Pittsburgh Ry Co v. United States, No. 680

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBRANDEIS
Citation281 U.S. 479,74 L.Ed. 980,50 S.Ct. 378
Decision Date19 May 1930
Docket NumberNo. 680
PartiesPITTSBURGH & W. V. RY. CO. v. UNITED STATES et al

281 U.S. 479
50 S.Ct. 378
74 L.Ed. 980
PITTSBURGH & W. V. RY. CO.

v.

UNITED STATES et al.

No. 680.
Argued April 15, 1930.
Decided May 19, 1930.

[Syllabus from pages 479-481 intentionally omitted]

Page 481

Messrs. H. H. Hoppe and C. F. Taplin, both of Cleveland, Ohio, for appellant.

The Attorney General, and Messrs. Nelson Thomas, of Washington, D. C., and Andrew P. Martin, of Cleveland, Ohio, for respondents.

Mr. Justice BRANDEIS delivered the opinion of the Court.

In 1921, the Interstate Commerce Commission authorized the New York Central Railroad and other rail car-

Page 482

riers to join in establishing a union passenger station at Cleveland, through a subsidiary, the Cleveland Union Terminals Company.1 The Cleveland Passenger Terminal Case, 70 I. C. C. 659. The Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Company had for some years owned and maintained an independent passenger station at Ontario street in Cleveland in the line of the easterly approach to the proposed union terminal. It was apparent from the outset that either ownership of or an easement in the Wheeling's site would be indispensable in order to provide the necessary easterly approach to the terminal.2 Long negotiations culminated in a plan whereby the Wheeling consented to sell its site and become a tenant in the new terminal at an annual rental of $20,000. Contracts were made embodying this plan, subject to approval of the Interstate Commerce Commission.3

Page 483

Thereupon, the Wheeling filed before the Commission two applications for certificates of public convenicence and necessity, one permitting it to abandon its Ontario Street station,4 the other authorizing it to use the facilities of the union terminal and, pending its completion, to use the facilities of the station of the Erie Railroad and the tracks of the Big Four. These applications were heard together as one case. The Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway, a minority stockholder and connecting carrier of the Wheeling, was permitted to intervene and was heard in opposition to the applications. It opposed them on the grounds that the Ontario Street Station was ample for both the present and future needs of the Wheeling; that the Wheeling's applications were authorized by directors elected by the votes of stock owned in violation of the Clayton Act (38 Stat. 730) by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the New York Central, and the Nickel Plate (Interstate Commerce Commission v. Baltimore & Ohio R. R. Co., 152 I. C. C. 721); that the contracts executed by the Wheeling were made without first securing the consent of its stockholders, as required by the laws of Ohio; that the Wheeling's directors were interested in the union terminal project, and did not give the Wheeling the benefit of their unbiased judgment; that the price to be paid the Wheeling for its site was inadequate and not the best price obtainable; that the Terminals Company is a common carrier whose rates are subject to regulation; that the yearly rental to be paid by the Wheeling is unduly low and unreasonably preferential of the Wheeling; that it is

Page 484

therefore subject to be increased by the Interstate Commerce Commission; and that, if increased so as to eliminate the preference, it would confessedly be much more than the Wheeling could afford to pay and would imperil its financial condition.

The Commission held that the violation of the Clayton Act was immaterial since the election of the directors occurred prior to the Commission's finding of violation, and the finding was not made retroactive; that it lacked jurisdiction to pass upon the alleged violations of Ohio law or upon the adequacy of the price agreed to be paid for the Wheeling's site; that, under paragraph 4 of section 3 of the Interstate Commerce Act (49 USCA § 3(4), the agreed rental for the Wheeling's use of the Union Station was not subject to be increased by it; and that, in view of all the circumstances, the rental was not unduly preferential of the Wheeling. It found that public convenience and necessity would be served by the granting of both applications; and accordingly issued its certificate as prayed for. Operation of Passenger Terminal Facilities at Cleveland, Ohio, by Wheeling & Lake Erie Ry. Co., 154 I. C. C. 516.

