NORTHERN PACIFIC RY. CO. V. SOLUM, 247 U. S. 477 (1918)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Northern Pacific Ry. Co. v. Solum, 247 U.S. 477 (1918)

Northern Pacific Railway Company v. Solum

Nos. 205, 206, 526

Argued March 19, 1918

Decided June 10, 1918

247 U.S. 477


The duty of a carrier to ship by the cheapest route in the absence of shipping instructions is not absolute; it is a duty to deal fairly with the shipper, with due regard also for the carrier's own interest and its obligation to the public.

Resort to the more expensive of two of the carrier's routes may be justified by a reasonable general practice of the carrier.

The Northern Pacific, having two routes between Duluth and other Minnesota points farther west, one intrastate, with a heavy upgrade westward, the other interstate, of lighter grades, used, in the absence of other shipping directions, the former for Minnesota traffic bound to Duluth and the latter for like traffic in the other direction. The charges under the interstate tariff were more than those allowed between the same points by Minnesota law. Held that the reasonableness of this practice of routing was an administrative question within the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission, whose decision the state courts had no jurisdiction to anticipate.

133 Minn. 93, id., 461, reversed.

Writ of error to review 136 Minn. 468 dismissed.

The cases are stated in the opinion.

Page 247 U. S. 478

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