United States v. Reading Co.
270 U.S. 320 (1926)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Reading Co., 270 U.S. 320 (1926)

United States v. Reading Company

Nos. 401, 402, 403, 404, 398, 399, 400, 499, 500, 36

Argued December 3, 1925

Decided March 1, 1926

270 U.S. 320

Syllabus

1. Where amounts earned by military transportation before federal control were paid either to the respective railroads entitled or to the Director General of Railroads (who, on taking over their

Page 270 U. S. 321

properties, assumed the administration of their existing credits and liabilities, and kept accounts of them, as matters distinct from those arising during federal control), and where, subsequently to such payments, the claims paid were in part disallowed, through error, by the government accounting officials, and the amounts disallowed were collected by them from the Director General by deductions from Railroad Administration bills for transportation during federal control, and were in turn charged by him against the respective carriers, held that final settlements made, upon the return of the railroad properties, between the respective carriers and the Director General, acting for the United States, based upon accounts showing the above mentioned charges, and covering all demands "as between the parties hereto, growing out of the federal control of railroads," were not intended, and did not operate, to release the United States from liability to the carriers for the amounts so erroneously collected. Pp. 270 U. S. 327, 270 U. S. 330-333, 270 U. S. 336-337.

2. A railway company which, in error but without protest, accepts payment of bills for government transportation at reduced "land grant" rates cannot maintain a suit in the Court of Claims for the difference between the amounts paid and the larger amounts to which it was entitled. P. 270 U. S. 330.

60 Ct.Cls. 131 et seq. affirmed as to all cases except No. 36, reversed.

Appeals from judgments of the Court of Claims in suits to recover amounts due the plaintiffs for transportation service to the government.

Page 270 U. S. 322

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