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riers. — The liability of a railroad company for an injury resulting from its
negligence, in the absence of any controlling federal statute relating to interstate
commerce, is governed by the law of the state where the injury occurred, whether
statutory or the common law, as construed by its courts.'''^ A statute of a state
affirming and extending, as applied to railroad corporations, the principle of the
common law, by enacting that "no contract, receipt, rule or regulation shall ex-
empt any corporation engaged in transporting persons or property by railway from
liability of a common carrier, or carrier of passengers, which would exist had no
contract, receipt, rule or regulation been made or entered into," as applied to a
claim, for an injury happening within the state, under a contract for interstate
transportation, does not contravene the provision of the constitution of the
United States empowering congress to regulate interstate commerce.'''" A state
has a right to promote the welfare and safety of those within its jurisdiction by
requiring common carriers to be responsible for the full measure of loss resulting
frcm tlieir negligence, a contract to the contrary notwitlistanding, and such re-
qui'-ement with respect to interstate shipments, is not an unlawful at-
tempt to regulate interstate commerce in the absence of congressional action pro-
viding a different measure of liability.''' ^

66. Cartage and drayage. — Sheppard v. merce, and under it a stipulation in a

State, s Okla. Cr. App. 54, 126 Pac. 267. contract for interstate transportation, un-

6r. Compelling railroad to elevate f'er which a shipper and the cattle in his

bridge. — Kaw Vallev Drainage Dist. v. charge were carried by a railroad, that

Kansas City Terminal R. Co., 87 Kan. the company should "in no event l)e lia-

272, 12.3 Pac. 991. l>le to the owner or per.son in charge of

68. Collection of purchase price for ^^^^ ^^^t.^'n"^''^ amount exceeding the
consignor.-l-nited States v. First Nat. f"^ of $500, was held void and unen-
Bank, 1<K) Fed. 336. forceable by the courts Chicago etc

^„ ,. .... ^ ,. „, . R. Co. V. Solan. 169 U. S. 133, 42 L. Ed.

69. Liability for negligence.-Weir v. q^S, 18 S. Ct. 289. See. also. Lake Shore.
Rountrec 9/ C. C A. 500, 173 ked. 776, g^^., R. Co. v. Ohio, 173 U. S. 285, 43
19 Am. & Eng. Ann. Cas. 1204. L, Ed_ 702, 19 S. Ct. 465; Cleveland, etc.,

70. Prohibiting contracts exempting R. Co. v. Illinois, 177 U. S. 514, 44 L.
carrier from common law liability. 'I he Ivl. 868, 20 S. Ct. 722; Pennsylvania R.
statute of Iowa, Code, 1873, § i:;0.s, Stat. Co. v. Hughes, 191 U. S. 477, 48 L. Ed.
1866, ch. 113, affirming and extending, as 268, 24 S. Ct. 132.

applied to railroads, the principle of the 71. Statute imposing upon carrier full

common law regarding the liai)ility of liability for negligence. — Pennsylvania R.

common carriers, was held not to he in- Co. r. Hughes. 101 U. S. 477, 48 L. Ed.

valid so far as it affected interstate com- :i6H, 24 S. Cl. 13:2.



§ 3900 CARRIERS. 3520

Power of Congress Supreme. — The validity of a limited liability contract of
a carrier, in so far as it relates to interstate commerce, is governed by the federal
law, and not by the law of the state/-

Where Congress Has Not Acted. — In the absence of legislation by congress
permitting interstate carriers to limit liability to a stipulated valuation, a state
may hold an interstate carrier liable for the whole loss re?ulting from its negli-
gence, notwithstanding a contract limiting liability, whether the rule as to degree of
care is statutory or judicial.'^ The Pennsylvania rule that a carrier can not con-
tract for exemption from or limitation of its liability arising from its negligence,
or that of its servants, applies to commerce between Pennsylvania and other
states, the act of Congress of June 29, 1906, requiring carriers receiving prop-
erty for interstate transportation to reduce the contract for transportation to
writing, and that such carrier shall be liable to the lawful holder thereof for any
loss or injury to such property caused by it or any common carrier to which such
property may be delivered, or over whose line such property may pass, and that
no contract or rule shall exempt the carrier from such liability, but that nothing
in the section shall deprive any holder of such contract of any remedy
which he has under existing law. not being such congressional legislation as re-
quires the state courts to follow, as to interstate commerce, the rule adopted by
the federal courts that a carrier may limit its liability to an agreed valuation in
consideration of a lower rate for carriage J -^

