THE TAUNTON SILVER PLATE Co. FINALLY GET THEIR MONEY
In June, 1874, the Taunton Silver Plate company, of New York, shipped a case of silver-plated ware, valued at $90, per Hardy's Express company, to John Reilly, Jersey City. Shortly after the shipment was made, a bill of the goods shipped was mailed to consignee, and one month later a collector was sent to Reilly to try and collect the amount. Reilly then told the collector that he did not receive the goods. After waiting some time for him to refresh his memory, the Taunton Silver Plate company notified Reilly that unless the bill was paid they would sue for the amount. Reilly not taking any notice of the demand, the Taunton Silver Plate company commenced suit, and to make the case strong, requested Hardy’s Express company to produce Reilly's receipt for the box. The receipt was taken when the box was delivered upon a single sheet waybill, and by reference to their file for that date, Hardy's Express company found the receipt, sent it to one of their New York offices, and notified the Taunton Silver Plate company. They (the Taunton Silver Plate company) sent a messenger to get the receipt. The agent for Hardy’s Express company produced the receipt, showed it to the messenger, but told him it was against rules to give up receipts, but would show it in court when called upon. Two months later the trial came off, and the Taunton Silver Plate company called upon Hardy's Express company for the receipt, which had got mislaid and could not be found. At the trial Reilly swore that he never received the box, and the case was decided against the Taunton Silver Plate company. In March, 1876, the Taunton Silver Plate company sued Hardy’s Express company for the value of the box, claiming it was never delivered. At the trial, the driver, who received the goods and signed for them, was the same one that delivered them to Reilly. He (the driver) swore that he recollected the delivery, and that the receipt was signed by Reilly's wife. The shipping clerk for Taunton Silver Plate company swore that he saw Reilly's receipt for the box at the office of Hardy’s Express company, in New York, he being the messenger sent by the Taunton Silver Plate company to get the receipt. Then other witnesses to whom the receipt was shown, also testified that they saw the receipt. After some argument by counsel for plaintiff and defendant, the case was given to the court for decision. The judge promptly decided in favor of Hardy's Express company. After the verdict in favor of Hardy's Express company, the Taunton Silver Plate company again sued Reilly for the amount of their bill, and Reilly was directed by the court to pay the bill in full, with costs.
Source: The Expressman's Monthly - May 1876