Phillips Company v. Grand Trunk Western Railway Company, No. 124

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtLamar
PartiesA. J. PHILLIPS COMPANY, Plff. in Err., v. GRAND TRUNK WESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY et al
Decision Date15 March 1915
Docket NumberNo. 124

236 U.S. 662
35 S.Ct. 444
59 L.Ed. 774
A. J. PHILLIPS COMPANY, Plff. in Err.,

v.

GRAND TRUNK WESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY et al.

No. 124.
Argued January 15, 1915.
Decided March 15, 1915.

Page 663

Messrs. Edward H. S. Martin and George M. Stephen for plaintiff in error.

Mr. L. C. Stanley for defendants in error.

Mr. Justice Lamar delivered the opinion of the court:

The A. J. Phillips Company is a manufacturer of doors at Fenton, Michigan. For use in its business it purchased large quantities of lumber, much of which was shipped from points in Alabama, over the lines of the Illinois Central, the Southern, the Grand Trunk Western, and the Detroit & Milwaukee Railway Companies. Prior to April, 1903, the rate to Fenton was 28 cents a hundred, of which 14 cents was the charge for the haul over the Southern and the Illinois Central, from Alabama points to the Ohio river. The remaining 14 cents represented the charge of the Grand Trunk and the Detroit Companies for the haul from the Ohio river to Fenton.

In April, 1903, the Illinois Central, the Southern Railway, and other carriers operating in the Gulf states, filed a tariff which made an advance of 2 cents per hundred on lumber shipped from Alabama mills to the Ohio river and beyond.

On July 24, 1903, the Yellow Pine Association filed a complaint with the Interstate Commerce Commission, seeking to have this increase declared to be unreasonable.

Page 664

After a hearing the Commission held (10 Inters. Com. Rep. 505-547) that 'the advance . . . of 2 cents . . . was not warranted under all the facts in evidence and that the resultant increased rate is unreasonable and unjust. An order will be issued in accordance with these views.' The carriers sought to have this order enjoined, but the action of the Commission was sustained by the circuit court, and on May 27, 1907, that ruling was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States (206 U. S. 441, 51 L. ed. 1128, 27 Sup. Ct. Rep. 700); after which, as appears from the official reports (Joice v. Illinois C. R. Co. 15 Inters. Com. Rep. 239), the Commission approved the settlement of a number of claims for reparation which had been previously filed. The Phillips Company was not a party to the proceedings before the Commission, and made no claim for reparation, but on May 11, 1909, it brought suit in the circuit court of the United States for the eastern district of Michigan, against the four carriers named above, for the recovery of the overcharge. The declaration—which by reference, made the report of the Commission in 10 Inters. Com. Rep. 505, a part of the pleading (Robinson v. Baltimore & O. R. Co. 222 U. S. 507, 56 L. ed. 289, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 114)—alleged that the four carriers had charged plaintiff 30 cents per hundred, though they well knew that 28 cents was the highest just and reasonable freight rate that could be charged on lumber, and that anything in excess of 28 cents was illegal, unjust, and excessive. It was also averred that the Commission, on the complaint of the Yellow Pine Association, had found the 2-cent advance to be unreasonable, and for that reason the plaintiff claimed that the defendant-carriers were each and all bound to return to it the 2-cent overcharge on 218 cars of lumber. There was a prayer for judgment for $5,000 damages and $2,000 attorneys' fees.

The Southern Railway was not served. The Illinois Central, having no office in the district, was ultimately dismissed from the case. The demurrer of the other two

Page 665

defendants was sustained. That judgment was affirmed by the circuit court of appeals, and the case brought here by writ of error.

1. The Phillips Company, relying on a finding by the Commission on the complaint of the Yellow Pine Association, that a 2-cents advance in a lumber rate was unreasonable, brought suit against four...

