Chicago Alton Railroad Company v. Joseph Wagner, No. 375

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHughes
Citation60 L.Ed. 379,36 S.Ct. 135,239 U.S. 452
PartiesCHICAGO & ALTON RAILROAD COMPANY, Plff. in Err., v. JOSEPH M. WAGNER
Decision Date20 December 1915
Docket NumberNo. 375

239 U.S. 452
36 S.Ct. 135
60 L.Ed. 379
CHICAGO & ALTON RAILROAD COMPANY, Plff. in Err.,

v.

JOSEPH M. WAGNER.

No. 375.
Submitted November 29, 1915.
Decided December 20, 1915.

Messrs. Silas H. Strawn, Edward W. Everett, and J. Sidney Condit for plaintiff in error.

Page 453

Mr. James C. McShane for defendant in error.

[Argument of Counsel from page 453 intentionally omitted]

Page 454

Mr. Justice Hughes delivered the opinion of the court:

Joseph M. Wagner brought this action in the superior court of Cook county, Illinois, against the Chicago & Alton Railroad Company to recover damages for injuries alleged to have been sustained through its negligence. At the time of the accident, he was employed by the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad Company as a conductor in charge of a switching crew, and was engaged in moving cars over a track of the Chicago & Alton Railroad Company in Chicago,—the track being used by the Burlington company under an arrangement with the Alton company. He was injured by striking a semaphore post which, as he alleged, was in dangerous proximity to the track. The Burlington company was not a party to the suit. In defense, the Alton company proved that Wagner was a member of the relief department of the Burlington company, to which the employees of that company made monthly contributions, and that in his agreement with that company it was provided that his acceptance 'of benefits for injury' should operate 'as a release and satisfaction of all claims against said company and all other companies associated therewith in the administration of their relief departments, for damages arising from or growing out of said injury.' The Alton company was not thus associated with the Burlington company, and the release by its terms did not run to it. But it was insisted that the Burlington company was

Page 455

joint tort feasor with the Alton company, and hence that release to the former would operate to discharge the latter. It was found by the state court that after the injury Wagner had accepted from the relief fund of the Burlington company the sum of $1,231 as benefits, and that there had been paid in his behalf for hospital bills, etc., $1,349.59; and it was further found that the contribution of the Burlington company did not exceed 15 per cent of this amount, or $387.09. In rebuttal (and over the defendant's exception) Wagner introduced evidence that at the time of the accident he was engaged as the employee of the Burlington company in interstate commerce, and he contended that the agreement for the release of that company through acceptance of benefits from the relief fund was invalid under § 5 of the employers' liability act (35 Stat. at L. 65, chap. 149, Comp. Stat. 1913, § 8661). The trial court refused to give a peremptory instruction in favor of the Alton company, and also denied a request to instruct the jury, in substance, that if it found that Wagner had accepted payment from the Burlington company in satisfaction of his claim against that company arising from the injury, such acceptance would be a bar to this action against the Alton company. The court did charge that if the Alton company was found to be guilty, it should not be credited with any sum which the Burlington company had paid. To these rulings the Alton company excepted. A verdict was rendered against it for $15,000, and judgment was entered accordingly. The appellate court, first...

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24 practice notes
  • Francis v. Terminal Railroad Assn., No. 39573.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 8, 1946
    ...and judicial." Webster's New International Dictionary. Robinson v. B. & O.R. Co., 237 U.S. 84, 59 L. Ed. 849; C. & A.R. Co. v. Wagner, 239 U.S. 452, 60 L. Ed. 379; Hull v. Philadelphia & Reading R. Co., 252 U.S. 475, 64 L. Ed. 67. (3) Originally the lessor-lessee rule was founded upon the t......
  • Gieseking v. Litchfield & Madison Ry. Co., No. 33850.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 23, 1936
    ...Gilvary v. Railroad Co., 292 U.S. 1123; Southern Ry. Co. v. Railroad Comm., 236 U.S. 439; Wagner v. Railroad Co., 265 Ill. 245, affirmed 239 U.S. 452; Ross v. Schooley, 247 Fed. 290. (a) Plaintiff was employed in interstate commerce at the time he was injured. Vandalia Railroad Co. v. Holla......
  • Graham v. Thompson, No. 39898.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • May 27, 1948
    ...Louis, 339 Mo. 562, 98 S.W. (2d) 616; Giesking v. Litchfield & M. Ry. Co., 339 Mo. 1, 94 S.W. (2d) 375; Chicago & Alton R. Co. v. Wagner, 239 U.S. 452, 36 S. Ct. 135; Friedman v. Vandalia R. Co., 254 Fed. 292; 51 C.J., sec. 1167, pp. 1105-6. (2) Under all of the evidence it was not establis......
  • Zenith Radio Corp v. Hazeltine Research, Inc, No. 80
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 24, 1971
    ...this rule in cases where the rights of the litigants were controlled by state or federal common law, see Chicago & Alton R. Co. v. Wagner, 239 U.S. 452, 456—457, 36 S.Ct. 135, 136—137, 60 L.Ed. 379 (1915); United States v. Price, 9 How. 83, 92, 13 L.Ed. 56 (1850); Hunt v. Rhodes, I Pet. 1, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
24 cases
  • Francis v. Terminal Railroad Assn., No. 39573.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 8, 1946
    ...and judicial." Webster's New International Dictionary. Robinson v. B. & O.R. Co., 237 U.S. 84, 59 L. Ed. 849; C. & A.R. Co. v. Wagner, 239 U.S. 452, 60 L. Ed. 379; Hull v. Philadelphia & Reading R. Co., 252 U.S. 475, 64 L. Ed. 67. (3) Originally the lessor-lessee rule was founded upon the t......
  • Gieseking v. Litchfield & Madison Ry. Co., No. 33850.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 23, 1936
    ...Gilvary v. Railroad Co., 292 U.S. 1123; Southern Ry. Co. v. Railroad Comm., 236 U.S. 439; Wagner v. Railroad Co., 265 Ill. 245, affirmed 239 U.S. 452; Ross v. Schooley, 247 Fed. 290. (a) Plaintiff was employed in interstate commerce at the time he was injured. Vandalia Railroad Co. v. Holla......
  • Graham v. Thompson, No. 39898.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • May 27, 1948
    ...Louis, 339 Mo. 562, 98 S.W. (2d) 616; Giesking v. Litchfield & M. Ry. Co., 339 Mo. 1, 94 S.W. (2d) 375; Chicago & Alton R. Co. v. Wagner, 239 U.S. 452, 36 S. Ct. 135; Friedman v. Vandalia R. Co., 254 Fed. 292; 51 C.J., sec. 1167, pp. 1105-6. (2) Under all of the evidence it was not establis......
  • Zenith Radio Corp v. Hazeltine Research, Inc, No. 80
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 24, 1971
    ...this rule in cases where the rights of the litigants were controlled by state or federal common law, see Chicago & Alton R. Co. v. Wagner, 239 U.S. 452, 456—457, 36 S.Ct. 135, 136—137, 60 L.Ed. 379 (1915); United States v. Price, 9 How. 83, 92, 13 L.Ed. 56 (1850); Hunt v. Rhodes, I Pet. 1, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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