Page images


Opinion of the Court.


tect the property of the Company not by preventing a judgment but by preventing an execution to satisfy a judgment for injury by Government operation of its road, whether that judgment was rendered against the carrier which leased the road, against the carrier which owned the road, or against the Government itself. The language of the statute assumes the existence of judgments against carriers for fault of the Government management before the section comes into play. There had been so much diversity of practice as to the person against whom the judgment should be rendered in seeking to establish and collect claims for injuries. caused in government operation that Congress adopted this unusually broad method of rendering the property of the carriers immune. By virtue of a law of Congress plainly within its power, a distinction was thus made between the judgment and the execution. The state Supreme Court decided that the right to a judgment as between the plaintiff and the Railroad Company in the second case was established by the first judgment, not that a right to execution thereon was established. 184

a N. C. 442.

After considering the contention made by the Company against the right to a judgment because of $ 206 (g), the court said (page 448):

“ It might suffice to say in answer to this position that plaintiff thus far has not undertaken to levy any process or execution against the property of the defendant road, and his proceeding, therefore, does not come within the literal terms of the provision on which he here relies, but inasmuch as the answer contains averment that plaintiff is wrongfully seeking in this present suit to avoid the force and effect of the statutory provision just quoted, we consider it pertinent to say that in our opinion the judgment sued on does not come within the inhibition as stated.”

The Court then proceeded to consider § 10 of the Federal Control Act, 40 Stat. 456, and paragraphs A, B, C,

Opinion of the Court.

268 U.S.

D, E, and G of $ 206 of the Transportation Act of 1920, and to hold that the former was a prohibition against physical interference by third persons, creditors or others, while the road was in the possession of the Government, and that the latter was a protection of the carriers in possession from physical interference by actions or judgments provided and allowed for by the Government. “But," said the Court, “this legislation in our view was never intended to protect the carriers from judgments in independent suits by claimants when they have failed to plead or properly insist on the immunity from liability which had been provided for their protection.” In effect, the Court gave two reasons for its conclusion, the first of which was that it was not dealing with an execution and the second that § 206 (g) did not apply to either a judgment or an execution in a case like the one before it. But the point adjudged was not the effect of § 206 (g) on an execution, whatever the inference from the Court's reasoning. The estoppel of the Court's conclusion reached only the judgment

It is well settled that the principle of res judicata is only applicable to the point adjudged and not to points only collaterally under consideration, or incidentally under cognizance or only to be inferred by arguing from the decree. Hopkins v. Lee, 6 Wheat. 109, 114; Norton v. Larney, 266 U. S. 511, 517. The reasoning and opinion of the court are not res judicata unless the subject matter in issue be definitely disposed of by the decree. Keane v. Fisher, 10 La. Ann. 261; Bridges v. McAlister, 106 Ky. 791; Probate Court v. Williams, 30 R. I. 144; ScottishAmerican Mortgage Company v. Bunckley, 88 Miss. 641; Braun v. Wisconsin Rendering Company, 92 Wis. 245; Citizens Bank of Emporia v. Brigham, 61 Kan. 727.

The judgment of the Supreme Court of North Carolina is reversed and the cause remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

Reversed. Syllabus.





No. 671. Argued January 7, 1925.-Decided May 25, 1925. 1. Where the constitution of an "international” trade union pro

vided that its constituent district organizations might order local strikes within their respective districts on their own responsibility, but that such strikes, to be financed by the international union, must be sanctioned by its executive board, held that liability for damages to property inflicted in a local strike called without such sanction by a district organization could not be imposed on the larger organization, and that evidence of participation by its president was insufficient to show participation by the organiza

tion itself or to bind it on principles of agency. P. 299. 2. The mere reduction in the supply of an article to be shipped

in interstate commerce by the tortious prevention of its production is ordinarily an indirect and remote obstruction to that commerce; but when the intent of those unlawfully preventing the production is to restrain or control the supply entering and moving in interstate commerce, or the price of it in interstate markets,

