Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. Co. v. Thompson Mfg. Co.,
270 U.S. 416 (1926)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. Co. v. Thompson Mfg. Co., 270 U.S. 416 (1926)

Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company v.

Thompson Manufacturing Company

No. 178

Argued January 27, 1926

Decided March 8, 1926

270 U.S. 416


1. The statement that the basis of a carrier's liability for goods lost or damaged in transit is "presumed negligence" is in effect only a statement of substantive law that the carrier is liable unless the loss or damage was due to the act of God or the public enemy, or the nature of the goods. P. 270 U. S. 421.

2. The second proviso of the "Cummins Amendment" relieves shippers from filing notice of claim, etc., where damage to goods in transit. is due to the carrier's "carelessness or negligence" only when the damage is due to the carrier's negligence in fact. P. 270 U. S. 422.

3. The burden of proof is on the shipper to establish negligence within the meaning of the proviso. P. 270 U. S. 422.

4 Evidence that goods were shipped in good condition and delivered in bad condition makes a prima facie case. P. 270 U. S. 422.

5. But where, to rebut such prima facie showing, the carrier introduced evidence of the condition of the cars in which the goods

Page 270 U. S. 417

were shipped tending persuasively to exclude the possibility of negligence, it was error to instruct the jury that, if the damage was not due to the act of God or the public enemy or to the inherent condition of the goods, they might return a verdict for the shipper. P. 270 U. S. 423.

99 W.Va. 670 reversed.

Certiorari to a judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia which affirmed a recovery of damages by the appellee in an action against the railway company for damage to goods in transitu.

Page 270 U. S. 419

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