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the nature and allowance of alimony. It has been held that a contract by a wife to pay her solicitors one-half of the alimony to be recovered by her in a suit for divorce, as compensation for their services in the suit, is void: Jordan v. Westerman, 62 Mich. 170, 4 Am. St. Rep. 836, 28 N. W. 826; monographic note to Shirk v. Neible, 83 Am. St. Rep. 177.
The Summary Jurisdiction of Courts over their attorneys is the subject of a monographic note to Burns v. Allen, 2 Am. St. Rep. 847862. Such jurisdiction extends to any matter in which an attorney has been employed by reason of his professional character: Ander son v. Bosworth, 15 R. I. 443, 2 Am. St. Rep. 910, 8 Atl. 339.
HUGHES v. PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY.
[202 Pa. St. 222, 51 Atl. 990.] CARRIERS-Limitation of Liability-Conflict of Laws.-1f a contract containing a stipulation limiting liability for negligence by a common carrier is made in one state, but with a view to its performance by transportation through or into one or more other states, it must be construed in accordance with the law of the state where its negligent breach, causing injury, occurs. Such contract, though valid in the state where made, must be declared void in the state where the injury occurs, if contrary to the policy of the law of the latter state. (p. 717.)
CARRIERS-Limitation of Liability-Conflict of Laws-Interstate Commerce. If a contract limiting the liability of a common carrier for loss or injury caused by negligence, though valid in the state where made, is void in the state where a loss occurs, and suit is brought, the court in the latter state may enter judgment for the full value of the property negligently lost, disregarding the terms of the contract, without in any way interfering with the legitimate exercise of interstate commerce. (p. 718.)
J. G. Johnson, E. J. Sellers and D. W. Sellers, for the appellant.
A. S. L. Shields, for the appellee.
225 POTTER, J. The plaintiffs in this case were the owners of a valuable horse which was shipped by their agent from Albany, New York, to Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. The contract for transportation was made in Albany with the New York Central Railroad, acting for itself and connecting carriers. The bill of lading provided that “no carrier shall be liable for loss or damage not occurring on its own road, or its portion of the through route.” The horse was carried safely by the initial carrier to the end of its line, and delivered to the defendant company, by
whom it was brought to Philadelphia. At this point the horse was badly injured by the negligence of defendant's servants, and the injuries thus received are the foundation of this action. The defendant admitted liability, but claimed that the plaintiff was not entitled to recover in excess of one hundred dollars. In support of this claim, it relied upon a printed form of a shipping contract, which was signed by plaintiff's agent at the time of shipment, and retained by the carrier. This contract contained a stipulation that the liability of the initial carrier and any connecting carrier should be limited, in case of loss or damage to a horse or mule, whether through negligence or otherwise, to an amount not exceeding one hundred dollars each. At the trial the court below declined to charge the jury that such a limitation of the amount of the damages was lawful in this case. The jury, under the evidence, found a verdict for nine thousand nine hundred dollars—the full value of the horse.
The refusal of the court to charge that the contract of shipment, limiting the liability for negligence, was valid and binding upon the plaintiff, is here assigned as error. It is conceded that this contract is valid under the law of 226 New York, and that if the horse had been injured while in course of transportation through that state, the plaintiffs would have been limited to the sum of one hundred dollars. It is also conceded that such a contract, made in Pennsylvania, for transportation between points within the state, would be void as against the settled policy of this state. The question is not an open one with us. Nor does it matter whether the attempt be to limit the liability as in Ruppel v. Allegheny Valley Ry. Co., 167 Pa. St. 166, 46 Am. St. Rep. 666, 31 Atl, 478; or to claim exemption entirely from liability as in Willock v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 166 Pa. St. 184, 45 Am. St. Rep. 674, 30 Atl. 948. But because the contract ras made in New York, to be performed partly in New York and partly in Pennsylvania, it is contended that the law of New York should govern the case. It may be noted here that while the contract contains an acknowledgment that Grady had the option to ship the horse at a higher rate, with inceased liability, yet, as a matter of fact, no such offer was made. The evidence shows that the freight agent at Albany did not know the amount of the charges, and the blanks for the amounts were not filled in. The case of Burnett v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 176 Pa. St. 45, 34 Atl. 972, seems to be decisive of the question now before us. In that case the plaintiff was an employé of defendant at Trenton, New Jersey. He