their action is a direct violation of the Anti-Trust Act. P. 310. 3. In an action brought under the Anti-Trust Act by the owners of

coal mines against a district union and local unions of coal miners and individuals, to recover damages resulting from the destruction of the mines during a strike, held that there was substantial evidence tending to prove that the purpose of such destruction on the part of the defendants was to stop the production of non-union coal and prevent its shipment to markets in other States where it would by competition tend to reduce the price of the commodity and thus affect injuriously the maintenance of wages for union labor in competing mines, and that direction of a verdict for the defendants was

therefore erroneous. P. 305. 4. In such a case, evidence tending to prove that the production of

the plaintiffs' mines with non-union labor would be sufficient to become a serious factor in the interstate coal market, is relevant, in connection with other evidence of the intent of the defendants to prevent its shipment to neighboring States at non-union cost.

P. 305. 300 Fed. 972, in part affirmed; in part reversed.

Opinion of the Court.

268 U.S.

ERROR to a judgment of the Circuit Court of Appeals which affirmed a judgment of the District Court entered on a verdict directed for the defendants, in an action for treble damages under the Anti-Trust Act. For the opinion of this Court on a former review, see 259 U. S. 344.

Mr. Henry S. Drinker, Jr., with whom Messrs. James B. McDonough and Edwin A. Lucas were on the briefs, for plaintiffs in error.

Mr. William A. Glasgow, Jr., with whom Messrs. G. L. Grant and Henry Warrum were on the brief, for defendants in error.

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE Taft delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a suit for damages for the effect of an alleged conspiracy of the defendants unlawfully to restrain and prevent plaintiffs' interstate trade in coal in violation of the first and second sections of the Federal Anti-Trust Act. The charge is that the defendants, in 1914, for the purpose of consummating the conspiracy, destroyed valuable mining properties of the plaintiffs. Treble damages and an attorney's fee are asked under the seventh section of the Act. The suit was brought in the District Court for the Western District of Arkansas. The plaintiffs are the Bache-Denman Coal Company and eight other corporations, in each of which the first named owns a controlling amount of stock. One of them is the Coronado Company, which gives the case its name. The corporations were correlated in organization and in the physical location of their mines. They had been operated for some years as a unit in the Prairie Creek Valley in Sebastian County, Arkansas. Immediately after the destruction of the property the District Court in a proper proceeding appointed receivers for the mines, and they or their successors are also parties to this suit. The original com


Opinion of the Court.

plaint was filed in September, 1914. It was demurred to, and the demurrer sustained. On error in the Court of Appeals the ruling was reversed. Dowd v. United Mine Workers of America, 235 Fed. 1. The case then came on for trial on the third amended complaint and the answers of the defendants. The trial resulted in a verdict of $200,000 for the plaintiffs, which was trebled by the court, and a counsel fee of $25,000 and interest to the date of the judgment were

added. The Court of Appeals reversed the judgment as to interest, but in other respects affirmed it. 258 Fed. 829. On error from this Court under § 241 of the Judicial Code, the judgments of both courts were reversed, and the cause remanded to the District Court for further proceedings. The opinion is reported in 259th United States, 344. The new trial, in October, 1923, resulted in a directed verdict and judgment for the defendants, which was affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals. The case is here on error for a a second time.

In our previous opinion we held that the International Union, known as the United Mine Workers of America, the union known as United Mine Workers, District No. 21, and the subordinate local unions which were made defendants, were, though unincorporated associations, subject to suit under the Anti-Trust Act, but that there was not sufficient evidence to go to the jury to show participation by the International Union in the conspiracy and the wrongs done. We found evidence tending to show that District No. 21 and other defendants were engaged in the conspiracy and the destruction of the property, but not enough to show an intentional restraint of interstate trade and a violation of the Anti-Trust Act. The plaintiffs contend that they have now supplied the links lacking at the first trial against each of the principal defendants.

The Bache-Denman mines lie near the west line of Arkansas, next to Oklahoma. In all the Arkansas mines,

« PreviousContinue »