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PITTSBURGH v. KEOKUK AND HAMILTON BRIDGE COMPANY.

decided: November 19, 1894.

PITTSBURGH, CINCINNATI AND ST. LOUIS RAILWAY COMPANY
v.
KEOKUK AND HAMILTON BRIDGE COMPANY.



CERTIFICATE FROM THE UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT.

Author: Gray

[ 155 U.S. Page 161]

 MR. JUSTICE GRAY, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court.

In the former case between these parties, reported 131 U.S. 371, it was decided that the Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Companies were the real, though not the formal, parties to the bridge contract executed by the Indiana Central Company at their request and for their benefit; that this contract was within the scope of their corporate powers, and made them directly liable to the Bridge Company for the proportion of tolls and deficiencies which by the terms of that contract were chargeable to the Indiana Central Company; that the bridge contract was a separate and distinct agreement from the lease (to which the Bridge Company was not a party) between the Indiana Central Company and the Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Companies; and that the validity and effect of the bridge contract did not depend upon the validity or invalidity of the lease, or upon the question whether these two companies, by reason of eviction, were no longer liable upon the lease.

In that case, this court, after discussing the terms of the lease, of the bridge contract, and of the agreement contained in the request of the Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Companies to the Indiana Central Company to execute that contract, said:

"The reference in that request and agreement to the ninth article of the lease was for the purpose of defining the extent of the liabilities and benefits assumed, and perhaps of indicating that the Pittsburgh Company alone was bound as principal, and the Pennsylvania Company as guarantor only; but it did not make the bridge contract a part of the lease."

"The sole ground of our decision is that the bridge contract is independent of the lease, and is valid and binding as between the parties to this suit, whether the lease is valid or invalid. This being so, the question argued at the bar, whether the appellants, by reason of eviction, are no longer liable on the lease, becomes immaterial." 131 U.S. 387, 390.

The reason and principle of that decision, so far as concerns

[ 155 U.S. Page 162]

     the present inquiry, were that, while the ninth article of the lease might be referred to for the purpose of defining the extent, or measure, and perhaps the nature or character, of the liabilities and benefits which the Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Companies assumed by reason of the terms of the bridge contract, and of the agreement contained in their request for its execution; yet the bridge contract was not made part of the lease, nor was the whole lease made part of the bridge contract, or of the agreement expressed in the request; nor did the liability of the Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Companies to the Bridge Company upon the bridge contract, for deficiencies in tolls upon the bridge, depend upon the question whether the lease of the road of the Indiana Central Company to the Pittsburgh Company was valid or invalid, or upon the question whether that lease remained in full force between the parties to it, or had been terminated by eviction of the lessee or otherwise.

The same reason and principle are no less applicable to the eviction as now pleaded than to the eviction as pleaded in the former suit.

Consequently, the second question certified by the Circuit Court of Appeals must be answered in the affirmative; and no further solution of the doubts expressed by that court in the first question, and in the preamble thereof, is necessary to the disposition of the case.

Ordered accordingly.

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER having been of counsel, did not sit in this case, or take ...


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