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PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY v. WABASH

decided: March 4, 1895.

PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY
v.
WABASH, ST. LOUIS AND PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS.

Author: Harlan

[ 157 U.S. Page 226]

 MR. JUSTICE HARLAN delivered the opinion of the court.

On the 7th day of December, 1880, the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railway Company, by its agent at Omaha, Nebraska, sold to one W. J. Connell a railroad coupon ticket purporting to be good to the holder for passage over certain railroads extending from Omaha to the city of New York -- one of which was the road belonging to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, and extending from Philadelphia to New York.

It is to be taken upon this record that the Wabash Company had no authority to sell a ticket entitling the holder to passage over the appellant's road between Philadelphia and New York. Indeed, the Wabash Company had notice that the Pennsylvania Company would not recognize any tickets sold by it.

In the course of his journey to the East, Connell took passage at Philadelphia on one of the appellant's trains for New York. Being asked by the conductor for his ticket, he presented the Philadelphia-New York coupon of the ticket purchased at Omaha. The conductor, in conformity with instructions from appellant, refused to accept that coupon in payment of fare. Connell refused to make payment otherwise than with the coupon so tendered by him, and, because

[ 157 U.S. Page 227]

     of such refusal, was ejected by appellant's conductor from the train, and left at a way-station.

Connell subsequently sued the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in the Superior Court of Cook County to recover damages on account of his expulsion from the train of that company.

The Pennsylvania Railroad Company thereupon, May 13, 1882, gave the following notice to the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railway Company:

"W. J. Connell has brought suit against the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in the Superior Court of Cook County, Illinois, February term, 1882, to recover damages from the said company in the sum of $15,000 for an alleged breach of contract for declining to accept from him, December 16, 1880, in payment of passage fare from Philadelphia to New York, a ticket alleged to have been sold to him at Omaha, December 7, 1880, by Frank E. Moores, agent, reading via Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railway, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and Pennsylvania Railroad, Council Bluffs to New York, for O. 145, No. 5. As under the notice given by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company to the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railroad Company, December 2, 1880, the latter had no authority whatever to sell the ticket referred to, the Pennsylvania Railroad Company will look to the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railway Company for reimbursement of any amount the former may be compelled to pay as damages or otherwise in consequence of the sale of such ticket to said Connell as alleged. Having this interest in the suit, your company will probably desire to join the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in conducting the defence, and you are hereby invited to do so."

There was a first and second trial of the action brought by Connell. The second trial resulted in a verdict and judgment in his favor for $15,000. That judgment was affirmed in the appellate court of Illinois. But on appeal to the Supreme Court of Illinois the judgment was reversed. Pennsylvania Railroad v. Connell, 112 Illinois, 295. Upon the final trial one of the questions passed upon by the jury was whether

[ 157 U.S. Page 228]

     the ejectment of Connell from the train was accompanied by "unjustifiably violent and excessive" force, and whether the injuries he sustained were wantonly and maliciously inflicted. There was a verdict and judgment against the Pennsylvania Railroad Company for $7000. That judgment was affirmed in the appellate court, and ...


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