Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company v. Riverside Mills
This was an action to recover the value of goods received by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad at a point on its line in the state of Georgia for transportation to points in other states. The agreed statement of facts showed that the goods were safely delivered by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad to connecting carriers, and were lost while in the care of such carriers, and the question is whether the initial carrier is liable for such loss.
The stipulated facts showed that the goods were tendered to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, and through bills of lading demanded therefor, which were duly issued, as averred, on the dates named in the petition. That the goods so received were forwarded over the lines of the receiving road and in due course delivered to a connecting carrier engaged in interstate shipment for continuance of the transportation. It was also stipulated 'that the Riverside Mill made constant and frequent shipments over the Atlantic Coast Line, and had a blank form of receipt, like the attached, marked 'A,' which the Riverside Mill filled out, showing what goods it had loaded into cars, and the name of the consignee; said receipt containing a stipulation that the shipment is 'per conditions of the company's bill of lading,' and that the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company, on said receipts prepared by the Riverside Mill, issued, for each of the shipments hereinbefore referred to, bills, of lading on forms like that attached, marked exhibit 'B."
Upon the reverse side of the bill of lading were certain conditions, one of which was that 'no carrier shall be liable for loss or damage not occurring on its portion of the route.' The tenth clause thereof was in these words:
'This bill of lading is signed for the different carriers who may engage in the transportation, severally, but not jointly, each of which is to be bound by and have the benefits of the provisions thereof, and in accepting this bill of lading the shipper, owner, and consignee of the goods, and the holder of the bill of lading, agree to be bound by all its stipulations, exceptions, and conditions, whether printed or written.'
The court below, upon this state of facts, instructed a verdict for the plaintiff, upon which there was judgment for the amount of the verdict, and, upon motion of the plaintiff, an attorney's fee of $100 was ordered to be taxed as part of the costs in the case. Thereupon error was assigned, and this writ of error sued out by the railroad company.
Messrs. Joseph R. Lamar, Benjamin D. Warfield, Charles H. Moorman, and Henry Lane Stone for plaintiff in error.
[Argument of Counsel from pages 188-192 intentionally omitted]
Assistant to the Attorney General Kenyon, Attorney General Wickersham, John Maynard Harlan, and Lewis W. McCandless as amici curice.
Messrs. Alexander Akerman, Charles Akerman, and R. J. Southall for defendant in error.
[Argument of Counsel from page 193 intentionally omitted]
After making the above statement, Mr. Justice Lurton delivered the opinion of the court: