OGDENSBURGH & L.C. R. CO. V. NASHUA & L. R. CO., 112 U. S. 311 (1884)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ogdensburgh & L.C. R. Co. v. Nashua & L. R. Co., 112 U.S. 311 (1884)

Ogdensburgh and Lake Champlain Railroad Company v.

Nashua & Lowell Railroad Company

Submitted October 29, 1884

Decided November 24, 1884

112 U.S. 311


Four parties made an agreement respecting transportation of freight. The parties of the first part were carriers by water to Ogdensburgh. The parties of the second part were made by the agreement trustees to hold and apply certain moneys raised for the purpose. The parties of the third part were owners in severalty of lines over which it was proposed that the freight brought by party 1 to Ogdensburgh should pass in transit to Boston. The parties of the fourth part were owners of a line of railway between Ogdensburgh and Lake Champlain over which the freight would pass to reach the roads of party 3. The agreement, among other things, provided that party 3 should pay to party 2 in semiannual payments a part of the gross receipts derived from the transportation of this freight, and further that

"the party of the fourth part will, in case it shall be necessary to secure the regular and efficient running of said steamers to and from Ogdensburgh, when called upon by parties of the second part, advance from time to time sums not exceeding in all $600,000, to be used by said parties of the second part for the same purposes as said semiannual payments, and to be pro tanto in lieu thereof, and to be repaid out of said semiannual reservation as hereinafter

Page 112 U. S. 312

provided, it being understood and agreed that each of said parties of the third part shall only be liable to reserve and advance or pay to the parties of the second part or to the party of the fourth part, as the case may be, its share of such reservation, advance, or payment, to be ascertained by the proportion which said gross receipts of each of said parties bear to the entire amount of said gross receipts between Ogdensburgh and points eastward upon roads owned, leased, or operated by any of said third parties."

Held that this agreement raised no promise by implication on the part of any of the parties of the third part to repay to the party of the fourth part any advances which it might make under the agreement to the parties of the second part in excess of the semiannual payments which the parties of the third part were bound to make.

This was a suit in equity to enforce the payment by defendant in this Court, who was also defendant below, of its proportionate share of advances alleged to have been made under an agreement to maintain a joint freight line on the lakes for the benefit of several lines of railway, comprising the line between Ogdensburgh and Boston. The facts which make the case are stated in the opinion of the Court.


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