79 N.Y. 72, Kellogg v. New York Cent. & H.R.R. Co.

Citation:79 N.Y. 72
Party Name:SOPHIA KELLOGG, Executrix, etc., Appellant, v. THE NEW YORK CENTRAL AND HUDSON RIVER RAILROAD COMPANY, Respondent.
Case Date:November 25, 1879
Court:New York Court of Appeals
 
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Page 72

79 N.Y. 72

SOPHIA KELLOGG, Executrix, etc., Appellant,

v.

THE NEW YORK CENTRAL AND HUDSON RIVER RAILROAD COMPANY, Respondent.

New York Court of Appeal

November 25, 1879

         Argued Nov. 13, 1879.

Page 73

         COUNSEL

         John H. Martindale, for appellant. Evidence that the life of plaintiff's testator was insured was incompetent and immaterial. (38 Barb., 589; 34 N.Y. 208; 72 Id., 26-32; Althorp v. Warner, 2 Hilt., 344.) Negligence cannot be imputed to the testator because he did not look where he could not see the approaching train. (Dyer v. Erie Rw. Co., 71 N.Y. 236; Massoth v. D. and H. C. Co., 64 Id., 529; 47 Id., 400; Bull's Case, 31 Id., 314; Stokes v. Saltonstall, 13 Pet. [ U. S.], 181.) The question of the testator's negligence was for the jury. (Ernst's Case, 35 N.Y. 26, 27;

Page 74

Weber's Case, 58 Id., 457; 17 Wall., 357; 71 N.Y. 185.)

         W. H. Adams, for respondent. Plaintiff should have been nonsuited on the ground of contributory negligence. (Hackford, Admr., v. N.Y. C. and H. R. R. R. Co., 53 N.Y. 654; Wilds v. H. R. R. R. Co., 24 Id., 430; Wilcox v. R. and W. R. R. Co., 39 Id., 358; Havens v. Erie Rw. Co., 45 Id., 296; Gorton v. Erie Rw. Co., 45 Id., 660; Reynolds v. N.Y. C. and H. R. R. R. Co., 58 Id., 248; McGrath v. N.Y. C. and H. R. R. R. Co., 59 Id., 468; Mitchell v. N.Y. C. and H. R. R. R. Co., 64 Id., 655; Cordell, Admrx., v. N.Y. C. and H. R. R. R. Co., 8 W. Dig., 74; Salter, Admrx., v. U. and B. R. R. R. Co., 8 Id., 188.) The presumption that the testator did look in both directions does not supply the place of proof. (Reynolds v. N.Y. C. and H. R. R. R. Co., 58 N.Y. 248; Cordell v. N.Y. C. and H. R. R. R. Co., 8 W. Dig., 74.) Proof that the testator's life was insured was competent, as the plaintiff could only recover such actual pecuniary damages as have been sustained by the next of kin of the person killed. (Laws of 1870, chap. 78; McIntyre v. N.Y. C. R. R. Co., 37 N.Y. 287; Tilly v. H. R. R. R. Co., 24 Id., 471.)

         EARL, J.

         Upon the trial of this action the court denied the motion of the defendant to nonsuit the plaintiff upon the ground that the evidence failed to show any negligence on its part, and upon the ground that it did show contributory negligence on the part of the deceased.

         The only negligence on the part of the defendant submitted to the jury was its omission to ring the engine bell at the crossing. While there was a great...

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