Union Pacific Co v. Burke, 183

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtCLARKE
Citation255 U.S. 317,65 L.Ed. 656,41 S.Ct. 283
Docket NumberNo. 183,183
Decision Date28 February 1921

255 U.S. 317
41 S.Ct. 283
65 L.Ed. 656



No. 183.
Argued Jan. 27, 1921.
Decided Feb. 28, 1921.

Page 318

Mr. Oscar R. Houston, of New York City, for petitioner.

Messrs. Arthur W. Clement and Wilson E. Tipple, both of New York City, for respondent.

Mr. Justice CLARKE delivered the opinion of the Court.

On March 10, 1915, S. Ontra & Bro. delivered to the Pacific Mail Steamship Company at Yokohama, Japan, 56 cases of 'drawn work goods and renaissance,' consigned to their own order at New York, and received a bill of lading for ocean transportation to San Francisco and thence by the Southern Pacific Company and its connections, by rail, to destination. The property was delivered to the Southern Pacific Company and without new billing was carried to a junction with the line of the petitioner, the Union Pacific Railroad Company, and while in its custody was totally destroyed in a collision. The respondent, successor in interest to the consignor, claimed in this suit the right to recover the fair invoice value of the goods, $17,449.01, and the petitioner conceded his right to recover, but only to the amount of the agreed valuation of $100 per package, $5,600, to which it contended he was limited by the bill of lading. All of the facts are stipulated or proved by undisputed evidence.

The Appellate Division First Department, New York Supreme Court, rendered judgment in favor of respondent for $5,600, with interest and costs, but on appeal to the Court of Appeals of that state the judgment of the Appellate Division was reversed, and an order was entered that

Page 319

a judgment should be rendered by the Supreme Court in favor of respondent for $17,449.01, with interest and costs. The case is brought here on certiorari.

On the face of the bill of lading received at Yokohama was the notation:

'Weight 26,404 lbs.; ocean weight rate, 50c; freight $132.02. Rail, minimum carload weight 30,000 lbs., wght rate $1.25. Freight $375.00.' (Thus the ocean and rail rates are separately stated, and the latter is $1.25 per 100 pounds minimum carload.)

On the back of the bill of lading were printed 31 conditions, the thirteenth of which contained the provision that——

'It is expressly agreed that the goods named in this bill of lading are hereby valued at not exceeding $100 per package, * * * and the liability of the companies therefor in case of the total loss of all or any of the said goods from any cause shall not exceed $100 per package.'

The petitioner was an interstate common carrier by rail at the time of the shipment involved, and as such had filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission schedules of rates and regulations under which the property was moving at the time it was destroyed. By these schedules the carrier was bound, and to them it was limited, in contracting for traffic. Southern Railway v. Prescott, 240 U. S. 632, 638, 36 Sup. Ct. 469, 60 L. Ed. 836. The statute expressly provided that it should not charge or demand or collect or receive a greater or less or different compensation for the transportation of property or for any service in connection therewith than such as was specified in such schedules. 34 Stat. 587, § 6 (Comp. St. §§ 8569, 8597).

In these schedules was included a rule, designated as rule 9A, which reads:

'Unless otherwise provided, when property is transported subject to the provisions of the Western Classification, the acceptance and use are required, respectively, of the 'uniform bill of lading,' 'straight' or 'order' as shown on pages 87 to 90, inclusive.'

For the purposes of this case, only, it is admitted, and

Page 320

accepted by this court, that this rule 9A permitted and required that the property should be treated as moving east of San Francisco under the uniform bill of lading, although, in fact, no other than the Yokohama bill of lading was issued. This uniform bill of lading contained, among other conditions, the following:

'The amount of any loss or damage...

To continue reading

Request your trial
116 cases
  • Muelder v. Western Greyhound Lines
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 28 Mayo 1970
    ...the exemption of a common carrier from liability for its negligence was void as against public policy. (Union Pac. R. Co. v. Burke (1921) 255 U.S. 317, 41 S.Ct. 283, 284, 65 L.Ed. 656; Hart. v. Pennsylvania R. Co. (1884) 112 U.S. 331, 338--341, 28 L.Ed. 717, 5 S.Ct. 151); 6A Corbin, Contrac......
  • Ferrostaal, Inc. v. M/V Sea Phoenix
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 3 Mayo 2006
    ...sustained. Boston & Maine R. Co. v. Piper, 246 U.S. 439, 444-445, 38 S.Ct. 354, 62 L.Ed. 820 (1918); Union Pacific R. Co. v. Burke, 255 U.S. 317, 321-323, 41 S.Ct. 283, 65 L.Ed. 656 (1921); cf. The Ansaldo San Giorgio I v. Rheinstrom Bros. Co., 294 U.S. 494, 497-498, 55 S.Ct. 483, 79 L.Ed. ......
  • Binette v. Sabo
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 10 Marzo 1998
    ......Parrent, New York City, filed a brief for the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union Foundation as amicus curiae. .         Before CALLAHAN, C.J., and BORDEN, BERDON, NORCOTT, ... See, e.g., Gay Law Students Assn. v. Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co., 24 Cal.3d 458, 475, 595 P.2d 592, 156 Cal.Rptr. 14 (1979) (damages ......
  • Rice & Lockwood Lumber Co. v. Boston & M.R.R.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 10 Enero 1941
    ...company must be determined the principles of common law as recognized and enforced in the federal courts. Union Pacific Railroad v. Burke, 255 U.S. 317, 41 S.Ct. 283, 65 L.Ed. 656;Galveston Wharf Co. v. Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railway, 285 U.S. 127, 52 S.Ct. 342, 76 L.Ed. 659; E......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT