L. Singer & Sons v. Union Pacific R. Co.
311 U.S. 295 (1940)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

L. Singer & Sons v. Union Pacific R. Co., 311 U.S. 295 (1940)

L. Singer & Sons v. Union Pacific Railroad Co.

No. 34

Argued November 14, 15, 1940

Decided December 16, 1940*

311 U.S. 295

Syllabus

1. In order that one may sue as a "party in interest" under paragraph 20, § 402 of the Transportation Act of 1920, to enjoin the construction of a railroad extension not authorized by the Interstate Commerce Commission, he must show that the extension will

Page 311 U. S. 296

bring about a change in the transportation system by which his own special and peculiar interest may be directly and materially affected. P. 311 U. S. 303.

2. Numerous commission merchants who did business and owned property in and about an established city produce market alleged in their bill against a railroad company that the market adequately served the consuming public in its vicinity and dealt in produce shipped to and from other States; that the city was engaged in constructing new buildings for it at large cost and that the market had adequate transportation facilities; that an adjoining city was constructing a new market at great expense, partly with funds to be procured by sale of its bonds to the railroad company; that the company proposed at large expense to furnish trackage to serve this new market, which would constitute an extension of its lines for which it had procured no certificate from the Interstate Commerce Commission; that the construction and operation of such extension would injure and destroy the business and property of the plaintiffs in and about the existing market by creating an unnecessary rival market at an inconvenient place without increase of produce to be handled or customers to be served; that it would result in unnecessary duplication of railroad facilities at large cost, without increasing the freight to be handled; would divert traffic from railroads now serving the existing market and cause destructive competition between them and the defendant, and needless and wasteful expenditure by the defendant; that the alleged extension would thus directly and adversely affect the property interests of the plaintiffs and the public by bringing about a material change in the transportation situation, and would constitute an unnecessary burden upon interstate commerce, directly and adversely affecting the welfare of the plaintiffs and the public interest,

Held:

(1) That the plaintiffs were without standing to maintain the suit as "parties in interest" under paragraph 20, § 402, Transportation Act of 1920. Pp. 311 U. S. 300et seq.

(2) That the city in which the existing market is located was properly denied leave to intervene as a party plaintiff. P. 311 U. S. 305.

109 F.2d 493, affirmed.

Certiorari, 30 U. S. 653, to review the affirmance of a decree dismissing a bill praying for an injunction against the construction and operation of an alleged extension of the lines of the defendant railroad company.

Page 311 U. S. 297

The decree also denied an application of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, to intervene as a plaintiff.

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