Erie Railroad Company v. Amy Winfield, No. 353

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtVan Devanter
Citation37 S.Ct. 556,61 L.Ed. 1057,244 U.S. 170
PartiesERIE RAILROAD COMPANY, Plff. in Err., v. AMY L. WINFIELD
Docket NumberNo. 353
Decision Date01 March 1916

244 U.S. 170
37 S.Ct. 556
61 L.Ed. 1057
ERIE RAILROAD COMPANY, Plff. in Err.,

v.

AMY L. WINFIELD.

No. 353.
Argued March 1, 1916.

Restored to docket for reargument November 13, 1916.

Reargued February 1 and 2, 1917.
Decided May 21, 1917.

Page 171

Messrs. George S. Hobart and Gilbert Collins for plaintiff in error.

Mr. Harry Lane for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice Van Devanter delivered the opinion of the court:

This was a proceeding under a New Jersey statute, chap. 95, Laws 1911, against a common carrier by railroad, engaged in both interstate and intrastate commerce, to obtain compensation for the death of one of its employees. The employee was in charge of a switch engine in the carrier's extensive yard at Croxton, New Jersey, and was switching freight cars about in the yard, especially to and from a transfer station. The cars usually contained package freight and many were moved in the course of a day's work. In some the freight was interstate, in others intrastate, and in still others it was of both classes. This was true of the cars moved on the day in question. In concluding his work for that day the employee took his engine to the place where it was to remain for the night and started to leave the yard. His route lay across some of the tracks, and while passing over one he was struck by an engine and received injuries from which he soon died. No causal negligence was alleged or proved, and both parties assumed there was none. In these circumstances the trial judge, while not doubting that the fatal injury occurred in the course of the deceased's employment, held that he was not then employed in interstate commerce, and that compensation should be made under the state statute to the widow. A judgment in her favor was entered, but was reversed by the supreme court of the state, which concluded that the deceased's employment at the time of the injury was in interstate commerce, and that the case was controlled by the Employers' Liability Act

Page 172

of Congress, which makes negligence the test of the carrier's liability or obligation. That judgment was in turn reversed by the court of errors and appeals, which, although assuming 'that the conclusion of the supreme court as to the character' of the deceased's employment at the time of the injury 'was justified by the facts proved,' regarded the Federal act as without bearing, because affording no remedy and imposing no liability in the absence of causal negligence. 88 N. J. L. 619, 96 Atl. 394.

The questions presented for decision are these: First, whether the Federal act is regulative of the carrier's...

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293 practice notes
  • Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co. v. Quick, 30276
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • June 12, 1933
    ...(Sundine's Case, 218 Mass. 1, 105 N.E. 433, L. R. A. 1916A, 318), and to his home after the day's work is done (Erie R. Co. v. Winfield, 244 U.S. 170, 37 S.Ct. 556, 61 L.Ed. 1057 [Ann. Cas. 1918B, 662]), are incidents of employment. "We have recently held that a slight deviation, even for t......
  • Mississippi Cent R. Co. v. Knight, 24615
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • March 30, 1925
    ...carrier in such commerce." Seaboard Air Line Railway Company v. Padgett, 236 U.S. 668, 59 L.Ed. 777; Erie Railroad Company v. Winfield, 244 U.S. 170, 61 L.Ed. 1057; Easter v. Virginian R. R. Co., 76 W. V. 383, 11 N.C. C. A. 101, 86 S.E. 37; Czary case, 253 U.S. 86, 64 L.Ed. 794. The most th......
  • Koonse v. Mo. Pac. Railroad Co., No. 27609.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 5, 1929
    ...at the time mentioned. [Westover v. Railroad, 6 S.W. (2d) 843; North Carolina R. Co. v. Zachary, 232 U.S. 248; Erie R. Co. v. Winfield, 244 U.S. 170.] (c) Defendant further denies that the evidence tended to establish a custom to ring, upon stopping, the engine bell before again moving the ......
  • McNatt v. Wabash Ry. Co., No. 34916.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 30, 1937
    ...85 S.W. (2d) 581; New York, C. & H. Railroad Co. v. Carr, 238 U.S. 260, 35 Sup. Ct. 780, 59 L. Ed. 1298; Erie Railroad Co. v. Winfield, 244 U.S. 170, 37 Sup. Ct. 556, 61 L. Ed. 1057; Pederson v. Railroad Co., 229 U.S. 146, 33 Sup. Ct. 648, 57 L. Ed. 1125; Louisville & N. Railroad Co. v. Par......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
286 cases
  • Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co. v. Quick, 30276
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • June 12, 1933
    ...(Sundine's Case, 218 Mass. 1, 105 N.E. 433, L. R. A. 1916A, 318), and to his home after the day's work is done (Erie R. Co. v. Winfield, 244 U.S. 170, 37 S.Ct. 556, 61 L.Ed. 1057 [Ann. Cas. 1918B, 662]), are incidents of employment. "We have recently held that a slight deviation, even for t......
  • Mississippi Cent R. Co. v. Knight, 24615
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • March 30, 1925
    ...carrier in such commerce." Seaboard Air Line Railway Company v. Padgett, 236 U.S. 668, 59 L.Ed. 777; Erie Railroad Company v. Winfield, 244 U.S. 170, 61 L.Ed. 1057; Easter v. Virginian R. R. Co., 76 W. V. 383, 11 N.C. C. A. 101, 86 S.E. 37; Czary case, 253 U.S. 86, 64 L.Ed. 794. The most th......
  • Koonse v. Mo. Pac. Railroad Co., No. 27609.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 5, 1929
    ...at the time mentioned. [Westover v. Railroad, 6 S.W. (2d) 843; North Carolina R. Co. v. Zachary, 232 U.S. 248; Erie R. Co. v. Winfield, 244 U.S. 170.] (c) Defendant further denies that the evidence tended to establish a custom to ring, upon stopping, the engine bell before again moving the ......
  • McNatt v. Wabash Ry. Co., No. 34916.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 30, 1937
    ...85 S.W. (2d) 581; New York, C. & H. Railroad Co. v. Carr, 238 U.S. 260, 35 Sup. Ct. 780, 59 L. Ed. 1298; Erie Railroad Co. v. Winfield, 244 U.S. 170, 37 Sup. Ct. 556, 61 L. Ed. 1057; Pederson v. Railroad Co., 229 U.S. 146, 33 Sup. Ct. 648, 57 L. Ed. 1125; Louisville & N. Railroad Co. v. Par......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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