948 (1916)) (“ ‘[D]elivery’ must mean delivery as required by the contract [of carriage],' ( i.e., the bill of ladin......
  • Molloy v. Allied Van Lines, Inc, No. 602CV402ORLJGG.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • May 28, 2003
    ...pers by paying claims of favored shippers while rejecting claims of others. See Georgia, Florida & Alabama Railway v. Blish Milling Co., 241 U.S. 190, 195-97, 36 S.Ct. 541, 60 L.Ed. 948 (1916); East Texas Motor Freight Lines v. U.S., 239 F.2d 417, 420 (5th Pursuant to the Carmack Amendment,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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