107 N.Y. 500, Young v. New York, Lake Erie & Western Railroad Co.

Citation:107 N.Y. 500
Party Name:ROBERT YOUNG, Respondent, v. THE NEW YORK, LAKE ERIE AND WESTERN RAILROAD COMPANY, Appellant.
Case Date:December 06, 1887
Court:New York Court of Appeals
 
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Page 500

107 N.Y. 500

ROBERT YOUNG, Respondent,

v.

THE NEW YORK, LAKE ERIE AND WESTERN RAILROAD COMPANY, Appellant.

New York Court of Appeal

December 6, 1887

Argued October 28, 1887.

Page 501

COUNSEL

O. W. Chapman for appellant. Plaintiff was clearly chargeable with contributory negligence, in not looking easterly while he was going through the opening in the train of box cars, or when emerging through such opening, or while he was walking across the clear open space between the two tracks. ( Salter v. U. & B. R. R. R. Co., 75 N.Y. 273, 279.) The fact that the bell was not rung did not excuse plaintiff from looking easterly while he was emerging from and after he got through the opened train. ( Wilcox v. Rome & . W. R. R. Co., 37 N.Y. 358; Havens v. E. R. Co., 41 id. 296; Haight v. N.Y. C. R. R. Co., 7 Lans. 11; Davey v. L. & S.W. R. Co., L. R., 11 Q. B. Div. 213; 49 Law T. Rep. [ N. S.] 739; Stubly v. London & N.W. R. R. Co., Law Rep. 1 Exch. 13; Cordell v. R. R. Co., 75 N.Y. 330; Reynolds v. R. R. Co., 58 id. 248; Byrne v. R. R. Co., 83 id. 620; Woodard v. N.Y. L. E. & W. R. R. Co., 25 Week. Dig. 115.) The court erred in leaving to the jury the question whether the plaintiff had the 'right to rely on the fact that it was the duty of the brakeman' to warn him. ( Wilcox v. Rome & W. R. R. Co., 39 N.Y. 358; Ernst v. H. R. R. Co., 39 id. 51.)

S. C. Millard for respondent. A railroad company has not discharged its whole duty to the public by simply ringing the bell or blowing the whistle before passing over the crossing. It must exercise reasonable care. ( Zimmer v. N.Y. C. R. R. Co., 7 Hun, 552; Cheney v. Same, 16 id. 415; Grippen v. Same, 40 N.Y. 46.) Irrespective of any city ordinance, the running of railroad trains at an excessive rate of speed at crossings is negligence. ( Massoth v. Del. & H. C. Co., 64 N.Y. 524;

Page 502

Grippen v. N.Y. C. R. R. Co., 40 id. 46; Beisiegel v. Same, id. 9; Cheney v. Same, 16 Hun, 415; Borst v. L. M. & S. R. Co., 4 id. 347.)Courts should not nonsuit where any possible inference can be drawn from any of the testimony, or any of the facts established upon the trial, which would relieve from the charge of contributory negligence. ( Salter v. U. & B. R. R. R. Co., 88 N.Y. 42; Stackus v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 79 id. 464; Kellogg v. Same, id. 72; 78 id. 518; 75 id. 320; 71 id. 285; 34 id. 622; 20 id. 66.) If the plaintiff, under the peculiar circumstances in which he was placed, acted as would an ordinarily careful, prudent man under similar circumstances, then he was not guilty of contributory negligence. ( Salter v. U. & B. R. R. R. Co., 88 N.Y. 51; Kellogg v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 79 id. 76.) In any event, whether or not he was guilty of negligence was a question for the jury. ( Greany v. L. I. R. R. Co., 101 N.Y. 420; Glushing v. Sharp, 96 id. 677; Stackus v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 79 id. 464; Kellogg v. Same, 79 id. 73; Terry v. Jewett, 78 id. 342; Salter v. H. R. R. Co., 88 id. 50; Yost v. Same, 80 id. 622; Shaw v. Jewett, 86 id. 616; Massoth v. D. & H. C. Co., 64 id. 529; Cranston v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 39 Hun, 308; Cary v. Man. R. R. Co., 22 Week...

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