Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Southern Pacific Co. v. Miller Abattoir Co.

decided: January 12, 1972.

SOUTHERN PACIFIC COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE
v.
MILLER ABATTOIR COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, APPELLANT



Kalodner, Gibbons and Hunter, Circuit Judges.

Author: Hunter

Opinion OF THE COURT

JAMES HUNTER, III, Circuit Judge.

The plaintiff, Southern Pacific Company (hereinafter the "Railroad"), a Delaware corporation, is a common carrier engaged in the railway transportation of property in interstate commerce. The defendant, Miller Abbatoir Company (hereinafter the "Consignee") is a New Jersey corporation engaged in the slaughtering business.

In April and May, 1964, the Railroad transported twenty-one shipments of lambs from Arizona to the Consignee's slaughterhouse in New Jersey. These lambs had been purchased by the Consignee from an Arizona livestock company.

En route to New Jersey, each of the shipments was detained at Tucson, Arizona, by federal inspectors. This stoppage was required by § 83.7(a) of the Western Trunk Line Committee Freight Tariff 362-D,*fn1 which forbade rail shipment of livestock from Arizona unless the livestock had been inspected and found to be free of screw worms. Because of the inspection, the Railroad incurred expenses for switching, unloading, reloading, and returning the lambs to its shipping facilities. The Railroad charged the Consignee for these expenses, and upon the Consignee's refusal to pay, this action was commenced. The District Court took jurisdiction of the action under 28 U.S.C.A. § 1337.*fn2

The Consignee alleged, both as a defense to the Railroad's claim and as a counterclaim, that it had suffered damages as a result of the Railroad's failure to give immediate notice of the stoppage for inspection as called for by the shipping contract.

The Railroad and the Consignee both moved for summary judgment on the Railroad's claim. The Consignee moved for summary judgment on its counter-claim. The District Court granted the Railroad's motion and entered judgment for the Railroad on its claim for freight charges. On the counterclaim, the District Court denied the Consignee's motion for summary judgment and entered judgment for the Railroad. From these orders the Consignee appeals.

I

Initially, it is settled law that one who accepts goods consigned to him is liable for all freight charges properly due under the applicable tariffs. Pittsburgh, C., C. & St. L. Ry. v. Fink, 250 U.S. 577, 40 S. Ct. 27, 63 L. Ed. 1151 (1919); New York Central & H. R. R.R. v. York & Whitney Co., 256 U.S. 406, 41 S. Ct. 509, 65 L. Ed. 1016 (1921); Louisville & N. R.R. v. Central Iron & Coal Co., 265 U.S. 59, 70, 44 S. Ct. 441, 68 L. Ed. 900 (1924). Under § 6(7) of the Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C.A. § 6(7),*fn3 carriers are forbidden to charge any rate different from the tariff rate. As a corollary, an accepting consignee owes the full tariff charge despite initial misquotation or miscalculation of freight charges by the carrier. A contract to carry for less than tariff rates is void and will not prevent recovery of tariff rates. It is the carrier's duty as well as its right to enforce payment of full tariff charges. Even though the results may be harsh in individual cases, this strict construction of the statute has been thought necessary to effectuate its purpose to secure uniform treatment of shippers and to prevent discrimination and favoritism by carriers.*fn4

In this case, the lambs were shipped under Transcontinental Freight Bureau Freight Tariff 52-J, Item 385(7) of which provided:

"All expense accruing at the stopping points, such as charges for unloading, loading, bedding, feeding, yardage, switching charges, dipping, inspection and other charges to be in addition to the through rate."

Under this provision of the tariff, the Consignee became liable upon accepting the lambs for all charges incurred by the Railroad ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.