The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joseph Samuel Perry, District Judge.
This cause came on to be heard upon the Second Amended
Complaint and Answer thereto. A jury was waived and the evidence
and arguments of the parties were heard by the Court.
The plaintiffs were two well-educated Negroes, a mother and a
daughter. They alleged that on May 2, 1960, they went to the
offices of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
(hereinafter called "Burlington") in Chicago to purchase an
escorted tour advertised in a pamphlet of tours displayed by the
Burlington, which tour was conducted by John F. Healy and Ramona
Hayes Healy, husband and wife, doing business as Vanderbilt
Better Tours, both defendants (hereinafter called "Vanderbilt").
They alleged that they were refused tickets on the July 3, 1960
Vanderbilt escorted tour solely because they were Negroes; that
they were humiliated and suffered pain and anguish as a
consequence, and that the defendants refused to sell them tickets
upon said tour of July 3, 1960 because of malice and thereby
discriminated against them on account of their race and deprived
them of their statutory rights contrary to the provisions of the
statutes of the United States of America as set forth in 49
U.S.C.A. § 1 et seq., the pertinent parts of which provide as
Section 3(1). "It shall be unlawful for any common
carrier * * * to subject any particular person * * *
to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or
disadvantage in any respect whatsoever * * *."
Section 8. "In case any common carrier subject to
the provisions of this chapter shall do, cause to be
done, or permit to be done any act, matter, or thing
in this chapter prohibited or declared to be
unlawful, or shall omit to do any act, matter, or
thing in this chapter required to be done, such
common carrier shall be liable to the person or
persons injured thereby for the full amount of
damages sustained in consequence of any such
violation of the provisions of this chapter, together
with a reasonable counsel or attorney's fee, to be
fixed by the court in every case of recovery, which
attorney's fee shall be taxed and collected as part
of the costs in the case."
Plaintiffs charged that they were damaged and filed suit
seeking damages of $100,000.00, including attorney's fees, and
for the $8.40 travel insurance which had not been refunded.
1. Defendant, Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company,
with ticket offices at 105 West Adams Street, Chicago, Illinois,
is a common carrier for railroad passengers.
2. John F. Healy and Ramona Hayes Healy, d/b/a Vanderbilt
Better Tours, located at 67 East Madison Street, Chicago,
Illinois, a partnership, is a travel agency which conducts
escorted railroad tours advertised and sold to the public through
its own offices, and the ticket offices of Burlington, and other
3. The Burlington, and other railroads, belong to a voluntary
association of railroads for the purpose of promoting and selling
passenger transportation. Said association is known as the Rail
Travel Promotion Agency (hereinafter referred to as "RTPA"). The
RTPA contracts with travel agencies (called RTPA Contract Agents)
and permits them to buy tickets of RTPA members for rail tours
and to receive a commission thereon; RTPA Contract Agents may
reserve rail space in advance to accommodate persons to whom they
may sell tickets.
4. Vanderbilt is an RTPA Contract Agent privileged and
permitted to deal with, and to sell, Burlington rail
transportation space, reserved and set aside to it, from year to
year, by Burlington for such purposes.
5. Burlington's ticket agents and other RTPA members' ticket
agents receive a commission from Vanderbilt, and other such RTPA
Contract Agents, whenever they sell the services of such RTPA
6. On April 22, 1960, the plaintiffs, wishing to buy an
escorted tour to California, went to Burlington's ticket office
where a discussion was held with Burlington's ticket agent,
Robert L. Miller, regarding Vanderbilt's V-12 guided tour to
California. Thereafter, or on or about May 2, 1960, Burlington
through its ticket
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 ...