Under Interstate Commerce Act. — The refusal of a state court to limit the
liability of a common carrier for its negligence in the execution of a contract for
interstate carriage to the valuation agreed upon does not contravene the various
provisions of the Act of Feb. 4, 1887, making it obligatory to provide proper fa-
cilities for interstate carriage of freight, and preventing carriers from obstructing
continuous shipments on interstate lines.' ^ A state law providing that no con-
tract, receipt, rule, or regulation shall exempt any railway corporation from the
liability of a common carrier, and thereby invalidating contracts between rail-
roads and shippers, whereby the former attempt, by means of an agreed valua-
tion of the goods shipped, to limit their liability for negligence, having been
passed before congress acted in the matter of interstate commerce and assumed
control thereof, is not invalidated by the action of congress, for such action does
not deprive the states of their right to enact such rules by virtue of their police

72. Power of congress supreme. — prohibiting carriers from limiting their
O'Connor v. Great Northern R. Co., 120 liability for negligence, was applicable to
Minn. 359. 139 N. W. 618. an interstate shipment of horses and

73. Where congress has not acted. — • mules, and invalidated a provision lim-
Atchison, etc., R. Co. v. Smythe, 55 Tex. iting the amount of the carrier's liability
Civ. App. 557, 119 S. W. 892. in case of loss. Elliott v. Atlantic, etc.,

Until there is some valid regulation by R. Co., 94 S. C. 129, 75 S. E. 886, judg-

congress or the interstate commerce ment reversed on rehearing 77 S. E. 718.

commission directly affecting the matter, 74. Wright v. Adams Exp. Co., 230 Pa.

a state may establish a policy that com- 635, 79 Atl. 760.

mon carriers cannot limit their liability The Pennsylvania rule that a common

against negligence, and enforce it with carrier can not contract for exemption

reference to interstate shipments. Kis- from or limitation of liability arising

senger v. Fitzgerald. 152 N. C. 247, 67 from his negligence or that of his serv-

S. E. 588. ant is applicable to commerce between

While Rev. St. 1895. art. 320. prohib- Pennsylvania and other states._ and the

iting a carrier from limiting its common- contrary rule permitting a limitation of

law liabUity does not affect contracts for liability applied by the federal courts is

interstate shipments, yet in the absence not binding upon the courts of this state,

of congressional legislation the common in the absence of congressional action

law prohibits an interstate carrier from upon the subject. Windolph v. Adams

limiting its liability. Atchison, etc., R. Exp. Co., 48 Pa. Super. Ct. 304.

Co. V. Smythe, 55 Tex. Civ. App. 557, 75. Under Interstate Commerce Act.

119 S. W. 892. — Judgment, Hughes v. Pennsylvania R.

Congress not having acted on the sub- Co., 51 Atl. 990, 202 Pa. 222, 63 L. R. A.

ject, Acts Ex. Sess. Va. 1902-04, p. 980, 513, 97 Am. St. Rep. 713, affirmed 24 S.

c. 609, pars. 24, 25 (Code 1904, § 12941), Ct. 132, 191 U. S. 477, 48 L. Ed. 268.



3521



REGULATION AND CONTROL.



§ 3900



power."*' Intent of congress to take possession of the subject of the liability of
a carrier under contracts for interstate commerce so clearly appears from Car-
mack Amendment of June 29, 1906, as to invalidate, as to interstate shipments,
the provisions of any state law nulHfying contracts limiting liability of the car-
rier to the agreed or declared value.'^'^ The Act of Congress of June 29, 1906,
requiring carriers to reduce the contract for transportation to writing, and enacting
certain other rules for the regulation of interstate commerce, is not such con-
gressional legislation as will require the courts of Pennsylvania to follow the rule
laid down by the federal courts that a carrier may limit his liability to an agreed
valuation in consideration of a lower rate for carriage. '^•'^

