agent Robert L. Miller sold plaintiffs a round-trip tour to
California, which plaintiffs were led to believe was the V-12
regularly scheduled escorted tour to California operated by
Vanderbilt. For said tour, plaintiffs paid to Burlington the sum
of $790.10, the price of an escorted tour. Said payment included
rail tickets, travel agent's fee, side-trip tickets, meals,
travel insurance and sundries provided by the tour operator.
Defendant Burlington remitted all of sum to defendant Vanderbilt
except rail fare sale commission.
7. Plaintiffs are Negroes; and when Burlington through its
agent Robert L. Miller telephoned Vanderbilt to reserve space for
them on the regularly scheduled V-12 escorted tour, departing
July 3, 1960, plaintiffs were thusly identified over the
telephone. Vanderbilt, acting through Ramona Hayes Healy,
declined to accept plaintiffs for said tour, but offered in said
telephone conversation to accommodate plaintiffs with an
"independent" tour to California, departing July 2, 1960. An
"independent" tour, in the language of the trade, is a
non-escorted tour. Plaintiffs, as aforesaid, were led to believe
that their tour, departing July 2, 1960, was escorted. Vanderbilt
booked other people on their V-12 tour, departing July 3, 1960,
up to the date of departure.
8. Vanderbilt refused to book plaintiffs for said tour because
they were Negroes. Hence the plaintiffs were discriminated
against because of their color.
9. Burlington participated in the act of discrimination when
its ticket agent telephoned and said, "There are some colored
ladies * * *" That was a tip-off.
10. The defendant Burlington contended that even though Robert
L. Miller was its paid employee, and acting within the scope of
his duties in selling tickets the Vanderbilt, when making such a
sale he was in the employ of Vanderbilt for the reason that he
was paid a commission by Vanderbilt, with the consent of the
railroad, and that therefore the railroad was not responsible for
any of his statements or acts in selling such tickets. The Court
finds as a matter of fact that Burlington also received a
commission from Vanderbilt for its sales made through Robert L.
Miller. The Court further finds that Robert L. Miller was at all
times an agent of Burlington and was an agent of Vanderbilt when
he sold tickets to and dealt with plaintiffs herein. Both
defendants Burlington and Vanderbilt would have profited from
acts of Robert L. Miller had the sales been consummated and no
11. Further, Burlington charged plaintiffs more than the tariff
rate for their trip, if defendant intended to sell plaintiffs a
non-escorted tour, hence, they discriminated against plaintiffs
for that reason also. Plaintiffs were, ultimately, refunded all
of their money, except $8.40 paid for travel insurance.
12. Though there was no personal malice against these
plaintiffs, there was a motive to hold them as customers, but at
the same time to satisfy other customers, who defendants believed
might have been unhappy. For this reason exemplary damages should
be awarded plaintiffs.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. This is a case of actual controversy, and the Court has
jurisdiction of the subject matter of this action and of the
2. The Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C. § 3(1) and
Section 8 applies to both defendants.
3. Plaintiffs are entitled to a refund of $8.40 from
defendants, in addition to $500.00 each for compensatory damages
and $500.00 each for punitive damages, and their costs including
attorney's fees in the sum of $1,500.00.
4. The issues in the cause are with the plaintiffs and judgment
should be entered for plaintiffs. It is so ordered. Counsel for
plaintiffs having submitted an appropriate judgment order in
accordance herewith, same is simultaneously entered on this day.
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