Lynn L. Detweiler, Swartz, Campbell & Henry, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Thomas R. White, Jr., Philadelphia, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross and Arnold, JJ.
[ 167 Pa. Super. Page 525]
The question presented by this appeal is whether defendant-appellant, a common carrier, effectively limited its liability for the loss in transit of certain goods delivered to it by plaintiff-appellee for shipment in interstate commerce.
Defendant received from plaintiff in Philadelphia six separate shipments of rayon silk dresses to be forwarded to various consignees in New York. Defendant had filed a rate schedule duly approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission and duly published by defendant, wherein the rate for shipment of these articles was dependent upon value in accordance with Released Rate Orders of the Commission. For each shipment plaintiff received a bill of lading with the following notice printed on its face:
'Note -- Where the rate is dependent on value, shippers are required to state specifically in writing the agreed or declared value of the property. On articles described in Interstate Commerce Commission Released Rate Orders M C No. 13 dated May 25, 1936 and M C No. 64 dated May 12, 1937 the liability of this company is limited to $50.00 for any shipment of 100
[ 167 Pa. Super. Page 526]
lbs. or less or not exceeding 50 cts. per lb. actual weight, for any shipment in excess of 100 lbs. If a greater valuation is herein declared by the shipper on this bill of lading the transportation charge will be 10 cts. for each $100.00 or fraction thereof in excess of the valuation to which the base rate applies.
'The agreed or declared value of the property is hereby specifically stated by the shipper to be not exceeding _____ Per _____'
No declaration of value was made in the blanks provided therefor. Nor did any of the bills of lading contain any information in the columns marked 'Weight' or 'Class or Rate.' No shipping charges were paid, as each bill contained a check-mark in the space below the word 'Collect.'
Defendant having failed to deliver some of the goods, plaintiff brought suit in assumpsit for their actual value, which the parties agreed was $1375.75. Defendant contended that its liability was limited by the bills of lading to 50 cents per pound, or a total of $250. The facts were agreed upon and submitted to the ...