Agreements as to Valuation of Property. — Congress has enacted no law
prohibiting agreements regarding the value of the property offered to carriers for
interstate shipments, and limiting the amount for which they will be liable if the
property is lost while in their custody, and the national courts have sanctioned
agreements between carriers and owners of property limiting the liability of the
carrier as an insurer of property received for shipment and lost during transit,
provided such agreements are just, reasonable, and fairly entered into by the
owner, and for a consideration; and such courts enforce state statutes regulating



76. Cramer v. Chicago, etc., R. Co.,
153 Iowa 103, 133 N. W. 387.

77. Amendment of June 29, 1906. —
Adams Exp. Co. v. Croninger, 226 U.
S. 491, 57 L. Ed. 314, 33 S. Ct. .148, 44
L. R. A., N. S., 257; Chicago, etc., R.
Co. V. Latta, 226 U. S. 519, 57 L. Ed.
328, 33 S. Ct. 155, reversing judgments
97 C. C. A. 198, 172 Fed. 850, and 106
C. C. A. 664, 184 Fed. 987.

Rights and remedies conferred by ex-
isting state laws, where a shipment ac-
cepted by carrier for interstate transpor-
tation has been lost or damaged, were
not continued in force by proviso in
Carmack Amendment of June 29, 1906, to
Act Feb. 4, 1887, § 20. Adams Exp. Co.
V. Croninger, 226 U. S. 491, 57 L. Ed.
314, 33 S. Ct. 148, 44 L. R. A., N. S.,
257; Chicago, etc., R. Co. v. Latta, 226
U. vS. 519, 57 L. Ed. 328, 33 S. Ct. 155,
reversing judgments. 97 C. C. A. 198,
172 Fed. 850, and 106 C. C. A. 664, 184
Fed. 987.

Carmack Amendment of June 29, 1906,
to Act Feb. 4, 1887, § 20, supersedeas all
state regulations on the subject of lia-
bility of railway carrier for injury to in-
terstate shipment, and of all state laws
invalidating contracts limiting liability of
carrier to an agreed value. Chicago, etc.,
R. Co. V. Miller, 226 U. S. 513, 57 L. Ed.
323, 33 S. Ct. 155, reversing judgment,
85 Neb. 458, 123 N. W. 449; Chicago, etc.,
R. Co. V. Latta, 226 U. S. 519, 57 L. Ed.
328, 33 S. Ct. 155, reversing judgments,
97 C. C. A. 198, 172 Fed. 850, and 106
C. C. A. 664, 184 Fed. 987.

Extent of a carrier's liability for loss
of an interstate shipment of goods is
governed by the Federal Interstate Com-
merce Act and its amendments,' includ-
ing Act June 29, 1906. and the decisions
of the supreme court construing the
same, independent of state laws. Amer-



ican Silver Mfg. Co. v. Wabash R. Co.,
174 Mo. App. 184, 156 S. W. 830.

State laws nullifying contracts limit-
ing liability of carrier for loss or dam-
age to agreed value was superseded, so
far as interstate shipments are concerned,
by Carmack Amendment June 29, 1906,
§ 7, to Act Feb. 4, 1887, § 20. Missouri,
etc., R. Co. V. Harriman, 227 U. S. 657,
33 S. Ct. 397, reversing judgment, 128
S. W. 932.

Act of 1905, making any limitation of
contract of a carrier's common-law lia-
bility a matter of defense and requiring
the company to show that the contract
is upon sufficient consideration reasona-
ble and fairly entered into, was super-
seded by the Interstate Commerce Act of
Feb. 4, 1887, as amended June 29, 1906,
as to interstate shipments. Wabash R.
Co. V. Priddy, 179 Ind. 483, 101 N. E.
724.

78. Wright v. Adams Exp. Co., 43 Pa.
Super. Ct. 40.

Act Cong. June 29, 1906, c. 3591, 34
Stat. 584 (U. S. Comp. St. Supp. 1909,
p. 1149), enacting certain rules for the
regulation of interstate commerce, does
not prevent the Pennsylvania courts from
continuing to apply the rule that a com-
mon carrier can not contract for exemp-
tion from his own negligence, or that of
his servants, nor for a limited liability
in case of loss from such negligence.
Davidson v. Adams Exp. Co., 43 Pa.
Super. Ct. 53.

