U.S. Supreme Court
Seaboard Air Line Railway v. Seegers, 207 U.S. 73 (1907)
Seaboard Air Line Railway v. Seegers
Argued October 16, 1907
Decided November 4, 1907
207 U.S. 73
Where a state statute applies to both intrastate and interstate .shipments, but the shipment involved is wholly intrastate, this Court will not consider the validity of the statute when applied to interstate shipments.
A state statute may, without violating the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, put into one class all engaged in business of a special and public character, and require them to perform a duty which they can do better and more quickly than others, and impose a not exorbitant penalty for the nonperformance thereof.
The statute of South Carolina of 1903 imposing a penalty of fifty dollars on all common carriers for failure to adjust damage claims within forty days is not, as to intrastate shipments, unconstitutional as violative of the Fourteenth Amendment, neither the classification, the amount of the penalty, nor the time of adjustment being beyond the power of the state to determine. And so held in regard to a claim of $1.75, as small shipments are the ones which especially need the protection of penal statutes of this nature.
73 S.C. 71 affirmed.
The facts, which involve the constitutionality of a statute of South Carolina providing for penalty on common carriers for not promptly adjusting damage claims, are stated in the opinion. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary