Blauvelt v. Erie R. Co.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
Writing for the CourtVOORHEES, J.
Citation78 A. 1048,81 N.J.L. 142
Decision Date27 February 1911
PartiesBLAUVELT v. ERIE R. CO.
78 A. 1048
81 N.J.L. 142

BLAUVELT
v.
ERIE R. CO.

Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Feb. 27, 1911.


Syllabus by the Court.

Certiorari to Court of Common Pleas, Morris County.

Action by John Blauvelt against the Erie Railroad Company. Judgment for plaintiff, and defendant brings certiorari. Reversed.

Argued November term, 1910, before GARRISON, SWAYZE, and VOORHEES, JJ.

Joshua R. Salmon and Elmer King, for plaintiff.

Collins & Corbin, for prosecutor.

VOORHEES, J. This writ of certiorari has removed for review a judgment entered for the plaintiff on the verdict of a jury, in the court of common pleas, on appeal from the small cause court. The litigation was brought to recover damages for injuries to property received at a grade railway crossing.

The alleged negligence of the defendant was the failure to give the statutory signals by bell or whistle. The statutory requirements (P. L. 1903, p. 663, § 35) are in the alternative, either that the bell shall be rung or the whistle blown, not cumulative requiring both to be done. N. Y., etc., R. R. Co. v. Leaman, 54 N. J. Law, 202, 23 Atl. 691, 15 L. R. A. 426. If, therefore, the plaintiff failed to prove that both signals were omitted, he has failed in his proof. The proof

that the crossing signal by whistle was given was the subject of the positive testimony of both engineer and fireman. The plaintiff's evidence is: "I did not. hear any bell or whistles. There was a very strong wind that morning from the west, that blew the sound away from me." And on cross-examination he repeated: "Yes; there was a strong wind blowing. Q. So that would confuse any sound? A. Yes; you could not hear any sound scarcely." This constitutes the whole testimony concerning the giving the statutory signals by whistle. The plaintiff's testimony in rebuttal refers alone to the warning whistle just before the collision, not to that prescribed by statute. Undoubtedly the condition of the wind described by the plaintiff made it unlikely that he could have board the whistle, bad it blown. There was therefore no conflict of evidence requiring the submission of that fact to the Jury. Eissing v. Erie, 73 N. J. Law, 343, 63 Atl. 856; Holmes v. P. R. R., 74 N. J. Law, 469, 66 Atl. 412; Weiss v. Central R. R., 76 N. J. Law, 348, 69 Atl. 1087; Howe v. Northern R. R., 78 N. J. Law, 683, 76 Atl. 979. The motion to direct a verdict for the defendant should have prevailed on this ground.

But, assuming that the defendant's...

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5 practice notes
  • Columbus & Greenville R. Co. v. Lee, 26535
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • 27 Febrero 1928
    ...P. 607; 30 N. J. L. 188; 63 A. 856; 63 N.Y. 622; 21 N.W. 241; Artz v. Railroad Co., 34 Ia. 154; Gunby v. Colo. & S. R. R. Co., 235 P. 556; 78 A. 1048; 69 A. 1087; 61 A. 903; 90 N.E. 1116. The fact that the witness did not hear crossing signals will not avail, as against the positive testimo......
  • Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway v. Starks, 7,908
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 6 Noviembre 1914
    ...350] App. 74, 85 N.E. 369, 88 N.E. 623; Stackus v. New York, etc., R. Co. (1880), 79 N.Y. 464; Blauvelt v. Erie, etc., R. Co. (1911), 81 N.J.L. 142, 78 A. 1048; Brickell v. New York, etc., R. Co. (1890), 120 N.Y. 290, 24 N.E. 449, 17 Am. St. 648; New York, etc., R. Co. v. Kellam (1887), 83 ......
  • Rapp v. Public Service Coordinated Transport, No. A--465
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • 11 Septiembre 1951
    ...N.J.L. 343, 63 A. 856 (Sup.Ct.1906); Holmes v. Pennsylvania R.R. Co., 74 N.J.L. 469, 66 A. 412 (E. & A.1907); Blauvelt v. Erie R.R. Co., 81 N.J.L. 142, 78 A. 1048 (Sup.Ct.1911). In the case of Cowell v. Pennsylvania R.R. Co., 101 N.J.L. 507, 129 A. 136, 137 (E. & A.1925) the court said, 'Th......
  • Mellon v. Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines, PENNSYLVANIA-READING
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • 25 Junio 1951
    ...requirements are in the alternative, Page 424 either that the bell shall be rung or the whistle blown, citing Blauvelt v. Erie R.R. Co., 81 N.J.L. 142, 78 A. 1048 (Sup.Ct.1911), and that the choice of the signal to be given lay solely within its The statute, however, very clearly specifies ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Columbus & Greenville R. Co. v. Lee, 26535
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • 27 Febrero 1928
    ...P. 607; 30 N. J. L. 188; 63 A. 856; 63 N.Y. 622; 21 N.W. 241; Artz v. Railroad Co., 34 Ia. 154; Gunby v. Colo. & S. R. R. Co., 235 P. 556; 78 A. 1048; 69 A. 1087; 61 A. 903; 90 N.E. 1116. The fact that the witness did not hear crossing signals will not avail, as against the positive testimo......
  • Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway v. Starks, 7,908
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 6 Noviembre 1914
    ...350] App. 74, 85 N.E. 369, 88 N.E. 623; Stackus v. New York, etc., R. Co. (1880), 79 N.Y. 464; Blauvelt v. Erie, etc., R. Co. (1911), 81 N.J.L. 142, 78 A. 1048; Brickell v. New York, etc., R. Co. (1890), 120 N.Y. 290, 24 N.E. 449, 17 Am. St. 648; New York, etc., R. Co. v. Kellam (1887), 83 ......
  • Rapp v. Public Service Coordinated Transport, No. A--465
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • 11 Septiembre 1951
    ...N.J.L. 343, 63 A. 856 (Sup.Ct.1906); Holmes v. Pennsylvania R.R. Co., 74 N.J.L. 469, 66 A. 412 (E. & A.1907); Blauvelt v. Erie R.R. Co., 81 N.J.L. 142, 78 A. 1048 (Sup.Ct.1911). In the case of Cowell v. Pennsylvania R.R. Co., 101 N.J.L. 507, 129 A. 136, 137 (E. & A.1925) the court said, 'Th......
  • Mellon v. Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines, PENNSYLVANIA-READING
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • 25 Junio 1951
    ...requirements are in the alternative, Page 424 either that the bell shall be rung or the whistle blown, citing Blauvelt v. Erie R.R. Co., 81 N.J.L. 142, 78 A. 1048 (Sup.Ct.1911), and that the choice of the signal to be given lay solely within its The statute, however, very clearly specifies ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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