JONES V. UNION GUANO CO., INC., 264 U. S. 171 (1924)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Jones v. Union Guano Co., Inc., 264 U.S. 171 (1924)

Jones v. Union Guano Company, Incorporated

No. 73

Argued October 15, 1923

Decided February 18, 1924

264 U.S. 171


1. In exercising its right to impose reasonable conditions upon the bringing of suits, a state properly may treat as a separate class actions to recover damages resulting to crops from harmful or deficient fertilizers, and require a chemical analysis as a condition precedent, without excluding other evidence. P. 264 U. S. 181.

2. A statute of North Carolina (Laws 1917, c. 143) regulating the sale of fertilizers to prevent deception and fraud and granting the purchaser new rights and remedies for departures from the standards fixed without depriving him of any right or cause of action

Page 264 U. S. 172

or of liberty to contract with the manufacturer on other terms, provides that no suit for damages from results of the use of fertilizer may be brought except after chemical analysis showing deficiency of ingredients, unless it shall appear to the State Department of Agriculture that, during the season, the manufacturer has, in other fertilizer offered, employed ingredient outlawed by the act or offered any kind of dishonest or fraudulent goods. The act provides opportunity for official chemical analysis, limiting, however, the time and manner in which samples for analysis may be taken, and declares that a certificate of the state chemist of an analysis made by him of any sample drawn under these provisions shall be prima facie proof that the fertilizer was of the value and constituency shown by such analysis.

In an action to recover damage to a crop alleged to have resulted from fertilizer of inferior quality and containing deleterious ingredients, in which the plaintiff was nonsuited for not having procured a chemical analysis as required by the act, held that the requirement was not arbitrary, but reasonable, and consistent with the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 264 U. S. 180.

183 N.C. 338 affirmed.

Error to a judgment of the Supreme Court of North Carolina affirming a judgment of nonsuit in an action to recover damages to a tobacco crop alleged to have resulted from the use of fertilizer bought from the defendant and alleged to have been inferior in quality and to have contained harmful ingredients.

Page 264 U. S. 176

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