Chesapeake & O. Ry. Co v. Heath

CourtSupreme Court of Virginia
Citation103 Va. 64,48 S.E. 508
Decision Date22 September 1904

48 S.E. 508
103 Va. 64


Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia.

Sept 22, 1904.


1. In an action to recover damages for alleged negligence, the burden is on plaintiff to show negligence by a preponderance of the evidence.

¶ 1 See Negligence, vol. 37, Cent Dig. § 224.

2. In an action to recover damages for alleged negligence, where it appears that the injury may have resulted from one of two causes, for one of which defendant is liable, but not for the other, plaintiff cannot recover.

3. In an action to recover damages for alleged negligence, where it is just as probable that the damage was the result of one of two causes as the other, for one of which defendant is liable, but not for the other, plaintiff cannot recover.

4. In an action against a railroad to recover damages for alleged negligence in setting fire to plaintiffs flour mill by sparks from defendant's engines, evidence held insufficient to establish negligence on defendant's part.

Error to Circuit Court, Albemarle County.

Action by Thomas S. Heath against the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company. Judgment for plaintiff, and defendant brings error. Reversed.

Leake & Leake, for plaintiff in error.

D. Harman and F. C. Moore, for defendant in error.

HARRISON, 3. The defendant in error, Thomas S. Heath, instituted this action to recover of the plaintiff in error damages for the alleged negligent burning of his flour mill while operating and running certain engines and cars on its right of way through the town of Scottsville.

The mill was found to be on fire about 10 o'clock on the night of November 8, 1901. It had been closed that evening at 6 o'clock. Between the hours of 4:30 p. m. of that afternoon and 7:50 p. m., several trains passed the mill; the last arriving at 7:30 and leaving at 7:50 p. m. The mill in question was situated in the town of Scottsville, the south end of the main building being 86 feet north of the railroad track. Between the main building and the track there was a two-story shed or addition, used in connection with the mill, the south end of which was 66 feet north of the track. The mill was built of brick, and covered with slate, and the shed was covered with tin. A wooden spout, made of pine plank, which served to carry off the dust, chaff, etc., blown from the wheat by the separator, came through an attic window, and ran down the brick wall to...

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68 cases
  • Severtson v. Northern Pacific Railway Company, a Corporation
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of North Dakota
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    ...Rep. 615; Koslowski v. Thayer, 66 Minn. 150, 68 N.W. 973; Yaggle v. Allen, 24 A.D. 594, 48 N.Y.S. 827; Chesapeake & O. R. Co. v. Heath, 103 Va. 64, 48 S.E. 508; Consumers' Brewing Co. v. Doyle, 102 Va. 399, 46 S.E. 390; Dobbins v. Brown, 119 N.Y. 188, 23 N.E. 537; Kenneson v. West End Stree......
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  • Payne v. Blevins, 1881.
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    ...Chicago, M. & St. P.R. Co., 94 Wis. 270, 68 N.W. 1005. See, also, N. & W.R. Co. v. Cromer, 99 Va. 763, 40 S.E. 54; C. & O.R. Co. v. Heath, 103 Va. 64, 48 S.E. 508; Sorenson v. Menasha Paper Co., 56 Wis. 338, 14 N.W. 446; Waters-Pierce Oil Co. v. Van Elderen, 137 F. 557, 70 C.C.A. 255; Smith......
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