Adams v. Mills - 286 U.S. 397 (1932)
U.S. Supreme Court
Adams v. Mills, 286 U.S. 397 (1932)
Adams v. Mills
Argued April 15, 18, 1932
Decided May 23, 1932
286 U.S. 397
1. Commission merchants to whom, as factors, shipments of livestock were consigned for sale and who were obliged to pay unlawful unloading charges to carriers, for which they reimbursed themselves
out of the sales of the livestock in their accounts with the consignors, are proper parties to claim and sue for reparation, under §§ 8 and 16(2) of the Interstate Commerce Act. P. 286 U. S. 406.
2. The question whether a terminal service, in the particular facts and circumstances, is reasonably to be treated as additional to or as part of the service covered by the line-haul rate is a question upon which the findings of the Interstate Commerce Commission, if supported by evidence, are conclusive. P. 286 U. S. 407.
3. The evidence supports the findings of the Interstate Commerce Commission that the unloading of livestock at the Chicago Stockyards is, in virtue of long practice and because of the special conditions there, a transportation service, though, ordinarily, unloading is a duty of the consignee. P. 286 U. S. 410.
4. The evidence also sustains the Commission's finding that the Chicago Stockyards Company, in unloading livestock into its pens, acts as agent of the line-haul carriers. Id.
5. The Commission was justified by the facts in its conclusion that line-haul carriers, which long had absorbed in their tariffs the stockyards company's charge per car for unloading, and the stockyards company, were guilty of an unfair practice in forcing consignees to pay an increase of that charge, which the stockyards company added to its tariff and which the line-haul carriers, though refusing to join in or absorb it, added to their freight bills, whereby it was collected for the stockyards company. P. 286 U. S. 414.
6. The fact that the stockyards company is itself a common carrier and published in its tariff the increased charge for the unloading service, "as a carrier's agent," does not affect the above-stated conclusion, since the question concerned the lawfulness of the practice, and not the reasonableness of the charge, and one carrier may act as agent for another. P. 286 U. S. 415.
7. Evidence that, while the line-haul railroads were under federal control the extra charge was added to their freight bills, and that the stockyards company collected the bills and paid over the entire proceeds to the railroads, and that the railroads subsequently compensated the stockyards company, supports the finding that the Director General participated in the "unjust and unreasonable practice," within the meaning of § 206(c) of the Transportation Act. Pp. 286 U. S. 415-416.
8. The Court will not entertain an objection which was not made either to the Commission in the proceedings for reparation, or to the court below in the action to enforce the reparation order. P. 286 U. S. 416.
51 F.2d 620 reversed.
Certiorari, 284 U.S. 614, to review the affirmance of a judgment on a verdict directed for the defendants, in an action to enforce a reparation order, brought by numerous commission merchants against the Union Stockyard and Transit Company and the Director General of Railroads. For opinion of District Court, see 39 F.2d 80; Adams v. Mellon, 51 F.2d 620.