Boldt v. Pennsylvania Co, No. 62

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMcREYNOLDS
Citation38 S.Ct. 139,245 U.S. 441,62 L.Ed. 385
PartiesBOLDT v. PENNSYLVANIA R. CO
Decision Date07 January 1918
Docket NumberNo. 62

245 U.S. 441
38 S.Ct. 139
62 L.Ed. 385
BOLDT

v.

PENNSYLVANIA R. CO.

No. 62.
Argued Nov. 16 and 19, 1917.
Decided Jan. 7, 1918.

Page 442

Messrs. Henry W. Brush, of Buffalo, N. Y., Rufus S. Day, of Washington, D. C., Frank Gibbons, of Buffalo, N. Y., and Charles W. Dille, of Cleveland, Ohio, for plaintiff in error.

Messrs. Frederic D. McKenney and J. S. Flannery, both of Washington, D. C., for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice McREYNOLDS delivered the opinion of the court.

At Buffalo, N. Y., defendant has a yard where freight trains are made up. Cars under control of a brakeman descend by gravity to desired positions on connecting tracks which lie southward of the 'hump' or high point. A rule forbade employes from going between cars without first taking precautions not observed in the present case. Some evidence tended to show that under longcontinued practice, considered good railroading, cars (in 'strings' or 'cuts') were constantly sent down and purposely allowed to strike others with sufficient force to secure coupling, but not hard enough to injure the equipment, 'regardless of the position the men are in, putting them under obligation to take care of themselves.'

Page 443

While between cars, contrary to instructions, and assisting in an effort to adjust a faulty coupler, Edward J. Boldt, an experienced yard conductor, was killed. The coupler was at the south end of a 'string' standing on an inclined switch. Another 'string' moving down from the north hit the standing one violently and drove it against deceased and across a space of 20 feet.

Suing under the federal Employers' Liability Act, plaintiff maintained that the brakeman in control negligently permitted the moving cars to strike with too great violence; also that the company engligently failed to promulgate and enforce adequate rules to safeguard deceased while occupied about his task; and some evidence tended to support both claims. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment upon verdict for defendant after the trial court had denied motion for new trial based solely upon its refusal to give the charge specially requested by plaintiff and copied below. 218 Fed. 367, 134 C. C. A. 175.

To the general charge plaintiff made no objection whatever. In the first paragraph it declared:

'The foundation for the action is the Employers' Liability Act, which was passed by Congress in the year 1908, and which substantially provides that, if the employes of interstate railway carriers are injured while at work, on account of the negligence of the employer, or on account of the negligence of an officer or agent, or, indeed, even on account of the negligence of a fellow servant, that a recovery can be had.'

Continuing, it explained nature of the accident, relationship, responsibilities, and obligations of parties, definition and effect of contributory negligence, etc.

Concerning assumption of risk, the court said:

'Evidence has been given by other witnesses that customarily cars are sent over this 'leader' into the yard of the defendant, and into the railroad yards of other railroad companies, ad libitum; that is, they are sent freely, one after another, to classify them and to make up trains when

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210 practice notes
  • New Orleans & N.E. R. Co. v. Benson, 33160
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • October 10, 1938
    ...an experienced switchman, assumed the risk of his injury. Jackson v. So. Ry. Co., 241 U.S. 229, 60 L.Ed. 970; Boldt v. Penn. R. Co., 245 U.S. 441, 62 L.Ed. 385; [183 Miss. 174] C. & O. v. Nixon, 271 U.S. 218, 70 L.Ed. 914; C. & 0. v. Mihas, 280 U.S. 102, 74 L.Ed. 207; Gilmer v. Y. & M. V. B......
  • Webber v. Terminal Railroad Assn., No. 31177.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 19, 1934
    ...to his employment or risks caused by the master's negligence which are obvious or fully known and appreciated. Boldt v. Railroad Co., 245 U.S. 441, 38 Sup. Ct. 139, 62 L. Ed. 385; Hoch v. Railroad Co., 287 S.W. 1047. (3) Where the employee does know of the defect (arising from the employer'......
  • McNatt v. Wabash Ry. Co., No. 34916.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 30, 1937
    ...237; Southern Pac. Co. v. Berkshire, 254 U.S. 415, 65 L. Ed. 335, 41 Sup. Ct. 162; Reese v. Ry. Co., 239 U.S. 463; Boldt v. Railroad Co., 245 U.S. 441. Eagleton, Waechter, Yost, Elam & Clark for (1) The defendant's demurrers to the evidence were properly overruled, insofar as the applicabil......
  • Good v. M.-K.-T. Railroad Co., No. 32650.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • August 20, 1936
    ...known to the employee and appreciated by him or are so plainly observable that he must be presumed to know them. Boldt v. Railroad Co., 245 U.S. 441, 38 Sup. Ct. 139, 62 L. Ed. 385; Southern Pac. Railroad Co. v. Berkshire, 254 U.S. 415, 41 Sup. Ct. 162, 65 L. Ed. 335; Delaware, L. & W. Rail......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
210 cases
  • New Orleans & N.E. R. Co. v. Benson, 33160
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • October 10, 1938
    ...an experienced switchman, assumed the risk of his injury. Jackson v. So. Ry. Co., 241 U.S. 229, 60 L.Ed. 970; Boldt v. Penn. R. Co., 245 U.S. 441, 62 L.Ed. 385; [183 Miss. 174] C. & O. v. Nixon, 271 U.S. 218, 70 L.Ed. 914; C. & 0. v. Mihas, 280 U.S. 102, 74 L.Ed. 207; Gilmer v. Y. & M. V. B......
  • Webber v. Terminal Railroad Assn., No. 31177.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 19, 1934
    ...to his employment or risks caused by the master's negligence which are obvious or fully known and appreciated. Boldt v. Railroad Co., 245 U.S. 441, 38 Sup. Ct. 139, 62 L. Ed. 385; Hoch v. Railroad Co., 287 S.W. 1047. (3) Where the employee does know of the defect (arising from the employer'......
  • McNatt v. Wabash Ry. Co., No. 34916.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 30, 1937
    ...237; Southern Pac. Co. v. Berkshire, 254 U.S. 415, 65 L. Ed. 335, 41 Sup. Ct. 162; Reese v. Ry. Co., 239 U.S. 463; Boldt v. Railroad Co., 245 U.S. 441. Eagleton, Waechter, Yost, Elam & Clark for (1) The defendant's demurrers to the evidence were properly overruled, insofar as the applicabil......
  • Good v. M.-K.-T. Railroad Co., No. 32650.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • August 20, 1936
    ...known to the employee and appreciated by him or are so plainly observable that he must be presumed to know them. Boldt v. Railroad Co., 245 U.S. 441, 38 Sup. Ct. 139, 62 L. Ed. 385; Southern Pac. Railroad Co. v. Berkshire, 254 U.S. 415, 41 Sup. Ct. 162, 65 L. Ed. 335; Delaware, L. & W. Rail......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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