applied for and obtained free transportation from Trenton to Elmira, New York. He received two passes—one, from Trenton to Philadelphia, which was not in evidence, and the other, an employé's trip pass, from Philadelphia to Elmira-by the terms of which he assumed all risks of accident. He was injured at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, through the admitted negli. gence of the defendant's employés. It was proved at the trial that under the laws of New Jersey the contract by which the plaintiff, in consideration of free transportation, assumed the risk of accident, was valid, and that in that state he could not recover; and it was conceded by the defendant that in Pennsylvania the decisions are otherwise, and that such a contract will not relieve a common carrier from responsibility for negligence. There, as in this case, the contract was valid in the state where made. The transportation was safely performed into this state, and the injury occurred within this state through the negligence of the carrier. It was held that the responsibility of the defendant was to be determined by the law of the 227 state where the contract was being performed, and where the negligence occurred, and recovery was allowed. In the present case the facts are more strongly against the defendant, in that it is not the initial carrier under the contract, and the stipulation upon the part of each carrier was against liability for damages not occurring on its portion of the through route. In Fairchild v. Philadelphia etc. R. R. Co., 148 Pa. St. 527, 24 Atl. 79, there was a contract for the transportation of a horse from Washington, District of Columbia, through Pennsylvania, to Harkimus, New Jersey. It was injured by the negligence of the defendant while in Baltimore, Maryland. The contract contained a stipulation limiting the value of the horse to one hundred dollars. Suit was brought to recover damages for the injury. The court below held the contract to be valid, and, under instructions, a verdict was rendered for one hundred and five dollars and fifty cents, and judgment entered thereon. This judgment was affirmed, this court saying, in a per curiam: “This written contract was made in the District of Columbia, and is to be interpreted by the lex loci contractus”: Forepaugh v. Delaware etc. R. Co., 128 Pa. St. 217, 15 Am. St. Rep. 672, 18 Atl. 503. If, however, in the performance of the contract, the horse had been carried into Pennsylvania, and it had been injured in this state, the principle set forth in Burnett v. Railroad Co., 176 Pa. St. 45, 34 Atl. 972, would, no doubt, have been applied, and the limitation of liability held void. In the Fairchild case, nothing
is said about the law of Maryland, where the injury occurred, though, as a matter of fact, the limitation of liability was valid in that state, as appears in Brehme v. Adams Express Co., 25 Md. 328. The Fairchild case, when properly understood, is authority only for the proposition that a contract containing a limitation of liability, made in a state where it is valid, will be enforced in this state, when an injury occurs in the course of transportation through a state where such a contract is not contrary to public policy. It is only an application of the doctrine of Forepaugh v. Delaware etc. R. Co., 128 Pa. St. 217, 15 Am. St. Rep. 672, 18 Atl. 503, to a slightly differing state of facts. The reference to Hart v. Pennsylvania R. R. Co., 112 U. S. 331, 5 Sup. Ct. Rep. 151, could only have been to show the law of the District of Columbia; for in Grogan v. Adams' Exp. Co., 114 Pa. St. 423, 60 Am. Rep. 360, 7 Atl. 134, this court expressly refused to follow the Hart case.
228 A distinction may well be made between contracts of a general nature, and those of common carriers of goods through several states. Much stress is laid in the brief of appellants upon opinion of Justice Bradley in Morgan v. New Orleans, 2 Woods, 244, Fed. Cas. No. 9804. The contract in that case was made in New York, to be performed, in an important part, there, and in part by the building of a railroad in Louisiana. Another important part was to be performed in Alabama, and perhaps other important parts in other states. The court held that, where a contract is to be performed in several jurisdictions, there could be no presumption that the parties had in view the laws of each of these jurisdictions, as the law that was to govern the contract, and therefore held that it was governed by the law of New York, where it was made. But it will be noticed that the case did not involve the law of common carriers, but only a contract relating to a matter about which the parties were free to contract, and against which there was no public policy of any state. The inquiry was therefore properly confined to ascertaining the intention of the parties to the agreement. But a contract for the carriage of goods is not one as to which parties are entirely free to contract. Judge Sulzberger, in his charge in this case, aptly said: "There are, however, limitations upon the right of contract. There is a certain field of human activity over which the state assumes supreme control by virtue of its sovereignty, and when the state declares its policy, which we call 'public policy,' upon these questions, then the right of private contract is utterly abolished to that extent.” It will not do, therefore, to apply