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DU BOIS v. CENTRAL R. CO.

DISTRICT COURT, D. NEW JERSEY


March 1, 1938

DU BOIS et al.
v.
CENTRAL R. CO. OF NEW JERSEY et al.; JAGGERS et al. v. SAME

The opinion of the court was delivered by: FORMAN

FORMAN, District Judge.

These cases arise by virtue of complaints filed by various anthracite coal dealers doing business in Southern New Jersey. Anthracite coal is shipped over various routes and railroads from the Schuylkill, Lehigh, and Wyoming coal mining regious located in Pennsylvania. Briefly stated, some of the carriers follow a more direct route in transporting coal to Southern New Jersey which passes through Camden, New Jersey. The other route is more circuitous and follows a northerly course through Phillipsburg, Elizabethport, and Red Bank in Northern New Jersey, and then takes a southerly course to contact the coal dealers involved in this case. The railroads involved in this circuitous route are the Delaware & Hudson; Delaware, Lackawanna & Western; the Lehigh & New England; and the Central Railroad of New Jersey. Some of the mines are located on the latter railroad, and other mines are located on the three former railroads. The three former railroads, however, do not deliver the coal to the dealers in Southern New Jersey, but deliver it to a junction somewhere in Pennsylvania, at which point either the Central Railroad or the Pennsylvania Railroad takes control of the cargo and then proceeds to make delivery in Southern New Jersey, the latter railroad following a more direct route. The dealers had been paying a rate of $3.40 a ton on anthracite coal with one exception. On lines of the Delaware & Hudson the rate had been $3.53 for Central delivery. It was complained that these rates were unreasonable and in violation of the following section of the Interstate Commerce Act: "All charges made for any service rendered or to be rendered in the transportation of passengers or property * * * shall be just and reasonable, and every unjust and unreasonable charge for such service or any part thereof is prohibited and declared to be unlawful." 49 U.S.C.A. ยง 1, par. (5). After a hearing, the Commission on August 14, 1931, made a report entitled, Tri-County Coal Dealers' Association et al. v. Atlantic City Railroad Company et al., 178 I.C.C. 213, in which it found certain rates unreasonable to the extent that they exceeded rates of $3.20 a ton, and awarded reparation on shipments made during the statutory period equal to the difference between the rates which had been paid and the rates which were found to be reasonable. The amount of the reparation on shipments that had moved via the direct routes through Camden was promptly agreed upon and paid, but defendants declined to pay the awards on shipments which had moved via the circuitous route through Elizabethport and Red Bank, New Jersey. The Commission thereupon ordered a further hearing solely for the purpose of determining the amount of reparation remaining due, and in a supplemental opinion (203 I.C.C. 673) on August 11, 1934, it announced the following specific awards of reparation, all applicable on shipments routed via Elizabethport and Red Bank: Claimant Route Amount R. E. Jerrell CRR n1 $ 387.32 R. E. Jerrell DL & W n2-CRR n3 122.15 R. E. Jerrell D & H n4-CRR 653.61 McElroy & Cheli CRR 95.09 McElroy & Cheli DL & W-CRR 74.72 McElroy & Cheli L & NE n5-CRR 2,979.01 McElroy & Cheli D & H-CRR 1,295.57 Vineland Lumber Co. CRR 288.98 Vineland Lumber Co. DL & W-CRR 39.83 Vineland Lumber Co. D & H-CRR 625.61 $6,561.89

19380301

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