U.S. Supreme Court
Pennsylvania R. Co. v. Jacoby & Co., 242 U.S. 89 (1916)
Pennsylvania Railroad Company v. W. F. Jacoby & Company
Argued October 20, 1915
Affirmed by divided Court November 15, 1915
Restored to docket for reargument December 20, 1915
Reargued October 23, 24, 1916
Decided December 4, 1916
242 U.S. 89
In an action against a carrier to enforce an award made by the Interstate Commerce Commission for damages arising from discrimination in allotments of coal cars, plaintiffs, to prove the damage suffered, relied on the prima facie case made by the findings and orders of the Commission; the defendant introduced a tabulated statement of car allotments and percentages which had been introduced in evidence before the Commission by the plaintiffs, and which, when compared with the findings, justified most strongly, if it did not compel, a deduction that, in fixing the damages awarded, the Commission, by misapplying percentages given in the statement, had followed a legally erroneous method of computation, and so had arrived at a legally erroneous result.
(1) That the tabulated statement, and oral testimony comparing it mathematically with figures stated in the findings, were competent evidence, tending to overcome the prima facie force of the Commission's orders.
(2) That the defendant was entitled to a specific instruction to the effect that, if the jury found such erroneous method of computation was the one actually employed by the Commission, the award was erroneous and the plaintiffs not entitled to recover.
(3) That, under the circumstances, the fact that the evidence before the Commission was not all before the court would not justify a controlling presumption that the award was properly arrived at on competent proofs.
(4) That the error was not cured by divers general instructions which are stated in the opinion.
In computing damages resulting from discrimination by a carrier in car allotments, it is error to assume that the complaining shipper should have received cars in the same ratio to shipping requirements chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
as was allowed his favored competitor in the making of the discrimination.
The award should be based on the damages actually resulting from the discrimination.
The case is stated in the opinion.