115 A. 372 (N.J.L. 1921), 75, Skillen v. West Jersey and Seashore Railroad Co.

Docket Nº75
Citation115 A. 372, 96 N.J.L. 492
Opinion JudgeTRENCHARD, J.
Party NameJOHN SKILLEN, APPELLANT, v. WEST JERSEY AND SEASHORE RAILROAD COMPANY, RESPONDENT
AttorneyFor the appellant, Wescott & Weaver. For the respondent, Bourgeois & Coulomb.
Judge PanelFor affirmance -- None. For reversal -- THE CHANCELLOR, CHIEF JUSTICE, SWAYZE, TRENCHARD, PARKER, BERGEN, MINTURN, KALISCH, BLACK, WHITE, HEPPENHEIMER, WILLIAMS, GARDNER, VAN BUSDIRK, JJ. 14.
Case DateNovember 14, 1921
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)

Page 372

115 A. 372 (N.J.L. 1921)

96 N.J.L. 492

JOHN SKILLEN, APPELLANT,

v.

WEST JERSEY AND SEASHORE RAILROAD COMPANY, RESPONDENT

No. 75

Court of Errors and Appeals of New Jersey

November 14, 1921

Argued June 27, 1921.

On appeal from the Supreme Court.

For the appellant, Wescott & Weaver.

For the respondent, Bourgeois & Coulomb.

OPINION

[96 N.J.L. 493] TRENCHARD, J.

This was an action to recover for personal injuries and was tried at the Camden Circuit. The plaintiff was nonsuited and appeals from the judgment entered thereon.

The plaintiff, a passenger on the railroad of the defendant company, was struck in the eye and injured by a spitball or paper wad which had been thrown by one of a number of school boys who were also passengers on the train. This wad was thrown or snapped by means of a rubber band. Apparently, a number of the pupils from the high school at Woodbury were in the habit of indulging in this sport for their own amusement and without regard for the safety of other passengers. The case as originally tried resulted in a verdict for the plaintiff. On a rule to show cause that verdict was set aside by the Supreme Court in an opinion in which it was pointed out that, assuming these occurrences were so frequent as to charge knowledge thereof upon the railroad company, the evidence showed, so far as it bore upon this point, that "the railroad's employes stopped the play whenever it was seen." The case was sent back to be retried and the trial judge nonsuited the plaintiff, saying that he had difficulty in understanding just what the Supreme Court meant by its opinion, but that he was bound to follow what was there decided, and, as he understood it, the case then presented was substantially identical with that which was presented at the first trial.

We are of the opinion that the nonsuit cannot be sustained. The difficulty, as we see it, arose from the failure of the learned trial judge to recognize the difference between the case made at that trial and that dealt with in the Supreme Court. To us the distinction between the two cases is quite [96 N.J.L. 494] apparent. In the first case, as the Supreme Court said, "so far as appears the railroad employe stopped the play whenever it was seen," while on the present trial there was considerable evidence that this was not so. One of the boys testified that he took...

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11 practice notes
  • 114 A.2d 295 (N.J.Super.A.D. 1955), Harpell v. Public Service Coordinated Transport
    • United States
    • Superior Court of New Jersey
    • May 12, 1955
    ...answerable for the consequences of his nonconformance to that standard. * * *’ See also Skillen v. West Jersey & Seashore R.R. Co., 96 N.J.L. 492, 494, 115 A. 372 (E. & Defendant contends that its duty should not be held to extend to hazards originating in unlawful acts committed of......
  • 489 A.2d 1272 (N.J.Super.L. 1984), Rozycki by Rozycki v. Peley
    • United States
    • Superior Court of New Jersey
    • September 21, 1984
    ...safeguard tenants from foreseeable criminal acts of third persons); common carrier-guest, Skillen v. West Jersey & Seashore R.R. Co., 96 N.J.L. 492, 494, 115 A.2d 372 (E. & A.1921) (carrier owes passenger duty of exercising high degree of care to protect him from injury by other pas......
  • 192 A. 576 (N.J. 1937), 417, Spalt v. Eaton
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • June 15, 1937
    ...the duty of using a "high degree of care" for the safety of his passengers. Skillen v. West Jersey and Seashore Railroad Co., 96 N.J.L. 492; Hoff v. Public Service Railway Co., 91 N.J.L. 641; Exton v. Central Railroad Co., 62 N.J.L. 7; affirmed, 63 N.J.L. 356; Miller v. West Jerse......
  • 32 A.2d 497 (N.J. 1943), 413, Kinsey v. Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Company
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • June 17, 1943
    ...Frazier v. Public Service Railway Co., 97 N.J.L. 37; same case on appeal, 99 N.J.L. 501; Skillen v. West Jersey, &c., Railroad Co., 96 N.J.L. 492. Under all the circumstances, it was for the District Court Judge, in the exercise of his fact-finding function, to determine whether, if the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • 114 A.2d 295 (N.J.Super.A.D. 1955), Harpell v. Public Service Coordinated Transport
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court of New Jersey
    • May 12, 1955
    ...answerable for the consequences of his nonconformance to that standard. * * *’ See also Skillen v. West Jersey & Seashore R.R. Co., 96 N.J.L. 492, 494, 115 A. 372 (E. & A.1921). Defendant contends that its duty should not be held to extend to hazards originating in unlawful acts com......
  • 489 A.2d 1272 (N.J.Super.L. 1984), Rozycki by Rozycki v. Peley
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court of New Jersey
    • September 21, 1984
    ...safeguard tenants from foreseeable criminal acts of third persons); common carrier-guest, Skillen v. West Jersey & Seashore R.R. Co., 96 N.J.L. 492, 494, 115 A.2d 372 (E. & A.1921) (carrier owes passenger duty of exercising high degree of care to protect him from injury by other pas......
  • 192 A. 576 (N.J. 1937), 417, Spalt v. Eaton
    • United States
    • New Jersey United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • June 15, 1937
    ...the duty of using a "high degree of care" for the safety of his passengers. Skillen v. West Jersey and Seashore Railroad Co., 96 N.J.L. 492; Hoff v. Public Service Railway Co., 91 N.J.L. 641; Exton v. Central Railroad Co., 62 N.J.L. 7; affirmed, 63 N.J.L. 356; Miller v. West Jerse......
  • 32 A.2d 497 (N.J. 1943), 413, Kinsey v. Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Company
    • United States
    • New Jersey United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • June 17, 1943
    ...Frazier v. Public Service Railway Co., 97 N.J.L. 37; same case on appeal, 99 N.J.L. 501; Skillen v. West Jersey, &c., Railroad Co., 96 N.J.L. 492. Under all the circumstances, it was for the District Court Judge, in the exercise of his fact-finding function, to determine whether, if the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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