AMSTAR CORP. v. SOUTHERN PACIFIC TRANSPORT CO. OF TEXAS AND
Annotate this Case
449 U.S. 924 (1980)
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U.S. Supreme Court
AMSTAR CORP. v. SOUTHERN PACIFIC TRANSPORT CO. OF TEXAS AND , 449 U.S. 924 (1980)
449 U.S. 924
SOUTHERN PACIFIC TRANSPORT COMPANY OF TEXAS AND LOUISIANA
Supreme Court of the United States
October 20, 1980
On petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.
Justice BLACKMUN, dissenting.
It seems to me that the Court's denial of certiorari in this case utterly ignores the parties' intent in executing a consent to a judgment and in their subsequent actions pursuant thereto.
Petitioner is a sugar refiner. It filed suit under 20(11) of the Interstate Commerce Act, 24 Stat. 386, as amended, 49 U.S.C. 20(11),1 against respondent, a common carrier by motor, for damage to a cargo of sugar respondent undertook to transport. Although respondent by its formal answer denied liability, the real issue in the litigation proved to be the amount for which respondent was liable. Petitioner-shipper took the position that, under Gore Products, Inc. v. Texas & N. O. R. Co., 34 So.2d 418 (La.App.1948), the proper measure of damages was the profit lost by petitioner on the completed sale, or $7,529.28. Respondent-carrier, on the other hand, contended that the proper measure was the cost of reprocessing the sugar for resale to another customer, or $488.65.2 Respondent moved for partial summary judgment only on the issue of the quantum of damages. Over
petitioner's objection, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted that motion, leaving open, so far as that court was concerned, the issue of liability. The partial summary judgment, being interlocutory, of course was not then appealable. See 28 U.S.C. 1291 and 1292.
After a pretrial conference, the parties by their counsel entered into a stipulation of facts, App. to Pet. for Cert. 29a, and submitted to the court a "Joint Motion for Approval of Consent Judgment." Id., at 32a. 3 The District Court then entered its "Consent Judgment upon Joint Stipulation of Facts," id., at 26a, the final paragraph of which recited:
"This judgment is rendered in recognition of the reservation by the plaintiff of its right to prosecute an appeal in this action in connection with this judgment and in connection with the partial summary judgment rendered on March 14, 1979." Id., at 27a.
The smaller of the two sums was then paid to petitioner. It thereupon executed a satisfaction of judgment, id., at 34a, still reciting its reservation. [Footnote 4]
Petitioner in due course appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Both sides devoted their briefs in that court exclusively to the liability issue. The Court of Appeals, however, with a short per curiam opinion, held that, on the authority of another per curiam opin- [449 U.S. 924 , 926]