Davis v. Chi., R. I. & P. Ry. Co., No. 19815[212].

CourtSupreme Court of Minnesota (US)
Writing for the CourtHOLT
Citation158 N.W. 911,134 Minn. 49
PartiesDAVIS v. CHICAGO, R. I. & P. RY. CO.
Decision Date14 July 1916
Docket NumberNo. 19815[212].

134 Minn. 49
158 N.W. 911

DAVIS
v.
CHICAGO, R. I. & P. RY.
CO.

No. 19815[212].

Supreme Court of Minnesota.

July 14, 1916.


Appeal from District Court, Ramsey County; Hascal R. Brill, Judge.

Action by Leo Davis, a minor, by the Capital Trust Company, his guardian ad litem, against the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company. A verdict was directed for defendant, and plaintiff appeals. Reversed.


Syllabus by the Court

The evidence considered, and held to make it a question for the jury whether an unintentional delay of a few hours in plaintiff's work, pertaining to interstate commerce transportation removed him, from the protection of the federal Employers' Liability Act (Act April 22, 1908, c. 149, 35 Stat. 65 [U. S. Comp. St. 1913, §§ 8657-8665]).

While the evidence tending to prove negligence is weak, we are not disposed to hold upon this appeal that it is so clearly insufficient that the directed verdict should be sustained on that ground, when not sustainable on the one assigned by the trial court.


[158 N.W. 912]

Samuel A. Anderson, of St. Paul, for appellant.

Stringer & Seymour, of St. Paul, for respondent.


HOLT, J.

[1] This action to recover damages for personal injuries is brought by plaintiff against his employer, a railway company, doing business as a common carrier. The evidence justified a finding that plaintiff, up until 10:30 a. m. of the day of his injury, was engaged in the duties of a rear brakeman on a railway freight train of the defendant, which train was carrying interstate commerce. The legal proposition is whether plaintiff, at the time of his injury, some hours later, was under the protection of the federal Employers' Liability Act. If, as a matter of law, he was not, concededly the trial court should be sustained in directing a verdict for defendant.

The freight train, upon which plaintiff was working as rear brakeman, left Council Bluffs, Iowa, at 11:55 p. m. October 25, 1914, and arrived at Valley Junction, the same state, at 10:30 a. m. the next day. That was the end of plaintiff's run. He still had these duties to perform: Take down the markers (the lanterns upon the caboose); clean and fill eight lamps and lanterns; sweep out the caboose; register in; and, in this instance, get a supply of kerosene from the storehouse. The testimony is clear that these duties could easily be performed in an hour. As soon as the caboose was set in on its proper track, plaintiff took in the markers and obtained the needed kerosene, but then, instead of pursuing his tasks, he sat down to read, fell asleep, and did not awake until 2:30 p. m. He was through an hour later, and then started easterly through the yard, a usual route for employés to take in leaving their work, walking between two tracks. The space between was sufficient so that a person, being mindful of the situation, could avoid being struck by passing locomotives. Plaintiff intended to keep in the clear, but unconsciously swerved towards the track upon which a locomotive with the tender in front was then approaching him from behind. He was hit and his left foot crushed. The trial court was of the opinion that the proof made defendant's negligence a jury question, but stated:

‘I think it must be held in this case that the plaintiff was not engaged in interstate commerce at the time of his injury. I think he cannot prolong the relation at his own will or convenience. I think that he had terminated that relation when he exceeded the reasonable time in which to complete his work. That is, where he abandoned the work, as he did, for several hours after his arrival at the point of his destination.’

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8 practice notes
  • Evans v. Santa Fe Ry. Co., No. 35790.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • September 14, 1939
    ...his work at the time but was leaving his place of work under his foreman's instructions. M.P. v. Craft, 69 Fed. 124; Davis v. Rock Island, 158 N.W. 911; State ex rel. Ambrose v. Trimble, 263 S.W. 840; Greenwell v. C., M. & St. P. Ry. Co., 224 S.W. 404; Kidd v. C., R.I. & P. Ry. Co., 274 S.W......
  • Young v. New York, NH & HR Co., No. 100.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • December 10, 1934
    ...v. Oregon R. & N. Co., 196 F. 336 (C. C. A. 9); Easter v. Virginian R. Co., 76 W. Va. 383, 86 S. E. 37; Davis v. Chicago, etc., R. Co., 134 Minn. 49, 158 N. W. 911; Louisville, etc., R. Co. v. Walker, 162 Ky. 209, 172 S. W. 517; Ewig v. Chicago, etc., R. Co., 167 Wis. 597, 167 N. W. 442, 16......
  • Westcott v. Chi. Great W. R. Co., No. 23543.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • December 14, 1923
    ...narrow a construction of the Liability Act to hold that he was not then employed in interstate commerce. Davis v. C., R. I. & P. Ry. Co., 134 Minn. 49, 158 N. W. 911;Stavros v. C., M. & St. P. Ry. Co., 151 Minn. 251, 186 N. W. 942, 24 A. L. R. 630;Erie Ry. Co. v. Winfield, 244 U. S. 170, 37......
  • Westcott v. Chicago Great Western R. Co., No. 23,543.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • December 14, 1923
    ...a construction of the liability act to hold that he was not then employed in interstate commerce. Davis v. Chicago, R. I. & Pac. Ry. Co. 134 Minn. 49, 158 N. W. 911; Stavros v. Chicago, M. & St. P. Ry. Co. 151 Minn. 251, 186 N. W. 942, 24 A. L. R. 630; Erie R. Co. v. Winfield, 244 U. S. 170......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Evans v. Santa Fe Ry. Co., No. 35790.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • September 14, 1939
    ...his work at the time but was leaving his place of work under his foreman's instructions. M.P. v. Craft, 69 Fed. 124; Davis v. Rock Island, 158 N.W. 911; State ex rel. Ambrose v. Trimble, 263 S.W. 840; Greenwell v. C., M. & St. P. Ry. Co., 224 S.W. 404; Kidd v. C., R.I. & P. Ry. Co., 274 S.W......
  • Young v. New York, NH & HR Co., No. 100.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • December 10, 1934
    ...v. Oregon R. & N. Co., 196 F. 336 (C. C. A. 9); Easter v. Virginian R. Co., 76 W. Va. 383, 86 S. E. 37; Davis v. Chicago, etc., R. Co., 134 Minn. 49, 158 N. W. 911; Louisville, etc., R. Co. v. Walker, 162 Ky. 209, 172 S. W. 517; Ewig v. Chicago, etc., R. Co., 167 Wis. 597, 167 N. W. 442, 16......
  • Westcott v. Chi. Great W. R. Co., No. 23543.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • December 14, 1923
    ...narrow a construction of the Liability Act to hold that he was not then employed in interstate commerce. Davis v. C., R. I. & P. Ry. Co., 134 Minn. 49, 158 N. W. 911;Stavros v. C., M. & St. P. Ry. Co., 151 Minn. 251, 186 N. W. 942, 24 A. L. R. 630;Erie Ry. Co. v. Winfield, 244 U. S. 170, 37......
  • Westcott v. Chicago Great Western R. Co., No. 23,543.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • December 14, 1923
    ...a construction of the liability act to hold that he was not then employed in interstate commerce. Davis v. Chicago, R. I. & Pac. Ry. Co. 134 Minn. 49, 158 N. W. 911; Stavros v. Chicago, M. & St. P. Ry. Co. 151 Minn. 251, 186 N. W. 942, 24 A. L. R. 630; Erie R. Co. v. Winfield, 244 U. S. 170......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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