The opinion of the court was delivered by: FOLLMER
This case was tried to the court without a jury. The defendant produced one witness whose testimony was taken, the parties filed a Stipulation of Facts and, subsequent to the trial, both parties filed Suggested Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. From the said Stipulation, Findings, Conclusions, briefs and oral arguments, the court makes the following:
1. The plaintiff, Thomas Electronics, Incorporated, is a New Jersey corporation, having its principal office at 100 Riverview Drive, Wayne, New Jersey.
2. The defendant, H. W. Taynton Company, Inc., is a Pennsylvania corporation, having its principal office at 40 Main Street, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, and is engaged in the business of transporting articles by truck as a common carrier.
3. On December 27, 1965, the plaintiff delivered to the defendant at Passaic, New Jersey, three glass cathode ray tubes to be carried by defendant, as a common carrier, to Corning Glass Company at Corning, New York. At that time an employee of the plaintiff issued a Bill of Lading to defendant's truck driver, partially made out as described more fully in paragraph 4 hereof. The Bill of Lading involved is a Uniform Bill of Lading commonly used in interstate freight shipment by motor vehicle.
4. Plaintiff's agents filled in the Bill of Lading with this description of goods: "three ctn. (3-glass bulbs) - 300 lbs." Defendant's rate clerk then filled in the rate of $5.43 per hundred weight. This rate was arrived at by using Item #87820 shown in the National Motor Freight Classification which was effective on the date of shipment. The NOI portion of this description means "not otherwise indicated," which in turn means that the Bill of Lading did not indicate to the rate clerk that a different rating should be used. No agreed or declared value was filled in by either of the parties, although space was provided therefor on the Bill of Lading.
6. When the goods arrived at their destination, it was found that a cathode ray tube in one of the cartons was damaged and was without salvage value.
7. The value of the tube immediately prior to shipment was $3,449.80 and its destruction resulted in a loss to the plaintiff in the same amount.
8. Said tube was packed in a corrugated container with two inches of excelsior on all sides. Said container and packaging were specifically designed by Corning Glass Works for this type of cathode ray tube.
9. Defendant's employee prepared an Inspection Report of damage, dated January 3, 1966, in which he acknowledged that in his opinion the tube had been adequately packed and that there would be no salvage value.
10. Plaintiff presented timely claim of loss which was rejected by the defendant.
11. Under Interstate Commerce Commission Rules and Regulations the defendant is a signatory to the National Motor Freight Classification on file with the Interstate Commerce Commission. The portion of that classification which would fix the tariff for the shipment involved herein is Tariff No. 1, Middle Atlantic Conference. The Interstate Commerce Commission "Carrier Code" for H. W. Taynton Company, Inc., is T-3900 and the certificate or docket number is 109,821. The rate referred to in paragraph 4 was arrived at by reference to Item #87820 of the classifications set forth in said classification.
12. Section 5 of the terms set forth on the back of the Bill of Lading reads: "No carrier hereunder will carry or be liable in any way for any documents, specie, or for any articles of extraordinary value not specifically rated in the published classification or tariffs unless a special agreement to do so and a stipulated value of the articles are endorsed hereon." Rule 15, Section 2 of the National Motor ...