167 N.Y. 19, Wieland v. President, Managers and Company of Delaware and Hudson Canal Co.

Citation:167 N.Y. 19
Party Name:CATHERINE FISHER WIELAND, as Administratrix of FREDERICK G. WIELAND, Deceased, Respondent, v. THE PRESIDENT, MANAGERS AND COMPANY OF THE DELAWARE AND HUDSON CANAL COMPANY, Appellant.
Case Date:April 30, 1901
Court:New York Court of Appeals
 
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167 N.Y. 19

CATHERINE FISHER WIELAND, as Administratrix of FREDERICK G. WIELAND, Deceased, Respondent,

v.

THE PRESIDENT, MANAGERS AND COMPANY OF THE DELAWARE AND HUDSON CANAL COMPANY, Appellant.

New York Court of Appeal

April 30, 1901

Argued March 12, 1901.

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COUNSEL

Lewis E. Carr for appellant. The trial justice did not err in dismissing the complaint, because the evidence, either direct or circumstantial, was not sufficient to sustain a finding that the deceased exercised any vigilance whatever as he approached the crossing where he was killed. (Rodrian v. N.Y. N. H. & H. R. R. Co., 125 N.Y. 526; Tolman v. S., B. & N.Y. R. R. Co., 98 N.Y. 198; Cordell v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 75 N.Y. 330; Reynolds v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 58 N.Y. 248; Ruppert v. B. H. R. R. Co., 154 N.Y. 90; Fitzgerald v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 154 N.Y. 263; Shotwell v. Dixon, 163 N.Y. 43; Stackus v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 79 N.Y. 464; Young v. N.Y. L. E. & W. R. R. Co., 107 N.Y. 500; Heaney v. L. I. R. R. Co., 112 N.Y. 122.)

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The nonsuit was right, because the evidence was not sufficient to sustain a finding that looking and listening by the deceased was impossible, or would have been unavailing, and he was, therefore, excused from such vigilance, and the plaintiff excused from making proof as to its exercise by the deceased. (Tolman v. S., B. & N.Y. R. R. Co., 98 N.Y. 198; Bond v. Smith, 113 N.Y. 378; Krauss v. W. V. R. R. Co., 69 Hun, 482; Hoffmann v. F. R. R. Co., 67 Hun, 581; Foran v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 64 Hun, 510; Whalen v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 58 Hun, 431; Fowler v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 74 Hun, 141; Salter v. U. & B. R. R. R. Co., 75 N.Y. 273.)

Jacob L. Ten Eyck for respondent. It was for the jury to say, under all the surrounding circumstances in this case, whether the deceased was free from negligence on his part. (Voak v. N. C. Ry. Co., 75 N.Y. 323; Gorman Case, 32 N.Y.S. 482; Butcher v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 98 N.Y. 132; Getman v. D., L. & W. R. R. Co., 162 N.Y. 30; Hurley Case, 35 N.Y.S. 350; Stackus v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 79 N.Y. 464; Smedis v. B. & R. B. R. R. Co., 88 N.Y. 13; Greany v. L. I. R. R. Co., 101 N.Y. 423; Massoth v. D. & H. C. Co., 64 N.Y. 529.) Under all the circumstances in the case it was for the jury to say whether the speed of the train did not outstrip the warning and whether the notice of its approach was not commensurate with the speed. (Hunt v. F. R. R. Co., 22 A.D. 212; Martin v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 27 Hun, 532; 97 N.Y. 628; Nutting Case, 47 N.Y.S. 327; Wylde v. N. R. R. Co., 53 N.Y. 156; Milliman v. R. Ry. Co., 3 A.D. 109; Cushman v. De Mallie, 46 A.D. 381; Carpenter v. P. R. R. Co., 13 A.D. 330; Worster v. F. S. S. & G. S. F. R. R. Co., 50 N.Y. 203; Weber v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 58 N.Y. 455; Pitts v. N.Y. L. E. & W. R. R. Co., 79 Hun, 549.) The plaintiff is entitled to go to the jury for the reason defendant usually blew its whistle and rung its bell at this crossing but failed on the occasion in question, in that

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such failure lulled the deceased into security that no train was near and thus induced him to cross. (Dyer v. E. Ry. Co., 71 N.Y. 230; Weber v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 58 N.Y. 451; Vandewater v. N.Y. & N. E. R. R. Co., 74 Hun, 32; affd., 135 N.Y. 589; Casey v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 78 N.Y. 518; Beach on Contrib. Neg. [2d ed.] pp. 93, 94, § 67; Swift v. S. I. R. T. R. R. Co., 123 N.Y. 645; Byrne v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 104 N.Y. 363; Barry v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R....

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