Louisville v. Wilson

Citation32 N.E. 311, 132 Ind. 517
Case DateOctober 27, 1892
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

132 Ind. 517
32 N.E. 311

LOUISVILLE, E. & ST. L. CONSOLIDATED R. CO.
v.
WILSON et al.

Supreme Court of Indiana.

Oct. 27, 1892.


Appeal from superior court, Vanderburgh county; Azro Dyer, Judge.

Action by John H. Wilson and others against the Louisville, Evansville & St. Louis Consolidated Railroad Company to recover the amount of alleged overcharges of freight on ties shipped by plaintiffs over defendant's road. From a Judgment for plaintiffs, defendant appeals. Affirmed.

For former report of same case, see 21 N. E. Rep. 341.

[32 N.E. 312]


Gilchrist & De Bruler, for appellant.
Wm. Hamill and J. S. & C. Buchanan, for appellees.

Coffey, J.

This case is here for the second time. See 119 Ind. 353, 21 N. E. Rep. 341. Upon a return of the case to the court below the appellees filed an amended complaint, consisting of seven paragraphs. There was a verdict against the appellees on the 1st, 2d, and 3d paragraphs of the complaint, so they need no further notice. The appellant contends that the superior court erred- First, in overruling its demurrer to the 5th, 6th, and 7th paragraphs of the complaint; second, in overruling its motion for a new trial. The fifth paragraph of the complaint alleges, substantially, that the appellees, as partners, were engaged in the business of purchasing and shipping railroad ties; that the appellant owned and operated a railroad running by and through the stations and towns of Tennyson, Chandler, Gentryville, and Ferdinand, in Indiana; that there was no other railroad through or near these places for the transportation of freight; that, after the construction of the appellant's road, the appellees engaged in the business of purchasing railroad cross-ties and shipping the same from the above-named station to the city of Evansville; that the regular and reasonable charge and tariff rate of freight for cross-ties from these stations to the city of Evansville was $14 per car, and that such price had been charged from the date of the construction of the road until the 1st day of January, 1887, and that such price and rate of freight is still the amount charged for the shipment of cross-ties from these stations to Evansville; that such sum was the full and reasonable charge for such freights, and was and has been so recognized by the appellant; that prior to the 1st day of January, 1887, there were several parties engaged in the purchase and shipment of cross-ties from said stations; that after the 1st day of January, 1887, the appellant wrongfully and unjustly charged as freight for cars loaded with cross-ties the sum of $24 for each car from said stations to the city of Evansville; that such charge was unreasonable and excessive, and destructive of the business of the appellees; that, at the time such increased rate of freight was charged by the appellant, appellees had at said stations, and along the line of said railroad, 100,000 cross-ties, which had cost them $25,000; that said ties could not be shipped by any other railroad, as appellant knew; that the appellees had contracted for the sale of the ties, and were compelled to fill and complete such contract; that they were unable to purchase ties at any other place to fill the same, and were compelled to ship the same over the appellant's road; that the appellant collected from the consignees of said ties the sum of $24 freight on each car so shipped by the appellees from said stations to the city of Evansville; that they shipped 354 cars of said ties between the 1st day of January, 1887, and the 1st day of August of that year, from the above-named stations to the city of Evansville, to fill their contract and dispose of such cross-ties; that the excess of freight, so charged and received by the appellant, was $2,800; that at the same time the appellant was so charging the appellees the sum of $24 per car it was charging other parties for similar shipments the sum of $14 only; that before the commencement of this suit the appellees demanded of the appellant said sum of $2,800, which it refused to pay, and thereupon they demanded of the appellant $2,800 damages, which it refused to pay. The sixth paragraph of the complaint is similar to the fifth, except that it contains the further allegations that the appellant entered into a contract with one Dickason, whereby Dickason was permitted to ship cross-ties over the appellant's road at $14 per car load, each load containing 200 ties, while it charged the appellees and all others the sum of $24 per car for like shipments; that the contract with Dickason was made for the purpose of giving him a monopoly of the business of purchasing and shipping cross-ties over the line of the appellant's road; that by reason of such unjust discrimination the business of the appellees was destroyed, to their damage in the sum of $2,800. The seventh paragraph is substantially the same as the fifth, except that it contains the further allegation that it received receipts from the appellant for the cross-ties shipped, which the appellant called bills of lading, but which the appellees refused to accept as such, but did receive them as receipts for ties shipped.

