103 N.Y. 437, Solomon v. Manhattan Ry. Co.

Citation:103 N.Y. 437
Party Name:SARAH SOLOMON, as Administratrix, etc., Appellant, etc., v. THE MANHATTAN RAILWAY COMPANY, Respondent.
Case Date:November 23, 1886
Court:New York Court of Appeals
 
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Page 437

103 N.Y. 437

SARAH SOLOMON, as Administratrix, etc., Appellant, etc.,

v.

THE MANHATTAN RAILWAY COMPANY, Respondent.

New York Court of Appeal

November 23, 1886

Argued October 7, 1886.

Page 438

COUNSEL

Geo. Putnam Smith for appellant. The court erred in dismissing the complaint on the ground of the negligence of plaintiff's

Page 439

intestate. (Eppendorf v. B., C. & U. R. R. Co., 69 N.Y. 195; Doss v. M., K. & T. R. R. Co., 59 Mo. 37; Swigert v. Han. & St. Jo R. R. Co., 75 id. 475; Price v. St. L., K. & N. R. R. Co., 72 id. 414; Filer v. N.Y. Cent. R. R. Co., 49 N.Y. 47; Brooks v. N.Y. & Lake E. R. R. Co., 21 Week. Dig. 464; Nelson v. A. & P. R. R. Co., 68 Mo. 595.) He was not guilty of negligence in stepping on the moving car unless he knew, or was bound in law to know, that it was in motion. (Evans v. City of Utica, 69 N.Y. 166.) The acts of other passengers at the time were properly shown to disprove negligence. (Twomley v. C. P., N. & E. R. R. Co., 56 N.Y. 158; Coulter v. A. M. Merchants' Co., id. 585; Price v. St. L., K. & N. R. R. Co., 72 Mo. 414; Brooks v. Boston & Me. R. R. Co., 135 Mass. 21.) He was not guilty of negligence in failing to guard against a danger which, under the circumstances, he had no reason to expect. (Lanagan v. St. L., etc., R. R. Co., 72 Mo. 392; Fowler v. B. & O. R. R. Co., 18 W.Va. 580.) By its own misconduct defendant placed the deceased in peril, and it cannot complain if he erred in judgment. (Voak v. N. C. R. R. Co., 75 N.Y. 320; Cuyler v. Decker, 20 Hun, 117.) Notwithstanding any negligence on the part of plaintiff's intestate, if defendant, by the exercise of reasonable care or skill, could have done any thing after it saw him in his perilous position, whereby the chance of injury might have been averted, it is liable. (Austin v. N. J. Steamboat Co., 43 N.Y. 76; Swigert v. Han. & St. Jo R. R. Co., 75 Mo. 475; Isbell v. N.Y. & N. H. R. R. Co., 27 Conn. 406; Price v. St. L., K. & N. R. R. Co., 72 Mo. 414; Meeks v. S. P. R. R. Co., 56 Cal. 513; Jamison v. San Jose R. R. Co., 55 id. 593; Wilmot v. Howard, 39 Vt. 458; Stebbins v. R. R. Co., 54 id. 464; Haley v. Earle, 30 N.Y. 208; Savage v. Corn Ex. Ins. Co., 36 id. 655.)

Edward S. Rapallo for respondent. The general rule is that the boarding or alighting from a moving train is presumably and generally a negligent act per se. (Burrows v. Erie R. Co., 53 N.Y. 556; Morrison v. Erie R. Co., 56 id. 302,

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307; Filer v. N.Y. C. R. R. Co., 49 id. 47, 51, 52, 53; Nichols v. Sixth Ave. R. R. Co., 38 id. 131; Solomon v. Manhattan R. Co., 31 Hun, 5; Gavett v. Manchester, etc., R. R. Co., 16 Gray, 507; Hickey v. B. & S. Co., 14 Allen [Mass.], 429; Harver v. Eastern R. R. Co., 116 Mass. 269; Harper v. Erie R. Co., 32 N. J. L. 88; Secer v. Toledo, etc., R. Co., 10 Fed. Rep'r, 15 [Ill.Circuit Ct., 1882].)

ANDREWS, J.

It is undisputed that the train was in motion at the time the plaintiff's intestate attempted to enter it. It had been brought to a stop, according to the usual custom, on reaching the Chatham Square station, for the purpose of discharging and receiving passengers, and had started again before the deceased and the two...

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