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197 practice notes
  • Brooklyn Sav Bank v. Neil Dize v. Maddrix Arsenal Bldg Corporation v. Greenberg 8212 1945, Nos. 445
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 9, 1945
    ...Co. v. Pennsylvania Railroad Co., 320 U.S. 356, 361, 64 S.Ct. 128, 130, 88 L.Ed. 96; A. J. Phillips Co. v. Grand Trunk Western Ry., 236 U.S. 662, 667, 35 S.Ct. 444, 446, 59 L.Ed. 774. Cf. Young v. Higbee Company, 324 U.S. 204, 65 S.Ct. 594. Where a private right is granted in the public int......
  • Kewanee Oil Company v. Bicron Corporation, No. 71-1041
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Sixth Circuit
    • May 10, 1973
    ...of all. The rights in the invention are then no longer subject to private barter, sale, or waiver. Cf. Phillips Co. v. Grand Trunk R. Co., 236 U.S. 662, 35 S.Ct. 444, 59 L.Ed. 774; Midstate Horticultural Co. v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 320 U.S. 356, 361, 64 S. Ct. 128, 88 L.Ed. 96; Brooklyn Ban......
  • McCarty Farms, Inc. v. Burlington Northern, Inc., No. CV-80-103-GF.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Montana)
    • March 24, 1992
    ...group of shippers. See, e.g., Ott Coal Co. v. Ann Arbor, 253 I.C.C. 677, 681 (1942) (citing, A.J. Phillips Co. v. Grand Trunk Western Ry., 236 U.S. 662, 35 S.Ct. 444, 59 L.Ed. 774 (1915)). Burlington Northern reiterates that its position is simply directed at the jurisdictional aspects of t......
  • Bull v. Logetronics, Inc., Civ. A. No. 4196.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Virginia)
    • January 5, 1971
    ...of all. The rights in the invention are then no longer subject to private barter, sale, or waiver. Cf. Phillips Co. v. Grand Trunk R. Co., 236 U.S. 662, 35 S.Ct. 444, 59 L. Ed. 774; Midstate Horticultural Co. v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 320 U.S. 356, 361, 64 S.Ct. 128, 88 L.Ed. 96; Brooklyn Ban......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
197 cases
  • Brooklyn Sav Bank v. Neil Dize v. Maddrix Arsenal Bldg Corporation v. Greenberg 8212 1945, Nos. 445
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 9, 1945
    ...Co. v. Pennsylvania Railroad Co., 320 U.S. 356, 361, 64 S.Ct. 128, 130, 88 L.Ed. 96; A. J. Phillips Co. v. Grand Trunk Western Ry., 236 U.S. 662, 667, 35 S.Ct. 444, 446, 59 L.Ed. 774. Cf. Young v. Higbee Company, 324 U.S. 204, 65 S.Ct. 594. Where a private right is granted in the public int......
  • Kewanee Oil Company v. Bicron Corporation, No. 71-1041
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Sixth Circuit
    • May 10, 1973
    ...of all. The rights in the invention are then no longer subject to private barter, sale, or waiver. Cf. Phillips Co. v. Grand Trunk R. Co., 236 U.S. 662, 35 S.Ct. 444, 59 L.Ed. 774; Midstate Horticultural Co. v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 320 U.S. 356, 361, 64 S. Ct. 128, 88 L.Ed. 96; Brooklyn Ban......
  • McCarty Farms, Inc. v. Burlington Northern, Inc., No. CV-80-103-GF.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Montana)
    • March 24, 1992
    ...group of shippers. See, e.g., Ott Coal Co. v. Ann Arbor, 253 I.C.C. 677, 681 (1942) (citing, A.J. Phillips Co. v. Grand Trunk Western Ry., 236 U.S. 662, 35 S.Ct. 444, 59 L.Ed. 774 (1915)). Burlington Northern reiterates that its position is simply directed at the jurisdictional aspects of t......
  • Bull v. Logetronics, Inc., Civ. A. No. 4196.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Virginia)
    • January 5, 1971
    ...of all. The rights in the invention are then no longer subject to private barter, sale, or waiver. Cf. Phillips Co. v. Grand Trunk R. Co., 236 U.S. 662, 35 S.Ct. 444, 59 L. Ed. 774; Midstate Horticultural Co. v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 320 U.S. 356, 361, 64 S.Ct. 128, 88 L.Ed. 96; Brooklyn Ban......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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