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U.S. Supreme Court

Menasha Paper Co. v. Chicago & Northwestern Ry. Co., 241 U.S. 55 (1916)

Menasha Paper Co. v. Chicago &

Northwestern Railway Company

No. 696

Argued April 3, 1916

Decided April 24, 1916

241 U.S. 55


The Hepburn Act of 1906 amending the Act to Regulate Commerce requires railroad companies to provide and furnish transportation to shippers on reasonable request therefor.

Where shippers, who are under contract to deliver interstate shipments in carload lots, call upon an interstate carrier for cars, the carrier is bound to furnish them, and the consignee cannot refuse delivery and by notifying the carrier of its intention to do so, relieve itself of demurrage charges according to the published tariff. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 241 U. S. 56

An interstate carrier cannot, at the request of a consignee who is under contract to receive interstate shipments, declare an embargo on the shipments and refuse to furnish cars for the shippers, and if it temporarily does so and then removes the embargo, the latter act is but a return to its duty under the Act, and failure to notify the consignee of its action does not relieve the latter from liability for demurrage provided by the published tariff.

Published rules relating to tariffs of interstate carriers must have a reasonable construction.

The fact that an interstate carrier complied with the request of a consignee having a private siding to deliver daily on its siding only the number of cars that could be conveniently handled, although more could be actually placed on such siding, did not in this case relieve the consignee from demurrage charges specified in the published tariff on cars held by the carrier awaiting the consignee's convenience after arrival and readiness to deliver on the siding.

159 Wis. 508 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the right of a railroad to collect demurrage on cars in interstate and intrastate commerce, are stated in the opinion.

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