Texas & Pacific Ry. Co. v. Callender - 183 U.S. 632 (1902)
U.S. Supreme Court
Texas & Pacific Ry. Co. v. Callender, 183 U.S. 632 (1902)
Texas & Pacific Railway Company v. Callender
Argued December 3, 1901
Decided January 13, 1902
183 U.S. 632
This action was brought by defendants in error to recover the value of 187 bales of cotton destroyed in the fire mentioned in Texas & Pacific Railway Co. v. Reiss, ante, 183 U. S. 621. The facts as to the manner of doing business at Westwego are the same as those stated in that case, and also in the case of the Same Company v. Clayton, 173 U. S. 348. The bill of lading contained the following clauses:
"1. No carrier or party in possession of all or any of the property herein described shall be liable for any loss thereof or damage thereto by causes beyond its control, . . . or for loss or damage to property of any kind at any place occurring by fire or from any cause except the negligence of the carrier."
"3. No carrier shall be liable for loss or damage not occurring on its own road or its portion of the through route, nor after said property is ready for delivery to the next carrier or to consignee. . . ."
"4. . . . Cotton is excepted from any clause herein on the subject of fire, and the carrier shall be liable as at common law for loss or damage of cotton by fire. . . ."
"11. No carrier shall be liable for delay, nor in any other respect than as warehousemen, while the said property awaits further conveyance, and in case the whole or any part of the property specified herein be prevented by any cause from going from said port in the first steamer, of the ocean line above stated, leaving after the arrival of such property at said port, the carrier hereunder then in possession is at liberty to forward said property by succeeding steamer of said line, or, if deemed necessary, by any other steamer."
"12. This contract is executed and accomplished, and all liability hereunder terminates, on the delivery of the said property to the steamship, her master, agent or servants, or to the steamship company, or on the steamship pier at the said port, and the inland freight charges shall be a first lien, due and payable by the steamship company."
(1) That the measure of the common law liability between connecting carriers is properly stated in the opinion in the next preceding case, and the cases therein referred to;
(2) That, under the wording of the fourth clause in the bill of lading, the defendant was properly held liable;
(3) That there was nothing to go to the jury upon the question of a delivery of the cotton to the steamship company under the twelfth clause of the bill of lading;
(4) That, upon the facts stated, it was clear that at the time when the cotton was lost, there had been no delivery, actual or constructive, to the steamship company, so as to divest the defendant of its common law liability for the loss of this cotton.
Whatever may generally be the effect of a notice to a connecting carrier, upon the question of terminating or altering the liability of a preceding carrier for the goods, it is quite clear that it has no effect in diminishing the liability until actual delivery in a case where the preceding carrier still continues to have full control over the goods and has a choice as between connecting carriers, and may, notwithstanding such general notice, deliver the goods under certain circumstances to another carrier for further transportation.
The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.