Act Cong. June 29, 1906, c. 3591, 34
Stat. 584 (U. S. Comp. St. Supp. 1909,
p. 1149), relating to interstate commerce,
in no way affects the Pennsylvania rule
that a carrier can not limit the amount
of his liability for an injury caused by
his own negligence. P>lacklnirn 7'. Ad-
ams Exp. Co., 43 Pa. Sujicr. Ct. 276.



§ 3900 CARRIERS. 3522

limitations of liability of carriers for interstate shipments in the absence of leg-
islation by congress. '^^

Liability as to Emigrant Movables. — The designation of a typewriter, dic-
tionary, wearing apparel, trunk, and personal eiTects as emigrant movables was
not a violation of the Interstate Commerce Act and that act does not prevent the
state from enforcing its regulations, against limitation of liability by carriers. s*^

Shipment of Live Stock. — The right of a state to refuse to enforce a special
live stock shipping contract limiting the liability of a carrier, made in a foreign
state, is not ailected by the Interstate Commerce Act.^^

For Personal Injuries. — A state statute providing that no contract or regu-
lation shall exempt any corporation carrying persons or property by rail from its
liability as a common carrier is not void as an attempt to regulate interstate com-
merce, as applied to a contract of interstate transportation, whereby the carrier
attempts to limit its liability for personal injuries resulting from the negligence
of its servants to the sum of five hundred dollars.''-

Duty to Trace Goods as Condition of Exemption. — The provision of the
South Carolina Code in so far as it imposes on a common carrier the duty to
trace shipments as a condition of exemption from liability for loss, is not uncon-
stitutional, as a violation of the interstate commerce clause of the federal con-
stitution. '^^

Valuation in Bill of Lading. — The Interstate Commerce Act does not pre-
vent enforcement of a railroad company's liability for the full value of goods
damaged in interstate carriage, notwithstanding a valuation clause in the bill of
lading.^'*

Liability beyond Carrier's Own Lines. — Although an attempt on the part
of a state to prohibit a carrier, as to interstate shipments, from limiting its lia-
bility to its own lines, would be a regulation of interstate commerce and therefore
void, yet it is within the power of the states to legislate as to the form of con-
tracts limiting a carrier's liability to its owm lines, even as to contracts for inter-
state transportation.*^ It is within the power of the state, even as to interstate
shipments, to establish a rule of evidence ordaining the character of proof by
which a carrier may show that, although it received goods for transportation be-

79. Agreements as to valuation of a carrier for full damages, notwithstand-
property. — Robert v. Chicago, etc., R. ing a valuation clause in the bill of lad-
Co., 148 Mo. App. 96, 127 S. W. 925. ing. Pace Mule Co. v. Seaboard, etc., R.

80. Liability as to emigrant movables. Co., 160 N. C. 215, 76 S. E. 513; Herring
—O'Connor v. Great Northern R. Co., v. Atlantic, etc., R. Co., 160 N. C. 252,
118 Minn. 223, 136 N. W. 743. 76 S. E. 527.

ai «:ViJT^rr,«r,<- r.( i;„« efr.^t T r.„\..,;u^ Act JuHC 29, 1906, c. 3591, § 7, 34 Stat.

81. bnipment ot Uve stock. — IvOUisviUe, /tt c n cV c \c^r^r, r,nn\
etc.. R. Co. V. Smith, 123 Tenn. 678, 134 ^^3 (U. S Comp. St. Supp. 1907, p. 909).
S W 866 provides that any common earner re-

■ . ■ " 1 • • • T , ceiving property for interstate transpor-

82 For personal mjunes.— Judgment 63 Nation shall issue a bill of lading and

N- W. 692, 95 Iowa 260, 28 L. R. A 718, be liable to the lawful holder thereof

affirmed in Chicago, etc R. Co. ^- Solan, foj. ^ny damage caused by any carrier,

18 b. Ct. 289, 169 U. S. 133, 42 L. Ed. ^nd no contract or regulation shall ex-

°^^- J. . r enipt such carrier from such liability, and

83. Duty to trace goods as condition of nothing herein shall deprive the holder
exemption.— \\inslow Bros. & Co. v. At- of the bill of lading of any right of ac-
lanti^c, etc., R. Co., 79 S. C. 344, 60 S. tion under existing laws. Held that, even
^- '^^^- if Congress had legislated on the question

84. Valuation in bill of lading. — Pace of the right of a carrier to exempt itself
Mule Co. V. Seaboard, etc., R. Co., 160 from liability for negligence, a right of
N. C. -215, 76 S. E. 513; Herring v. At- action for damages for the full value of
lantic. etc., R. Co., 160 N. C. 252, 76 S. the freight injured, notwithstanding a
E. 527. valuation clause in the bill of lading,

Act June 29, 1906, c. 3591, 34 Stat. 593, could be enforced in the state courts,

§ 7 (U. S. Comp. St. Supp. 1907, p. 909), having been reserved by the statute. Pace

continuing any existing right of action Mule Co. v. Seaboard, etc., R. Co., 160 N.

of a holder of a bill of lading under ex- C. 215, 76 S. E. 513.

isting laws, preserved for enforcement in 85. Prohibiting limitation of liability to

the state courts a right of action against own lines. — Richmond, etc., R. Co. v. Pat-



3523



REGULATION AND CONTROL.



§§ 3900-3901



yond its own line, nevertheless, by agreement, its liability was limited to its own
line.^" Where a carrier has the right to make a contract with the shipper, to limit
its liability as a carrier, to damage or loss occurring on its own line, the imposi-
tion, by a state statute, upon the initial or any connecting carrier, in case of the
loss, damage or destruction of freight, of the duty of tracing the freight and in-
forming the shipper, in writing, when, where, how and by which carrier the
freight was lost, damaged or destroyed, and of giving the names of the parties
and their official position, if any, by whom the truth of the facts set out in the
information can be established is, when applied to an interstate shipment of
freight, an interference with and a regulation of interstate commerce, and there-
fore void.^"

Each Road Liable on Own Line Only. — The Georgia Code provides that
w^hen there are several connecting railroads under different companies, and goods
are intended to be transported over more than one railroad, each company shall
be responsible only to its own terminus and until delivery to its connecting road,
that the last company which has received the goods as in good order shall be re-
sponsible to the consignee for any damage, and that such companies shall settle
among themselves the question of ultimate responsibility. Such section did not
violate United States constitution conferring on congress power to regulate in-
terstate commerce.'^''

Penalizing Delay in Settlement of Claims. — A state law which penalizes
failure to adjust and pay within a specified time claims for loss or damage to
goods by carriers while in their possession is not an unlawful interference with
interstate commerce, even as applied to an interstate shipment. In so far as it
may affect interstate commerce, it is an aid thereto by its tendency to promote
safe and prompt delivery of goods, or its legal equivalent, prompt settlement of
proper claims for damages. ^^

§ 3901. Regulating Liability for Delay. — The statute subjecting rail-
roads to penalties for delay in shipment of freight within the state is not a bur-



terson Tobacco Co., 169 U. S. 311, 42 L.
Ed. 759, 18 S. Ct. 335; Missouri, etc., R.
Co. V. McCann, 174 U. S. 580, 43 L. Ed.
1093, 19 S. Ct. 755.

Quaere, whether a state would have the
right, with regard to interstate commerce,
to prohibit a carrier from making a con-
tract with the shipper to limit its liability
as a carrier to damage or loss occurring
on its own line. Central, etc., R. Co. v.
Murphey, 196 U. S. 194, 49 L. Ed. 444, 25
S. Ct. 218.

86. Proof of contract limiting liability.
— The statute of Virginia, Code 1887, §
1295, regulating the liability of carriers
beyond their own lines, held to be a valid
regulation even as applied to interstate
shipments. Richmond, etc., R. Co. v.
Patterson Tobacco Co., 169 U. S. 311,
42 L. Ed. 759, 18 S. Ct. 335, followed in
Missouri, etc., R. Co. v. McCann, 174 U.
S. 580, 43 L. Ed. 1093, 19 S. Ct. 755. See,
also, Lake Shore, etc., R. Co. v. Ohio, 173
U. S. 285, 43 L. Ed. 702, 19 S. Ct. 465;
Central, etc., R. Co. v. Murphey, 196 U.
S. 194, 49 L. Ed. 444, 25 S. Ct. 218;

• Cleveland, etc., R. Co. v. Illinois, 177 U.
S. 514, 44 L. 1'>1. S68, 20 S. Ct. 722.

