Pere Marquette Ry. Co. v. J. F. French & Co.,
254 U.S. 538 (1921)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Pere Marquette Ry. Co. v. J. F. French & Co., 254 U.S. 538 (1921)

Pere Marquette Railway Company v. J. F. French & Company

No. 105

Argued November 19, 1920

Decided January 17, 1921

254 U.S. 538


1. Upon arrival of a carload of goods at destination, the carrier, at the direction of the person in possession of the bill of lading, turned over the car to another carrier for further carriage, the old waybill being retained with the names of the new carrier and new destination inserted in lieu of the old. Held, a delivery under the original consignment. P. 254 U. S. 542.

2. Under the Uniform Bills of Lading Act, a carrier is justified in delivering the goods to the person in physical possession of the order bill of lading properly endorsed unless it has information that such person is not lawfully entitled to them. P. 254 U. S. 543.

3. A delivery to a person holding such a bill as the agent of another person is tantamount to a delivery to the latter if ratified by him. P. 254 U. S. 544.

4. The exoneration of the carrier resulting under the act from a delivery in good faith to a person in possession of the bill of lading properly endorsed is not defeated by failure of the carrier to take up the bill if no loss is occasioned by such failure. P. 254 U. S. 545.

5. Where a carrier delivered the goods to one who had, without right, acquired possession of the bill of lading apart from a draft originally attached by the shippers, held that the shippers, upon buying back the bill and the draft with full knowledge of the facts, did not become bona fide purchasers of the bill within §§ 10-12 of the Uniform Bills of Lading Act, since the purpose of those sections is to give bills of lading the attributes of commercial paper, and they protect only purchasers who are entitled to assume that the goods have not been delivered and that they will not be except to a holder of the bill of lading. P. 254 U. S. 545.

6. The Uniform Bills of Lading Act does not impose upon the carrier a specific duty to the shipper to take up the bill of lading. P. 254 U. S. 546.

7. Noncompliance with a clause of a bill of lading requiring its surrender before delivery of the goods will not render the carrier liable to the shipper for conversion, when the delivery is to the holder of

Page 254 U. S. 539

the bill, duly endorsed, or his agent, and the loss resulting to the shipper is not attributable to the carrier's failure to take up the bill, but to the deliveree's wrongful acquisition of the bill and subsequent conduct, for which the carrier was not responsible. P. 254 U. S. 546.

204 Mich. 578 reversed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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