Hall & Long v. Railroad Companies - 80 U.S. 367 (1871)
U.S. Supreme Court
Hall & Long v. Railroad Companies, 80 U.S. 13 Wall. 367 367 (1871)
Hall & Long v. Railroad Companies
80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 367
An insurer of goods, consumed and totally destroyed by accidental fire in course of transportation by a common carrier, is entitled, after he has paid the loss, to recover what he has paid by suit in the name of the assured against the carrier. It is not necessary in order to sustain such a suit to show any positive wrongful act by the carrier.
Hall & Long allowed this suit in their names, for the use of certain insurance companies, against the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad Company, to recover the value of cotton shipped by them on the road of the defendant as a common carrier, which was accidentally consumed by fire, while being transported, and "became and was a total loss." The cotton had been insured by Hall & Long against loss by fire, in the companies for whose use the suit was brought, and these companies had paid the amount insured by them respectively. On demurrer, the question was whether the underwriter who insures personal property against loss by fire, and pays the insurance upon a total loss by accidental burning, while in transition, can bring an action in the name of the owner for his use against the common carrier based upon the common law liability of such common carrier. The court below adjudged that he could not, and the plaintiffs brought the case here on error.