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American Colloid v. Akron

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Citation Edit

American Colloid Co. v. Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railway Co., 321 I.C.C. 91 (1963).

Factual Background Edit

American Colloid alleged that rates maintained by the defendant rail carrier on shipments of clay to certain areas exceeded a maximum reasonable level, in violation of sections 1 and 3(l) of the Interstate Commerce Act. As part of its proof of the allegation, the plaintiff attempted to introduce certain computer-generated cost evidence which related solely to the differences in rates among the various areas.

The defendant objected to admission of the evidence on the grounds, inter alia, that:

  1. the underlying data for one study was not made available to defendant; and,
  2. the cost analyst who testified had no actual knowledge of the person operating the computer.

Commission Proceedings Edit

The Commission overruled defendant's objections. It reasoned that the defendant had a chance to cross examine the cost analyst, inspect the underlying data, and prepare its own data. The court held that any deficiencies in the evidence would go to its weight, and not its admissibility.

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