It is claimed by the appellant that the court erred in overruling the demurrer to the fifth and seventh paragraphs of the complaint, because it appears from each of these paragraphs that the payments therein set forth were voluntary payments. It is said by counsel in their brief that no kind of extortion is shown, no pretense that the appellant refused to carry the cross-ties or refused to deliver them unless the rates charged were paid, nor is there any claim that the appellees were ignorant of the facts stated in these paragraphs at the time the freight was paid. On the other hand, it is contended by the appellees that payments made to a railroad

[32 N.E. 313]

company or other common carrier for overcharges for carrying freight are not voluntary payments, for the reason that the shipper and the carrier do not stand upon an equality. The only authorities cited by the appellant holding that a payment without protest to a common carrier, for an overcharge, is a voluntary payment, are the cases of Evershed v. Railroad Co., 3 Q. B. Div. 134, and Du Bose v. Railroad, etc., Co., 50 Ga. 304. We are of the opinion, however, that the decided weight of authority is that the payment of an overcharge of freight to a railroad company engaged as the common carrier of goods is not a voluntary payment, within the ordinary meaning of that term. In the case of Heiserman v. Railway Co., 63 Iowa, 732, 18 N. W. Rep. 903, which was an action to recover for overpayment of freights, the court said: “Nor need the plaintiff, in a case brought to enforce such an obligation, show objection or protest prior to the payment made in excess of reasonable compensation. These rules are founded upon the consideration that railroad companies are public carriers, and those who employ them are in their power, and must bow to the rod of authority which they hold over the...

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20 practice notes
  • L. & N. R. R. Co. v. Central Stock Yards Co.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • November 15, 1906
    ...have so liberally quoted: Interstate Stockyards Co. v. R. R. Cos. (C. C.) 99 Fed. 472; L. E. & St. L. Consol. Ry. Co. v. Wilson (Ind.) 32 N. E. 311, 18 L. R. A. 105; Railroad Co. v. Goodridge, 149 U. S. 680, 13 Sup. Ct. 970, 37 L. Ed. 986; Inman v. St. L. S. W. Ry. Co. (Tex. Civ. App.) ......
  • Cleveland, C., C. & St. L. Ry. Co. v. Blind, No. 21719.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • May 26, 1914
    ...between shippers, and they are liable in damages for a violation of the law in either respect. Louisville, etc., R. Co. v. Wilson, 132 Ind. 517, 32 N. E. 311, 18 L. R. A. 105, and cases cited; Chicago, etc., R. Co. v. Wolcott, 141 Ind. 267, 275, 39 N. E. 451, 50 Am. St. Rep. 320;Western Uni......
  • May Department Stores Co. v. Union E.L. & P. Co., No. 34288.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 30, 1937
    ...265 Mo. 646; Boston v. Edison Co., 136 N.E. 113; Warren v. Me. Cent. Railroad Co., 135 Atl. 526; Louisville, etc., Railroad Co. v. Wilson, 32 N.E. 311; Heiserman v. Burlington Railroad Co., 18 N.W. 903. (5) Plaintiff is entitled to recover the charges paid by it for electricity in excess of......
  • E. D. Clough & Co. v. Boston & M. R. R.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Hampshire
    • June 27, 1913
    ...32 Vt. 559; Mobile, etc., Ry. v. Steiner, 61 Ala. 559; Chicago, etc., R. R. v. Company, 79 Ill. 121; Louisville, etc., R. R. v. Wilson, 132 Ind. 517, 32 N. E. 311, 18 L. R. A. 105; Scottish, etc., Co. v. Herriott, 109 Iowa, 606, 80 N. W. 665, 77 Am. St. Rep. 548 Swift Co. v. United States, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
20 cases
  • L. & N. R. R. Co. v. Central Stock Yards Co.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • November 15, 1906
    ...have so liberally quoted: Interstate Stockyards Co. v. R. R. Cos. (C. C.) 99 Fed. 472; L. E. & St. L. Consol. Ry. Co. v. Wilson (Ind.) 32 N. E. 311, 18 L. R. A. 105; Railroad Co. v. Goodridge, 149 U. S. 680, 13 Sup. Ct. 970, 37 L. Ed. 986; Inman v. St. L. S. W. Ry. Co. (Tex. Civ. App.) ......
  • Cleveland, C., C. & St. L. Ry. Co. v. Blind, No. 21719.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • May 26, 1914
    ...between shippers, and they are liable in damages for a violation of the law in either respect. Louisville, etc., R. Co. v. Wilson, 132 Ind. 517, 32 N. E. 311, 18 L. R. A. 105, and cases cited; Chicago, etc., R. Co. v. Wolcott, 141 Ind. 267, 275, 39 N. E. 451, 50 Am. St. Rep. 320;Western Uni......
  • May Department Stores Co. v. Union E.L. & P. Co., No. 34288.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 30, 1937
    ...265 Mo. 646; Boston v. Edison Co., 136 N.E. 113; Warren v. Me. Cent. Railroad Co., 135 Atl. 526; Louisville, etc., Railroad Co. v. Wilson, 32 N.E. 311; Heiserman v. Burlington Railroad Co., 18 N.W. 903. (5) Plaintiff is entitled to recover the charges paid by it for electricity in excess of......
  • E. D. Clough & Co. v. Boston & M. R. R.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Hampshire
    • June 27, 1913
    ...32 Vt. 559; Mobile, etc., Ry. v. Steiner, 61 Ala. 559; Chicago, etc., R. R. v. Company, 79 Ill. 121; Louisville, etc., R. R. v. Wilson, 132 Ind. 517, 32 N. E. 311, 18 L. R. A. 105; Scottish, etc., Co. v. Herriott, 109 Iowa, 606, 80 N. W. 665, 77 Am. St. Rep. 548 Swift Co. v. United States, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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