DAVIS V. PORTLAND SEED CO., 264 U. S. 403 (1924)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Davis v. Portland Seed Co., 264 U.S. 403 (1924)

Davis v. Portland Seed Company

Nos. 114, 122, 123, 209

Argued February 20, 1924

Decided April 7, 1924

264 U.S. 403


1. The long and short haul provision of the Interstate Commerce Act (§ 4) is violated, and the carrier incurs, prima facie, at least, the penalties prescribed by § 10, by publishing, without authority from the Commission, a rate for a longer haul lower than that scheduled for a shorter haul of the same kind of property over the same line or route in the same direction. P. 264 U. S. 424.

2. In such case, a shipper who is charged the higher rate for the shorter haul is entitled, under § 8, to the full amount of his resulting damages, with reasonable counsel fees, but not to collect from the

Page 264 U. S. 404

carrier the difference between the rate paid and the lower rate published for the longer haul upon the theory that the latter was the only legal rate and the difference an illegal exaction recoverable without proof of damage or regard to the intrinsic reasonableness of the rate. Pennsylvania R Co. v. International Coal Co., 230 U. S. 184. Pp. 264 U. S. 415, 264 U. S. 424.

3. The ruling in Kansas City Southern Ry. Co. v. Wolf, 261 U. S. 133, that action of this kind are subject to the two-year limitation (Act to Regulate Commerce, §§ 9 and 16,) is adhered to. P. 264 U. S. 426.

281 F. 10 and 154 Minn. 28 reversed.

Review of four judgments recovered by shippers as overcharges alleged to have been exacted by the respective defendant carriers in violation of the "long and short haul clause" of the Interstate Commerce Act.

No. 114 was an action in the district court for the difference between the freight paid during federal control on a shipment of alfalfa seed to Walla Walla, Washington, from Roswell, New Mexico, and the amount that would have been paid if a lower rate scheduled from a more distant point over the same route had been applied.

Nos. 122 and 123 were like actions in the district court upon claims assigned by various shippers in respect of sugar transported by the above-named steamship company, wholly by water, from San Francisco, California, to Portland and Astoria, Oregon, partly while that company and its northern rail connection, the Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation Company, were under federal control, and at times when the joint rate of these carriers from San Francisco to North Portland, a greater distance, as it was claimed, was less than the local rate paid for the water carriage to Portland and Astoria. In these three cases, the judgments for the plaintiffs were affirmed by the circuit court of appeals, and its judgments were brought here by error and certiorari.

In No. 209, here by certiorari, the Supreme Court of Minnesota affirmed a like judgment in favor of a shipper whose shipments of wheat, from Benchland, Montana, to

Page 264 U. S. 405

Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota, were charged for by the carrier at a published tariff rate higher than the published rate to the same destination from Billings, a more distant point.

Page 264 U. S. 413

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