16 Kan. 252 (Kan. 1876), The A. T. & S. F. Railroad Co. v. Bales

Citation:16 Kan. 252
Opinion Judge:VALENTINE, J.
Party Name:THE A. T. & S. F. RAILROAD CO. v. ABRAHAM BALES
Attorney:Ross Burns, and J. G. Waters, for plaintiff in error. Ruggles & Sterry, and S. N. Wood, for defendant in error.
Judge Panel:VALENTINE, J. All the Justices concurring.
Court:Supreme Court of Kansas
 
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Page 252

16 Kan. 252 (Kan. 1876)

THE A. T. & S. F. RAILROAD CO.

v.

ABRAHAM BALES

Supreme Court of Kansas

January, 1876

Error from Chase District Court.

BALES sued the Railroad Company for damages resulting from a fire alleged to have been negligently set out by the company. He alleged in his petition that the engine was old and out of repair, that the servants of the company were careless in the management of such engine, and by such careless management fires were set to the prairie every few rods between Topeka and Newton; that at least a dozen fires were set by said engine in Chase county, and by reason of said fires as aforesaid certain property of plaintiffs, 80 rods of post-and-rail fence, three corrals, one granary, fifty tons of hay, one stable, 125 bushels of corn, 150 bushels of oats, etc., etc., was burned up, to his damage $ 1,094. The company answered by a general denial of all the averments in the plaintiff's petition, and specially set up that the engine was in good order, and the servants in charge thereof competent and careful. Trial at the May Term 1874. Verdict and judgment for Bales for $ 500, and costs. The Railroad Company brings the case here.

Judgment affirmed.

Ross Burns, and J. G. Waters, for plaintiff in error.

Ruggles & Sterry, and S. N. Wood, for defendant in error.

VALENTINE, J. All the Justices concurring.

OPINION

Page 253

VALENTINE, J.:

This is another of those actions brought against the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company for damages claimed to have resulted from the negligence of the company in permitting fire to escape from its engine No. 9, on October 12th 1871. We have already decided four of those cases, to-wit, that of William M. Stanford, (12 Kan. 354,) of Neil Campbell, of Joseph Rickabaugh, and of Stephen Shaw, (ante, 200, 209.) In deciding those cases we have decided every question involved in this case, and several others besides. In fact, only the main questions involved in those other cases are involved in this, to-wit: 1st, May negligence on the part of the railway company in permitting fire to escape from its engines, be shown wholly by circumstantial evidence, or must it be shown by some direct proof of some particular act of negligence? 2d, Where the fire which is negligently permitted to escape from the engines of the railway company, does not fall upon the plaintiff's property, but falls on the property of another, setting it on fire, and then spreads by means of dry grass, stubble and other

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combustible materials, and passes over the lands of several different persons before it reaches the property of the plaintiff, and finally reaching the property of the plaintiff, at a great distance from where the fire was first kindled, sets it on fire, and consumes it, is the negligence of the railway company in such a case too remote from the injury to the plaintiff's property to constitute the basis of a cause of action against the company?

As to the first question, we have decided that...

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