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U.S. Supreme Court

Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Central Iron Co., 265 U.S. 59 (1924)

Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company v.

Central Iron & Coal Company


Argued February 19, 1924

Decided May 5, 1924

265 U.S. 59


1. No contract of a carrier can reduce the amount of charges legally payable to it under its tariff for an interstate shipment, or release from liability a shipper who has assumed their payment, nor can any act or omission of the carrier (except the running of the statute of limitations) estop or preclude it from enforcing payment of the full amount by the person liable. P. 265 U. S. 65.

2. But, in the absence of a governing tariff provision, delivery of the goods for shipment does not necessarily import an obligation of the shipper to pay the freight charges, and the carrier and shipper are free to contract as to when and by whom payment shall be made, subject to the rule against discrimination. P. 265 U. S. 66.

3. Where bills of lading acknowledged receipt of goods from the shipper, but provided for delivery to the order of another as consignee, were not signed by the shipper, and contained no express agreement on his part to pay or guarantee payment of the freight charges, and there was evidence that the goods were sold and shipped by the shipper to the consignee upon agreement between them that the latter should pay those charges, and were transferred by the consignee with the bills of lading to a third party who received delivery from the carrier, held that a finding that the chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 265 U. S. 60

shipper did not assume the primary obligation to pay the freight charges was justified. P. 265 U. S. 67.

4. To enforce payment of freight charge by a shipper only secondarily liable, the carrier must first make effort to collect from those primarily liable. P. 265 U. S. 69.

5. A consignee, by accepting the shipment, becomes liable as a matter of law for the full amount of the tariff charges, whether they are demanded at the time of delivery or later. Pittsburgh, etc. Ry. Co. v. Fink, 250 U. S. 577. P. 265 U. S. 70.

284 F.2d 0 affirmed.

Error to a judgment of the circuit court of appeals affirming a judgment by the district court for the defendant coal company in an action by the railroad to recover the difference between the amount chargeable under its tariff for an interstate shipment and a less amount collected. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 265 U. S. 63

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