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U.S. Supreme Court

Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Co. v. Martin, 283 U.S. 209 (1931)

Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company v. Martin

No. 155

Argued March 4, 1931

Decided April 13, 1931

283 U.S. 209


1. The question whether a provision in an interstate bill of lading limiting the time for filing claim for loss of property has been complied with is a federal question, to be determined by the application of federal law. P. 283 U. S. 212.

2. Where a bill of lading for an interstate shipment provides that claim, in case of failure to make delivery, must be made in writing to the carrier within six months after a reasonable time for delivery has elapsed, the reasonable time meant is such time as is necessary to transport and make delivery of the shipment in the ordinary course of business, in the circumstances and conditions of the transaction. P. 283 U. S. 213

3. A demurrer to the evidence must be tested by the same rules that apply in respect of a motion to direct a verdict. In ruling, the court must resolve all conflicts in the evidence against the defendant; but is bound to sustain the demurrer whenever the facts established and the conclusions which they reasonably justify are legally insufficient to justify a verdict for the plaintiff. P. 283 U. S. 213. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 283 U. S. 210

4. In ruling on a demurrer to the evidence, the court cannot disregard the testimony of a witness merely because he is an employee of the defendant. P. 283 U. S. 214.

5. The general rule that the credibility of witnesses is a question for the jury alone, doe not mean that the jury is at liberty under the guise of passing upon the credibility of a witness, to disregard his testimony, when from no reasonable point of new is it open to doubt. P. 283 U. S. 216.

6. The fact that the carrier, through misunderstanding or negligence, made delivery of an interstate shipment contrary to instructions cannot estop it from enforcing a stipulation in the bill of lading requiring the shipper to make claim within a stated period after a reasonable time for delivery had elapsed. Georgia, F. & A. Ry. v. Blish Co., 241 U. S. 190. P. 283 U. S. 220.

154 Va. 1, 143 S.E. 629, 152 S.E. 335, reversed.

Certiorari, 282 U. S. 819, to review a judgment sustaining recovery of damages resulting from failure of the Railway Company to deliver a shipment of potatoes.

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