U.S. Supreme Court
National Bank v. City Bank, 103 U.S. 668 (1880)
National Bank v. City Bank
103 U.S. 668
Pursuant to orders received from A., the owner of the Corn Exchange Elevator at Oswego, who was engaged in storing grain for the public and doing business on his own account, B. bought for him two cargoes of wheat, and drew sight and time drafts for the purchase money. C., a bank at Milwaukee, bought the drafts and received the bills of lading. The latter describe B. as the shipper, and, by their terms, each cargo was to be delivered at Oswego to the account or order of D., cashier of C., care of the City Bank. C. thereupon enclosed the drafts and bills of lading to the City Bank, saying, "On payment of the drafts, you will deliver the cargo to the order of A. If not paid, please hold and advise by telegraph." The bank acknowledged their receipt, and presented the sight drafts to A., who paid them, and accepted the time drafts. Upon the arrival of the wheat at Oswego, the master of each vessel reported to the cashier of the City Bank, who, knowing that A. was the owner of the Corn Exchange Elevator, endorsed the bills of lading "Deliver to the Corn Exchange Elevator for account of D., cashier, Milwaukee, subject to the order of the City Bank, Oswego." After the wheat had been so delivered, A. sold and shipped it. In its account with C., the City Bank made a charge for its trouble beyond the customary percentage for collecting and remitting the proceeds of the drafts. Before the time drafts became due, A. failed. They were duly protested for nonpayment, and have not been paid. In an action by C. against the City Bank,
1. That the City Bank, in receiving and acknowledging the drafts and bills of lading, with the accompanying instructions, became the agent of C. in the business which it had undertaken.
2. That whether, in discharging its duties as such agent, it exercised reasonable diligence and care is a question for the jury, which the court below should not have withdrawn from them and decided.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.