102 U.S. 451 (1880), Pennsylvania Co. v. Roy

Citation:102 U.S. 451, 26 L.Ed. 141
Case Date:November 22, 1880
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 451

102 U.S. 451 (1880)

26 L.Ed. 141




United States Supreme Court.

November 22, 1880


ERROR to the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the court.


Page 452

Mr. J. T. Brooks and Mr. George Willard for the plaintiff in error.

Mr. John Van Arman, contra.

MR. JUSTICE HARLAN delivered the opinion of the court.

This is a writ of error from a judgment for the sum of $10,000, the amount assessed as damages sustained by the defendant in error, in consequence of personal injuries received while riding, as a passenger, in a sleeping-car which belonged to the Pullman Palace Car Company, but constituting, at the time the injuries were received, a part of a train of cars managed and controlled by the Pennsylvania Company, as lessee and operator of the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne, and Chicago Railway. The action was commenced in the Supreme Court of Cook County, Illinois, against the Pennsylvania Company, the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne, and Chicago Railroad Company, and the Pullman Palace Car Company. It was subsequently dismissed by the plaintiff against all the defendants except the Pennsylvania Company, and then removed for trial into the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois, where the judgment complained of was rendered.

The facts set forth in the bill of exceptions, so far as it is material to detail them, are these:----

On the 5th of June, 1876, Roy, the defendant in error, purchased at the office of the lessee company, in the city of Chicago, a 'first-class railroad ticket' from that city to Philadelphia, over the line of that company, paying therefor the sum of $14.40. At the same time and place, and of the same

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person, he purchased a sleeping-car ticket, issued by the Pullman Palace Car Company, for the route between the same cities, and for that ticket he paid the additional sum of $5. He took the train the same day, going immediately into the section of the sleeping-car corresponding to his ticket.

The next morning, at Alliance, Ohio, upon the invitation of a friend, travelling upon the same train, he entered the sleeping-car in which that friend was riding, and there engaged with him in conversation. While so engaged, the upper berth of the section in which they were sitting fell. Thereupon the porter of the sleeping-car came at once and put up the berth, saying it would not fall again. Shortly thereafter the berth fell a second time, striking the plaintiff upon the head, injuring his brain, incapacitating him from pursuing his vocation, and necessitating medical treatment.

After the second falling of the berth, the brace or arm supporting it was found to be broken.

The evidence introduced by the plaintiff tended also to show that the Pennsylvania Company provided cars in which passengers having railroad tickets could ride without purchasing a sleeping-car ticket; that Roy had much experience in travelling, and would have gone into one of those cars had he not purchased a sleeping-car ticket; that at the time he purchased it he did not know what company ran the sleepers, but upon taking the train he ascertained it was a Pullman car; that the Pullman Palace Car Company was engaged in furnishing cars to be run in the trains of railroad companies; that, besides the general conductor of the train, there was a conductor, in uniform, and a porter, whose duty it was to make up the berths and attend to the wants of passengers occupying the sleeping-car.

Upon the trial the plaintiff introduced a time and distance card of the defendant corporation, issued, published, and circulated by that company during the year 1876, prior to the date of his injuries. That card, referring to the 'Fort Wayne and Pennsylvania R. R. line,' stated that three express trains left Chicago daily, one 'with popular vestibule sleeping-car,' one 'with drawing-room and hotel car,' and one 'with drawing-room sleeping-car.' It gave notice that 'passage, excursion,

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and sleeping-car tickets' could be purchased at the defendant company's office in Chicago. Referring to the 'Fort Wayne and Pennsylvania line,' the same card announced that 'no road offers equal facilities in the number of through trains, equipped with Pullman palace sleeping-cars.' It states, among the advantages of the 'Pittsburg, Fort Wayne, and Pennsylvania through line,' that the latter was the 'only line running three through trains, with Pullman palace-cars,' and 'the only line running sleeping-cars from Chicago and intermediate stations to Philadelphia without change.' The same card gave the rates charged for berths and sections in Pullman sleeping-cars from Chicago to points east of that city.

The defendant, to maintain the issues on its part, offered to prove----

1. That the sleeping-car in which the accident occurred, and all the sleeping-cars then and theretofore on the defendant's line, since the 27th of January, 1870, were owned by the Pullman Palace Car Company, a corporation of the State of Illinois, and not by the defendant; that said sleeping-cars were run in the same trains with the defendant's cars; that holders of railroad tickets were entitled to ride in said sleeping-cars, provided they also held sleeping-car tickets.

2. That the Pullman Palace Car Company, and it only, issued tickets for sale, entitling passengers to ride in said sleeping-cars; that such tickets were plainly distinguishable from railroad tickets, and were sold at offices established by said company, and indicated as places for the sale of such tickets; that the plaintiff purchased the sleeping-car ticket of the same person of whom he bought the railroad ticket; that the office where purchased indicated by plain lettering upon its door that it was a place for the sale of Pullman Palace Car Company tickets, as well as railroad tickets.

3. That the Pullman Palace Car Company employed persons to take charge of its cars, and the latter, whilst in use, were in the immediate charge of a conductor and a porter employed by that company; that such conductor and porter were the only persons who had authority to manage and control the interior of said cars, and the berths and seats and the appurtenances thereto.

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To this proof the plaintiff objected, and the objection was sustained, to which ruling the company...

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