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U.S. Supreme Court

American Railway Express Co. v. Lindenburg, 260 U.S. 584 (1923)

American Railway Express Co. v. Lindenburg

No. 138

Argued December 4, 1922

Decided January 8, 1923

260 U.S. 584


1. In a proceeding under the Cummins Amendment (amended by Act of August 9, 1916, c. 301, 39 Stat. 441), the Interstate Commerce Commission authorized various express companies to maintain rates dependent upon declared or agreed values of property shipped and authorized a new form of receipt, and thereafter another express company, not a party to the proceeding nor mentioned in the Commission's order published and filed with the Commission a tariff referring to the order and containing the form of receipt, and put the tariff in effect. Held that, in the absence of proof to the contrary, it would be presumed that the action of the company was authorized by the Commission. P. 260 U. S. 588.

2. A stipulation in an express receipt is not rendered unlawful by the presence of others which are so, but which are separable from it and inapplicable to the shipment in question or to the obligations of the carrier respecting it. P. 260 U. S. 589.

3. The Cummins Amendment, in allowing carriers, when expressly authorized by the Interstate Commerce Commission, to "establish and maintain rates dependent upon the value declared in writing by the shipper or agreed upon in writing as the released value," does not require the signature of the shipper. P. 260 U. S. 590.

4. A shipper, by receiving and acting upon an express receipt for an interstate shipment signed only by the carrier, assents to its terms, and it thereby becomes the written agreement of the parties. P. 260 U. S. 591.

5. And where the term of the receipt and the carrier's lawful filed schedules show that the charge made was based upon a specified valuation of the goods, by which the carrier's liability was to be limited, the shipper is presumed to have known this, and is estopped from asserting a higher value when goods are damaged in transit. P. 260 U. S. 591.

88 W.Va. 439 reversed.

Page 260 U. S. 585

Certiorari to a judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia affirming a judgment against the petitioner in an action against it brought by the respondent to recover for damages to goods shipped.

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