Western Transit Co. v. A. C. Leslie & Co., Ltd.
242 U.S. 448 (1917)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Western Transit Co. v. A. C. Leslie & Co., Ltd., 242 U.S. 448 (1917)

Western Transit Co. v. A. C. Leslie & Company, Limited

No. 104

Argued December 19, 20, 1916

Decided January 8, 1917

242 U.S. 448

Syllabus

Plaintiff consigned goods from Michigan to New York City over a "lake and rail" route constituted of defendant's steamship line as far as Buffalo and the line of a railway company thence onward. Plaintiff paid the freight, obtaining a reduced rate allowed in the tariff for this route by agreeing in the bill of lading to a maximum valuation and release of larger damages. A separate tariff, filed by defendant pursuant to § 6 of the Act to Regulate Commerce, entitled plaintiff to have the goods stored for a time at Buffalo without extra charge before forwarding to New York and to divert them to some other destination upon readjustment of rates. By direction of plaintiff, defendant was holding the goods stored under this arrangement when a part was stolen.

Held:

(1) That defendant was liable as carrier, and not as warehouseman.

(2) That the damages could not exceed the maximum value agreed in the bill of lading and upon which the freight rate was based.

(3) That a letter written by defendant to plaintiff while the goods were so stored, acknowledging their custody, and stating that they would be held subject to a circular enclosed with the letter and which but described the terms of the storage as they were stated in the separate tariff, did not operate to create a contract of warehousing independent of the contract of carriage.

Every shipper is charged with notice of terms of the interstate tariffs governing his shipments.

A shipper, by his bill of lading, valued several tons of goods at not to exceed $100 per ton, and agreed that this as a maximum should govern the computation of any loss or damage for which the carrier might become liable. Held that the maximum liability of the carrier for the loss of a part was not the total valuation so fixed, but the value at the ratio of $100 per ton of the part lost.

165 App.Div. 947 reversed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 242 U. S. 449

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