Chicago & Northwestern Ry. Co. v. United States,
246 U.S. 512 (1918)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Chicago & Northwestern Ry. Co. v. United States, 246 U.S. 512 (1918)

Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company v. United States

No. 250

Argued March 27, 28, 1918

Decided April 15, 1918

246 U.S. 512


The "28 our Law," forbidding interstate railroads from confining animals in cars beyond a certain period without unloading them for rest, water, and feeding, unless prevented by accidental or unavoidable causes which cannot be anticipated or avoided by the exercise of due diligence and foresight, and subjecting every such carrier who knowingly and willfully fails to comply therewith to a penalty, must be construed with a view to carrying out its humanitarian purpose, but the exception in favor of the carrier must be given proper latitude and enforced in the light of practical railroad conditions.

If, in the exercise of ordinary care, prudence, and foresight, the carrier reasonably expects that, following the determined schedule, the containing car will reach destination, or some unloading place, within the prescribed time, it properly may be put in transit. Thereafter, the duty is on the carrier to exercise the diligence and foresight which prudent men, experienced in such matters, would adopt to prevent accidents and delays and to overcome the effect of any which may happen, with an honest purpose always to secure unloading within the lawful period. If, notwithstanding all this, unloading is actually prevented by storm or accident, the reasonable delay must be excused.

234 F. 268 reversed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 246 U. S. 514

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