87. Requiring carrier to trace freight
and notify shipper where loss occurred. —
Central, etc., R. Co. v. Murj^hcy. 196 U.
S. 194, 49 L. I'^d. 444, 2:, S. Ct. 218, hold-

4 Car— 27



ing statute of Georgia (Ga. Code 1895, §§
2317, 2318), imposing such duty on com-
mon carrier, void as to shipment made
from points in Georgia to other states.
See, also, Houston, etc., R. Co. v. Mayes,
201 U. S. 321, 50 L. Ed. 772, 26 S. Ct. 491.

88. Each road liable on own line only.^
Civ. Code 1895, § 2298. Kavanaugh & Co.
V. Southern R. Co., 47 S. E. 526, 120
Ga. 62.

89. Penalizing the failure to adjust and
pay within a specified time claims for
loss or damage, as is done by Act S. C.
Feb. 23, 1903 (24 St. at Large, p. 81),-
§ 2, does not unlawfully interfere with
interstate commerce, even as applied to
shipments from without the state, where
the statute is construed by the state
courts as affecting only the liability of
carriers doing business in the state, for
property lost or damaged while in their
possession. Atlantic, etc., R. Co. v.
Mazursky, 210 U. S. 122, 54 L. Ed. 411,
30 S. Ct. 378, affirming judgments.
Charles v. Atlantic, etc., R. Co., 78 S. C.
36, 58 S. E. 927, 125 Am. St. Rep. 762;
McTeer v. Southern Exp. Co. (S. C), 58 S.
E. 930; Mazursky v. Atlantic, etc., R. Co.
(S. C), 58 S. E. 931; Von Lehe v. At-
lantic, etc., R. Co., 78 S. C. 168, 59 S.
E. 1135.



§§ 3901-3904 CARRIERS. 3524

den on interstate commerce, though railroads are Hable for those delays in inter-
state shipments which occur wholly within the state, as the statute instead of
creating a burden, aids such commerce by seeking to compel performance by the
carrier of its duty to deliver freight with reasonable diligence. ^*^

§ 3902. System of Bookkeeping. — Since bookkeeping by railroads en-
gaged in both interstate and intrastate commerce does not of itself constitute com-
merce, the delegation to congress of the exclusive right to regulate interstate com-
merce does not preclude the state from prescribing a system of bookkeeping to be
followed by railroads within the state for the purpose of apportioning expenses
between freight and passenger traffic, and between intrastate and interstate com-
merce, to afford a basis for the establishment of intrastate rights. ^^

§ 3903. Reports. — Section 6 of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission
Act of Illinois requiring every railroad company "incorporated or doing business
in the state, or which shall hereafter become incorporated or do business under
any general or special law in the state," to report before a certain day in each
year to the commissioners as to the affairs of the corporation with respect to cer-
tain subjects, which are designated, is not void under the commerce clause of the
federal Constitution; and this, notwithstanding Interstate Commerce Law 1887
which requires a report to the interstate commerce commission substantially the
same as required by § 6.^-

§ 3904. Reg-ulations as to Crossings. — ^Under a Code provision, requir-
ing railroad companies to sound a whistle before a railroad crossing is reached,
a railroad company, though engaged in interstate commerce and in conveying
the mails, can not escape liability for disobeying the statute, though the whistle
was out of order through no negligence of the company, and to have procured
another would have delayed the train, as such provision is a valid police regula-
tion, and its enforcement does not interfere with interstate commerce.'-*^

Electric Lights. — Where a railroad was built by the authority of the state,
the company, whether an interstate carrier or otherwise, must, so long as congress
does not interfere, submit to reasonable local regulations in the use of its prop-
erty, and a municipal ordinance requiring it to maintain electric lights where its



Online LibraryThomas Johnson MichieA treatise on the law of carriers (Volume 4) → online text (page 80 of 214)