Louisville& Nashville R. Co. v. Chatters - 279 U.S. 320 (1929)


U.S. Supreme Court

Louisville& Nashville R. Co. v. Chatters, 279 U.S. 320 (1929)

Louisville& Nashville R. Co. v. Chatters

Nos. 414 and 415

Argued March 7, 1929

Decided April 15, 1929

279 U.S. 320

Syllabus

1. A foreign corporation is not amenable, without its consent, to suit upon a transitory cause of action arising outside of the state and not connected with any act or business of the corporation within the state. P. 279 U. S. 324.

2. In the absence of an authoritative state decision giving a narrower scope to a power of attorney filed by a railroad company, pursuant to a statute requiring foreign corporations doing business within the state to designate an agent there to receive service of "lawful process," the power will be held to operate as a consent by the company, which was otherwise present and doing business within the state, to a suit upon a cause of action arising out of the breach, in another state, of a contract for passenger transportation, which contract was evidenced by a through coupon ticket sold within the state to the plaintiff by an initial carrier under a joint tariff agreement as agent and for account of the defendant company, and which was accepted by the latter for transportation over its lines in the state where the breach occurred. P. 279 U. S. 325.

3. Where a carrier renders service in interstate commerce under published tariffs, the attendant limitation of liability in the tariff becomes the lawful condition of the carriage, binding alike on the carrier and its patron, and is not subject to waiver. P. 279 U. S. 331.

4. In the absence of evidence of joint liability on the part of connecting carriers, there can be no liability of either for injury to a through passenger occurring beyond its own line except on the theory that its own negligence caused or contributed to the injury, and a charge to the jury authorizing them to find a verdict inconsistent with such a theory is erroneous. P. 279 U. S. 329.

5. In a suit for personal injuries resulting from a defect in the condition of a passenger car, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur cannot be invoked against an initial carrier where the accident out of which the cause of action arose occurred after the car in which

Page 279 U. S. 321

the plaintiff was injured had passed from its control and that of an intermediate carrier to the line of a second connecting carrier. P. 279 U. S. 332.

6. In a suit for personal injuries against connecting carriers, a charge to the jury authorizing a verdict against both the initial and the connecting carrier, even though they find that the initial carrier alone was negligent, is prejudicial to the connecting carrier, and erroneous. P. 279 U. S. 332.

26 F.2d 403 reversed.

Writs of certiorari, 278 U.S. 590, to the circuit court of appeals to review a decision affirming a judgment of the district court on a verdict for respondent against both petitioners in a suit for personal injuries.

Page 279 U. S. 322



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