61 N.W. 765 (Wis. 1895), Scidmore v. Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western R. Co.

Citation:61 N.W. 765, 89 Wis. 188
Opinion Judge:ALFRED W. NEWMAN, J.
Attorney:For the appellant there was a brief by W. H. Timlin, and oral argument by N. Glicksman. For the respondent there was a brief by Fish & Cary, and oral argument by John T. Fish.
Case Date:January 08, 1895
Court:Supreme Court of Wisconsin

Page 765

61 N.W. 765 (Wis. 1895)

89 Wis. 188

SCIDMORE, Appellant,



Supreme Court of Wisconsin

January 8, 1895

Argued December 12, 1894.

APPEAL from a judgment of the superior court of Milwaukee county: R. N. AUSTIN, Judge. Affirmed.

The action is for personal injuries. The plaintiff was a brakeman upon one of the freight trains on the defendant road. In the performance of his duties it became necessary for him to alight from a freight car on the main track, and to cross over to the side track, to operate what is called a "derailing switch," in order to enable other employees of the defendant to place certain freight cars upon such side track. It was in the night time. After waiting until the speed of the car on which he was had slackened sufficiently, he alighted, in order to cross over to the side track to close the derailing switch. In alighting, he came against the clearing post, fell, was thrown under the wheels of the moving car, and was injured. A clearing post is a post placed between the main track and the side track, 150 feet from their junction. It is painted white, with the top painted black. It is designed to be a conspicuous object. Its office is to indicate to the train men the point upon the side track beyond which cars should be placed, in order to clear, safely, trains passing on the main track. Cars standing between the clearance post and the junction of the tracks are deemed to be in dangerous proximity to the main track, while cars standing beyond the clearance post are so far removed from the main track as to be no cause of danger to trains passing upon it. By means of the clearance post, engineers are enabled readily and surely to know whether the main track is safe as against danger of collision with cars standing upon the side track. So it is deemed that the operation of railroads is made safer by the use of clearance posts. The eye measurement and judgment of distances of an employee, however expert, is fallible. The post, placed by actual measurement, is sure. For this reason clearance posts are commonly used, and by many railroad experts are considered both a useful and necessary device or appliance, conducing to the safer operation of railroad trains. The plaintiff did not know of this clearance post, though he had seen such posts at other points on defendant's road, and knew what they were for...

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