The Pittsburgh & West Virginia then brought this suit in the District Court for Northern Ohio, Eastern Division. It joined as defendants the Wheeling, the Erie, the Big Four, the Terminals Company, the Building Company, the Interstate Commerce Commission and the United States. The purpose of the suit, as stated in the complaint, was two-fold: First, to enjoin the Wheeling from abandoning its Ontario Street Station and from performing its contracts with the other defendants; secondly, to set aside and annul the order of the Interstate Commerce Commission granting the certificate of public convenience and necessity. Separate relief was prayed for accordingly. As against the Wheeling, the prayer was founded on the several grounds advanced before the Commission. As against the United States and the Commission, on the

Page 485

additional ground that the order was based on erroneous conclusions of law, to wit, that the Commission had no jurisdiction to pass on the adequacy of the price to be paid for the land and on the alleged violations of the laws of Ohio; that the Wheeling's directors were competent to act for it in this matter; and that the rental agreed to be paid by the Wheeling for the use of the union terminal facilities was not subject to be...

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87 practice notes
  • Interstate Investors, Inc. v. United States, No. 66 Civ. 3004.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • July 22, 1968
    ...are ancillary to or dependent upon the judgment of the court as to the Commission's order. Pittsburgh & W. Va. Ry. Co. v. United States, 281 U.S. 479, 50 S.Ct. 378, 74 L.Ed. 980 (1930); compare Luckenbach S. S. Co. v. United States, 179 F.Supp. 605, 614 (D.Del. 1959), modified on other grou......
  • Levering & Garrigues Co. v. Morrin, No. 50.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • August 23, 1932
    ...reach back and recover for earlier injuries to rights derived from a different source." Compare Pittsburgh & W. Va. Ry. v. United States, 281 U. S. 479, 488, 50 S. Ct. 378, 74 L. Ed. 980; see, also, Geneva Furniture Co. v. Karpen, 238 U. S. 254, 259, 35 S. Ct. 788, 59 L. Ed. In the case at ......
  • McKinney v. United States Dept. of Treasury, Court No. 84-9-01320.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • July 23, 1985
    ...indirect harm which may result to every stockholder from harm to the corporation." Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway v. United States, 281 U.S. 479, 487, 50 S.Ct. 378, 381, 74 L.Ed. 980 (1930). As was made clear in Vincel v. White Motor Corp., 521 F.2d 1113, 1118 (2d Cir. 1975): Where an i......
  • Rowe v. Grapevine Corp., No. 26353.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 15, 1999
    ...rulings is limited to entities that were parties to administrative proceeding and citing Pittsburgh & W.Va. Ry. Co. v. United States, 281 U.S. 479, 486, 50 S.Ct. 378, 74 L.Ed. 980 (1930)). Defendants further note that Plaintiffs offered nothing more than their own calculations as support fo......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
87 cases
  • Interstate Investors, Inc. v. United States, No. 66 Civ. 3004.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • July 22, 1968
    ...are ancillary to or dependent upon the judgment of the court as to the Commission's order. Pittsburgh & W. Va. Ry. Co. v. United States, 281 U.S. 479, 50 S.Ct. 378, 74 L.Ed. 980 (1930); compare Luckenbach S. S. Co. v. United States, 179 F.Supp. 605, 614 (D.Del. 1959), modified on other grou......
  • Levering & Garrigues Co. v. Morrin, No. 50.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • August 23, 1932
    ...reach back and recover for earlier injuries to rights derived from a different source." Compare Pittsburgh & W. Va. Ry. v. United States, 281 U. S. 479, 488, 50 S. Ct. 378, 74 L. Ed. 980; see, also, Geneva Furniture Co. v. Karpen, 238 U. S. 254, 259, 35 S. Ct. 788, 59 L. Ed. In the case at ......
  • McKinney v. United States Dept. of Treasury, Court No. 84-9-01320.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • July 23, 1985
    ...indirect harm which may result to every stockholder from harm to the corporation." Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway v. United States, 281 U.S. 479, 487, 50 S.Ct. 378, 381, 74 L.Ed. 980 (1930). As was made clear in Vincel v. White Motor Corp., 521 F.2d 1113, 1118 (2d Cir. 1975): Where an i......
  • Rowe v. Grapevine Corp., No. 26353.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 15, 1999
    ...rulings is limited to entities that were parties to administrative proceeding and citing Pittsburgh & W.Va. Ry. Co. v. United States, 281 U.S. 479, 486, 50 S.Ct. 378, 74 L.Ed. 980 (1930)). Defendants further note that Plaintiffs offered nothing more than their own calculations as support fo......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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