Chicago, Rock Island Pacific Railway Company v. Thomas Brown, No. 230

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMcKenna
Citation33 S.Ct. 840,57 L.Ed. 1204,229 U.S. 317
Decision Date10 June 1913
Docket NumberNo. 230
PartiesCHICAGO, ROCK ISLAND, & PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY, Plff. in Err., v. THOMAS W. BROWN

229 U.S. 317
33 S.Ct. 840
57 L.Ed. 1204
CHICAGO, ROCK ISLAND, & PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY, Plff. in Err.,

v.

THOMAS W. BROWN.

No. 230.
Argued and submitted April 18, 1913.
Decided June 10, 1913.

Messrs. M. L. Bell and F. C. Dillard for plaintiff in error.

Page 318

Mr. James C. McShane for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice McKenna delivered the opinion of the court:

Error to review a judgment of the circuit court of appeals, affirming a judgment of the circuit court for the northern district of Illinois for $8,000, in an action brought by Brown, defendant in error, against the railway company, for injuries received by him while working as a switchman in the railway company's yards at Chicago.

The action was brought in the state court, and removed on the petition of the railway company to the Federal court.

The first count of the declaration is based upon a violation of the safety appliance act, and it also contains allegations based upon the employers' liability act. The company was engaged and Brown was employed in interstate commerce. The fourth count charges negligence in failing to fill up the space between a running rail and a guard rail, in which space Brown's foot caught, where it was run over and his leg cut off.

The case was tried to a jury, resulting in a verdict for $8,000 for Brown upon two counts: (a) for a violation of the safety-appliance law, (b) common-law negligence in not blocking the switches. Judgment was entered upon the verdict, which was subsequently affirmed by the circuit court of appeals. 107 C. C. A. 300, 183 Fed. 80.

For the purpose of the contentions which are made here, the following facts must be accepted to be established, as summarized in the opinion of the circuit court of appeals:

'The defendant in error, a switchman in a large switch yard, was called upon, at night, to uncouple some cars.

Page 319

Not being in touch by signal with the engineer, he conveyed his signals to another switchman in advance of him, who conveyed them to the engineer. The cars were in motion on a car track at the time. The uncoupling was to be done by means of shoving the cars in motion. Had the safety appliance been in order, this could have been accomplished by defendant in error while walking at the side of the train. But the safety appliance on the side of the car on which he was working at the time would not operate. He gave three or four jerks to it, which failed to open the coupler. He then reached in between the cars and attempted to lift the coupler pin with his fingers, which he was unable to do. He then attempted to reach the pin on the adjacent coupler, in order to lift that with his fingers. During all this time he was walking beside the cars, which were moving slowly. The pin-lifting rod on the other car projected not towards him, but away from him; and as he was reaching for the coupler pin on this adjacent coupler, his foot slipped, and a low brake beam striking his foot, shoved it into an unblocked guard rail, where it was run over and his leg cut off. Had he, under these circumstances, abandoned the uncoupling...

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84 practice notes
  • Kimberling v. Wabash Ry. Co., No. 32531.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 30, 1935
    ...cars, sustains the charge of violation of the Safety Appliance Act. 45 U.S.C.A., secs. 1-8, 51-59; C., R.I. & P. Railroad Co. v. Brown, 229 U.S. 317, 33 Sup. Ct. 840, 57 L. Ed. 1204; San Antonio & A.P. Railroad Co. v. Wagner, 241 U.S. 476, 36 Sup. Ct. 626, 60 L. Ed. 1110; Minneapolis & St. ......
  • McAllister v. Terminal Railway Co., No. 27144.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • March 5, 1930
    ...work at any time sustains a charge of negligence. [Atlantic City Railroad Co. v. Parker, 242 U.S. 56; Chicago etc. Railroad Co. v. Brown, 229 U.S. 317; Chicago, etc. Railroad Co. v. United States, 220 U.S. 559; St. Louis etc. Railroad Co. v. Taylor, 210 U.S. 281.] In Philadelphia & R. Ry. C......
  • Alabama Great Southern R. Co. v. Cornett, 6 Div. 322
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 22, 1925
    ...required or necessary held to sustain a charge of negligence or failure of statutory duty in the premises (Chicago, etc., Co. v. Brown, 229 U.S. 317, 33 S.Ct. 840, 57 L.Ed. 1204; C., B. & Q.R. Co. v. United States, 220 U.S. 559, 31 S.Ct. 612, 55 L.Ed. 582; St. L., etc., Co. v. Taylor, 210 U......
  • United Transp. Union v. Lewis, No. 81-2307
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • June 17, 1983
    ...385-86, 70 S.Ct. 200, 202, 94 L.Ed. 187 (1949) (accident resulted from "breaking of coupler"); Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Ry. v. Brown, 229 U.S. 317, 319, 33 S.Ct. 840, 57 L.Ed. 1204 (1913) (safety appliance "would not operate"); Johnson v. Southern Pacific Ry., supra, 196 U.S. at 7, 25 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
84 cases
  • Kimberling v. Wabash Ry. Co., No. 32531.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 30, 1935
    ...cars, sustains the charge of violation of the Safety Appliance Act. 45 U.S.C.A., secs. 1-8, 51-59; C., R.I. & P. Railroad Co. v. Brown, 229 U.S. 317, 33 Sup. Ct. 840, 57 L. Ed. 1204; San Antonio & A.P. Railroad Co. v. Wagner, 241 U.S. 476, 36 Sup. Ct. 626, 60 L. Ed. 1110; Minneapolis & St. ......
  • McAllister v. Terminal Railway Co., No. 27144.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • March 5, 1930
    ...work at any time sustains a charge of negligence. [Atlantic City Railroad Co. v. Parker, 242 U.S. 56; Chicago etc. Railroad Co. v. Brown, 229 U.S. 317; Chicago, etc. Railroad Co. v. United States, 220 U.S. 559; St. Louis etc. Railroad Co. v. Taylor, 210 U.S. 281.] In Philadelphia & R. Ry. C......
  • Alabama Great Southern R. Co. v. Cornett, 6 Div. 322
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 22, 1925
    ...required or necessary held to sustain a charge of negligence or failure of statutory duty in the premises (Chicago, etc., Co. v. Brown, 229 U.S. 317, 33 S.Ct. 840, 57 L.Ed. 1204; C., B. & Q.R. Co. v. United States, 220 U.S. 559, 31 S.Ct. 612, 55 L.Ed. 582; St. L., etc., Co. v. Taylor, 210 U......
  • United Transp. Union v. Lewis, No. 81-2307
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • June 17, 1983
    ...385-86, 70 S.Ct. 200, 202, 94 L.Ed. 187 (1949) (accident resulted from "breaking of coupler"); Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Ry. v. Brown, 229 U.S. 317, 319, 33 S.Ct. 840, 57 L.Ed. 1204 (1913) (safety appliance "would not operate"); Johnson v. Southern Pacific Ry., supra, 196 U.S. at 7, 25 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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