Humphreys v. Perry,
148 U.S. 627 (1893)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Humphreys v. Perry, 148 U.S. 627 (1893)

Humphreys v. Perry

No. 167

Argued and submitted March 23-24, 1893

Decided April 10, 1893

148 U.S. 627


A traveling salesman for a jewelry firm bought a passenger ticket for a passage on a railroad, and presented a trunk to be checked to the place of his destination without informing the agent of the company that the trunk contained jewelry, which it did, and without being inquired of by the agent as to what it contained. He paid a charge for overweight as personal baggage, and the trunk was checked. It was of a dark color, iron bound, and of the kind known as a jeweler's trunk. It had been a practice for jewelry merchants to send out agents with trunks filled with goods, the trunks being of similar character to the one in question, and, as a rule, they were checked as personal baggage. But there was no evidence tending to show that the railroad companies, or their agents, knew what the trunks contained.


(1) There was no evidence showing, or tending to show, that the agent

Page 148 U. S. 628

of the railroad had any actual knowledge of the contents of the trunk.

(2) There was no evidence from which it could fairly be said that the agent had reason to believe that the trunk contained jewelry.

(3) The agent was not required to inquire as to the contents of the trunk, so presented as personal baggage.

(4) The company was not liable for the loss of the contents of the trunk.

The cases on the subject reviewed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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