7 N.E. 55 (Ill. 1886), Chicago, R.I. & P.R. Co. v. Londergan

Citation:7 N.E. 55, 118 Ill. 41
Opinion Judge:[118 Ill. 45] CRAIG, J.
Party Name:CHICAGO, R.I. & P. RY. CO. v. LONDERGAN, by his Next Friend.
Case Date:May 15, 1886
Court:Supreme Court of Illinois

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7 N.E. 55 (Ill. 1886)

118 Ill. 41



LONDERGAN, by his Next Friend.

Supreme Court of Illinois

May 15, 1886

Appeal from appellate court, Second district.

MULKEY, C.J., SHOPE and MAGRUDER, JJ., dissent.

[118 Ill. 45] CRAIG, J.

This was an action on the case, brought by Thomas Londergan against the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company, to recover for an injury received on the eighteenth day of December, 1883, resulting in the loss of an arm. The declaration contains but one count, in which it is averred that the defendant owned and operated a railroad from Chicago to Rock Island, through the village of Bureau Junction, and also a branch from Bureau Junction to Peoria; that on the eighteenth day of December, 1883, plaintiff was in the employ of the defendant as a brakeman on freight trains, and at way stations, such as Bureau Junction, to assist in switching, coupling, and uncoupling cars; and that while so employed it was the duty of the defendant, to enable engines and cars at said Bureau Junction to pass from one track to another, to provide a safe turn-out, and properly block the joints thereof, so as to enable plaintiff, and others employed in like service, to perform the same with reasonable safety. Yet the defendant, not regarding, etc., did not use proper care and skill in constructing its turn-out at said Bureau Junction from its main line to said branch railroad, and neglected to properly block the joints thereof; and the plaintiff avers that,

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at the date above mentioned, at said Bureau Junction, while the plaintiff was engaged in coupling or uncoupling cars, and was using due care and caution, and without notice of the defective manner in which said turn-out had been constructed, and [118 Ill. 46] the dangerous way in which the joints had been left, and of which the defendant had due notice, the foot of the plaintiff became fastened in the joint of said turn-out, when a car of the defendant then in motion threw him upon the track of the railroad, and the wheels of a car of the defendant passed over his left arm, crushing the same so that it had to be amputated, and the plaintiff was thereby greatly hurt, bruised, and became lame and disordered, and so remained hitherto, during all which he suffered great pain, etc.

It will be observed that the only negligence upon which the plaintiff bases his right of recovery against the railroad company is that the switch at Bureau Junction in which plaintiff's foot was caught, was unblocked. It will only be necessary to look at the evidence introduced on the trial for the purpose of determining whether the instructions given for the plaintiff presented the law to the jury which should govern the case as made by the testimony. The evidence introduced in regard to the use of locks in switches is not voluminous. The first witness called upon this question was the general agent of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad at Peoria. He testified that the frogs and parts of tracks where one track diverges from another are nearly all blocked in the company's yard in Peoria. Blocks have been in a year or a year and a half. The same is the case in the Burlington road in Galesburg and Burlington. Many of the guards and frogs of the Peoria & Pekin Union are blocked in Peoria. The witness stated that he had been at Peoria three years, and no one had been injured...

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