This is an action by the city of Atlanta (Georgia), against two Tennessee corporations, members of the trust or combination held unlawful in Addyston Pipe and Steel Co. v. United States, 175 U.S. 211. The object of the suit is to recover threefold damages for alleged injury to the city "in its business or property" under § 7 of the act of July 2, 1890, c. 647, 26 Stat. 209. The alleged injury is that the city, being engaged in conducting a system of waterworks, and wishing to buy iron water pipe, was led, by reason of the illegal arrangements between the members of the trust, to purchase the pipe from the Anniston Pipe and Foundry Company, an Alabama corporation, at a price much above what was reasonable or the pipe was worth. The purchase was made after a simulated
The facts gave rise to a cause of action under the act of Congress. The city was a person within the meaning of § 7 by the express provision of § 8. It was injured in its property, at least, if not in its business of furnishing water, by being led to pay more than the worth of the pipe. A person whose property is diminished by a payment of money wrongfully induced is injured in his property. The transaction which did the wrong was a transaction between parties in different States, if that be material. The fact that the defendants and others had combined with the seller led to the excessive charge, which the seller made in the interest of the trust by arrangement with its members, and which the buyer was induced to pay by the semblance of competition, also arranged by the members of the trust. One object of the combination was to prevent other producers than the Anniston Pipe and Foundry Company, the seller, from competing in sales to the plaintiff. There can be no doubt that Congress had power to give an
The limitation of five years in Rev. Stat. § 1047, to any "suit or prosecution for any penalty or forfeiture, pecuniary or otherwise, accruing under the laws of the United States," does not apply. The construction of the phrase "suit for a penalty," and the reasons for that construction have been stated so fully by this court that it is not necessary to repeat them. Indeed the proposition hardly is disputed here. Huntington v. Attrill, 146 U.S. 657, 668; Brady v. Daly, 175 U.S. 148, 155, 156.
Thus we come to the main question of the case, namely, which limitation under the laws of Tennessee is applicable, the matter being left to the local law by the silence of the Statutes of the United States. Rev. Stat. § 721; Campbell v. Haverhill, 155 U.S. 610. The material provisions of the Tennessee Code are as follows: By Article 2769 (Shannon, 4466), all civil actions are to be commenced within the periods prescribed, with immaterial exceptions. By Article 2772 (Shannon, 4469), actions, among others, "for statute penalties, within one year after cause of action accrued." By 2773
As to the article touching actions for statute penalties, notwithstanding some grounds for distinguishing it from Rev. Stat. § 1047, which were pointed out, so far as this liability under the laws of the United States is concerned we must adhere to the construction of it which we already have adopted. The chief argument relied upon is that this suit is for injury to personal property, and so within Article 2773. It was pressed upon us that formerly the limitations addressed themselves to forms of action, that actions upon the case, such as this would have been, were barred in three years, following St. 21 Jac. 1, c. 21, § 3, and that when a change was necessitated by the doing away with the old forms of action, it is not to be supposed that the change was intended to affect the substance, or more than the mode of stating the time allowed. Of course, it was argued also that this was an injury to property, within the plain meaning of the words. But we are satisfied, on the whole, and in view of its juxtaposition with detention and conversion, that the phrase has a narrower intent. It may be that it has a somewhat broader scope than was intimated below, and that some wrongs are within it besides physical damage to tangible property. But there is a sufficiently clear distinction between injuries to property
THE CHIEF JUSTICE and MR. JUSTICE PECKHAM dissent.