Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Glenn - 239 U.S. 388 (1916)
U.S. Supreme Court
Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Glenn, 239 U.S. 388 (1915)
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company v. Glenn
Argued December 6, 1915
Decided December 20, 1916
239 U.S. 388
Although the trial court may have charged the jury that there was a presumption, rebuttable by proof, that the damage occurred on the line of the delivering carrier, if the court also excluded testimony offered by defendant to show that the damage, if any, did not occur on its line on the ground that a state statute made the delivering carrier liable, the judgment does not rest on the independent state ground of defendant's negligence, but rests on the validity of the statute, and if defendant properly saved the federal question, this Court has jurisdiction to review under § 237, Judicial Code.
This Court having held that Congress, under its power to regulate interstate commerce, can make an initial carrier liable to the holder of a bill of lading for a through interstate shipment over its own and connecting lines, even if the loss occurred while the goods were under control of the connecting carrier, the same reasoning applies to upholding a state statute making the delivering carrier of a through intrastate shipment liable to the consignee even if the loss occurred while the goods were under the control of another carrier. Atlantic Coast Line v. Riverside Mills, 219 U. S. 186.
The statute of South Carolina making the delivering carrier responsible for damage to goods on through bills of lading in intrastate shipments is not unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment as depriving a delivering carrier who voluntarily received the goods from a connecting carrier of its property without due process of law.
The statute of South Carolina having been construed by the courts of that state as not requiring a carrier to accept intrastate shipments on through bills from connecting carriers, this Court does not in this case determine the liability of a carrier receiving from a connecting carrier goods in a damaged condition or the constitutionality of a state statute making such receiving carrier liable for damage in such event.
96 S.C. 357 affirmed.
The facts, which involve the liability of connecting carriers under a statute of South Carolina, are stated in the opinion.