45 Mo. 255 (Mo. 1870), Kennayde v. Pacific R. Co.

Citation:45 Mo. 255
Opinion Judge:WAGNER, Judge.
Party Name:MARY KENNAYDE, Defendant in Error, v. PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY, Plaintiff in Error.
Attorney:Ewing, and Smith, for plaintiff in error. H. B. Johnson, for defendant in error.
Court:Supreme Court of Missouri
 
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Page 255

45 Mo. 255 (Mo. 1870)

MARY KENNAYDE, Defendant in Error,

v.

PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY, Plaintiff in Error.

Supreme Court of Missouri.

January Term, 1870

Error to First District Court.

Ewing, and Smith, for plaintiff in error.

I. If an action is based upon a statute, public or private, there must be reference thereto in the petition. (Gen. Stat. 1865, p. 661, § 41; 1 Chit. Plead., 372; 2 Chit. Plead. 504-512; Walther v. Warner, 26 Mo. 147; Bayard v. Smith, 17 Wend. 88; Utica v. Richardson, 6 Hill 300; People v. Barton, 6 Cow. 290; Morris v. People, 3 Denio 81; Chipman v. Emeric, 5 Cal. 239; 10 Mass. 39; 11 Mass. 273; 7 Mass. 9; 1 Wis. 282.)

II. The omissions that are made in the petition are fatal after verdict. (1 Chit. Plead. 373; 2 East, 333; 1 Maule & Sel. 500; Hann. & St. Jo. R.R. Co. v. Mahoney, 42 Mo. 467.)

III. The testimony disclosed that the deceased's own negligence contributed to his death, and hence there could be no recovery. (Redf. on Railways, 337, § 3; id. 332 §, 7; Brand v. Troy & Sch. Rail., 8 Barb. 368; Morrissey v. Wiggins Ferry Co., 43 Mo. 380; Liddy v. St. Louis R.R. Co., 40 Mo. 506.)

H. B. Johnson, for defendant in error.

I. The omission of defendant's employees to ring the bell, as required by the statute, or sound the whistle as the rules of the company required, was gross negligence. ( Beisiegel v. N.Y. Central R.R. Co., 34 N.Y. 622; Ernst v. Hudson River R.R. Co., 35 N.Y. 9; Renick v. N.Y. Central R.R. Co., 36 N.Y. 132; Philadelphia & Trenton R.R. Co. v. Hagan et al., 47 Penn. St. 244; Triplett v. Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R.R. Co., 38 Ill. 482; Brown v. N.Y. Central R.R. Co., 32 N.Y. 597; McGrath v. Hudson River R.R. Co., 32 Barb. 147; Newson v. N.Y. Central R.R. Co., 29 N.Y. 383; Ernst v. Hudson River R.R. Co., 39 N.Y. 61; O'Mara v. Hudson River R.R. Co., 38 N.Y. 445; Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw R.R. Co. v. Foster, 43 Ill. 415.)

II. When the negligence of defendant is clearly shown, and an accident has actually occurred, it is reasonable, prima facie, to refer it to the conduct of defendant's servants without requiring further proof. ( Johnson v. Hudson River R.R. Co., 20 N.Y. 65; Milwaukee & Chicago R.R. Co. v. Hunter, 11 Wis. 160; Philadelphia & Trenton R.R. Co. v. Hagan, 47 Penn. St. 244; Augusta & Savannah R.R. Co. v. McElmurry, 24 Geo. 79; 2 Redfield on Railways, 200; Penn. R.R. Co. v. McTighe, 46 Penn. St. 316.)

III. Had deceased been slightly negligent, such negligence contributing only remotely to his destruction, and the gross negligence of defendant's employees being the immediate cause of it, plaintiff would still be entitled to recover. ( Meyer v. Pacific R.R., 40 Mo. 156; Liddy v. St. Louis R.R. Co., 40 Mo. 506; Huelsenkamp v. Citizens Railway Co., 37 Mo. 537; Kennedy v. North Mo. R.R., 36 Mo. 351; Meyer v. People's Railway Co., 43 Mo. 523; Morrissey v. Wiggins Ferry Co., 43 Mo. 380.) The instructions given upon the part of the plaintiff were unobjectionable, and have been sanctioned by the courts of this State. ( Schultz v. Pacific R.R. 36 Mo. 14-32; Gen. Stat. 1865, chap. 63, § 38.) The third instruction is proper. The law makes it the duty of the employees of a railroad to ring the bell. Negligence, even when gross, is but an omission of duty. It was important for the jury to know the duties of the parties, in order to judge of their negligence. (The Tonewanda R.R. Co. v. Munger, 5 Denio 267; The N.Y. & New Haven R.R. Co., 1 Duer 583; Cayzer v. Taylor, 10 Gray 274.)

IV. The statute (Wagn. Stat. 310, § 38) is in the alternative...

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