City of Dallas v. Jackson, B--1743

Citation450 S.W.2d 62
Decision Date21 January 1970
Docket NumberNo. B--1743,B--1743
PartiesThe CITY OF DALLAS and Dallas Transit System, Petitioners, v. Ella JACKSON, Individually, and Ethylene Johnson, Individually and As Next Friend of Willie Mae Johnson, A Minor, Respondents.
CourtSupreme Court of Texas

Burford, Ryburn & Ford, James H. Holmes, III, and Robert E. Burns, Dallas, for petitioners.

Berman & Fichtner, Jay S. Fichtner and W. W. Mitchell, II, Dallas, for respondents.

McGEE, Justice.

Plaintiffs, surviving heirs of M. C. Johnson, sought to recover damages pursuant to the provisions of the Wrongful Death Statute, Arts. 4671--4678 Vernon's Ann.Civ. Statutes of Texas. M. C. Johnson was shot and killed by Claudell Banks, another passenger, on a bus owned and operated by the Dallas Transit System, a department of the City of Dallas. The trial court rendered judgment for the plaintiffs against Claudell Banks, who did not appeal.

The trial court sustained the motion for judgment non obstante veredicto filed by the City of Dallas and Dallas Transit System, and rendered judgment that plaintiffs take nothing against these defendants. The Court of Civil Appeals (443 S.W.2d 771) held that there was no evidence of probative force to sustain the jury's answers that the bus driver was negligent in permitting Claudell Banks to enter the bus, and that such negligence was a proximate cause of the occurrence in question. We approve this holding, but the Court of Civil Appeals reversed and remanded the cause on the ground that the trial court erred in refusing to submit plaintiffs' requested issues relating to the negligence of the bus driver in failing to remove, restrain or eject Claudell Banks after he had become a passenger on the bus.

Writ of error was granted by this Court on First Point in the City of Dallas petition for writ of error:

'The Court of Civil Appeals erred in failing to affirm the trial court's judgment in its holding that the trial court should have submitted special issues to the jury concerning the restraint, removal or ejectment of Banks from the bus * * * for the reason that under the circumstances as a matter of law, the Defendants, through their employee, fulfilled their duty and obligation to provide reasonable safeguards for the protection of their passengers through the act of their employee in going for the aid of law enforcement officials.'

In Texas public transportation companies are not insurers of the safety of their passengers. The bus company, as a carrier of passengers, is under a duty to exercise such a high degree of foresight as to possible dangers and such a high degree of prudence in guarding against them, as would be used by a very cautious, prudent and competent man under the same or similar circumstances. Gulf, C. & S.F. Ry. Co. v. Conley, 113 Tex. 472, 260 S.W. 561, 32 A.L.R. 1183 (1924); International and Great Northern Railroad Co. v. Halloren, 53 Tex. 46 (1880).

We must determine whether the transit company fulfilled its legal duty to its passenger, M. C. Johnson, by the action of its bus driver in warning his passengers that they would have to 'quieten down or get off the bus' and later in stopping his bus in order to seek...

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17 cases
  • Lopez v. Southern Cal. Rapid Transit Dist.
    • United States
    • California Supreme Court
    • December 31, 1985
    ...(1975), 235 Pa.Super. 478, 344 A.2d 621, 623; Hanback v. Seaboard Coastline Railroad (D.S.C.1975) 396 F.Supp. 80, 86; City of Dallas v. Jackson (Tex.1970) 450 S.W.2d 62, 63; Rest.2d Torts, § 314A, § 315, com. c. at p. 123; Prosser & Keaton, Torts (5th ed. 1984) § 56, p. 383; 3 Michie on Car......
  • VIA Metro. Transit v. Meck
    • United States
    • Texas Supreme Court
    • June 26, 2020
    ...(Tex. [Comm'n Op.] 1935) ); see Mount Pleasant Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Lindburg , 766 S.W.2d 208, 213 (Tex. 1989) ; City of Dallas v. Jackson , 450 S.W.2d 62, 63 (Tex. 1970).VIA argues that the trial court erred by instructing the jury to apply the higher negligence duty in this case because V......
  • Trailways, Inc. v. Clark
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • June 22, 1990
    ...774 S.W.2d at 731. In Texas, public transportation companies are not insurers of the safety of their passengers. City of Dallas v. Jackson, 450 S.W.2d 62 (Tex.1970). Nevertheless, several courts have suggested that an implied contractual duty to carry passengers safely does arise and that t......
  • Estate of Lindburg v. Mount Pleasant Independent School Dist.
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • December 22, 1987
    ...that the school bus should be considered a common carrier, and as such, it would be held to a high degree of care. 1 City of Dallas v. Jackson, 450 S.W.2d 62 (Tex.1970); City of Houston v. Matthews, 605 S.W.2d 628 (Tex.Civ.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1980, writ ref'd n.r.e.); Estate of Lee, 56......
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