Frese v. Chicago Co, No. 27

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHOLMES
Citation44 S.Ct. 1,68 L.Ed. 131,263 U.S. 1
Decision Date15 October 1923
Docket NumberNo. 27
PartiesFRESE v. CHICAGO, B. & Q. R. CO

263 U.S. 1
44 S.Ct. 1
68 L.Ed. 131
FRESE

v.

CHICAGO, B. & Q. R. CO.

No. 27.
Argued Oct. 3, 1923.
Decided Oct. 15, 1923.

Mr. John G. Parkinson, of St. Joseph, Mo., for petitioner.

Page 2

Mr. M. G. Roberts, of St. Louis, Mo., for respondent.

Mr. Justice HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is an action in Missouri under the federal Employers' Liability Act (Comp. St. §§ 8657-8665) for the death of the plaintiff's (petitioner's) intestate caused by a collision in Illinois between engines of the defendant and the Wabash Railroad Company at a grade crossing. The deceased, Frese, was the engineer in charge of the defendant's engine. A statute of Illinois required that——

'All trains running on any railroad in this state, when approaching a crossing with another railroad upon the same level, or when approaching a swing or drawbridge, in use as such, shall be brought to a full stop before reaching the same, and within eight hundred (800) feet therefrom, and the engineer or other person in charge of the engine attached to the train shall positively ascertain that the way is clear and that the train can safely resume its course before proceeding to pass the bridge or crossing.' Hurd's Rev. St. Ill. 1921, c. 114, § 75.

See Southern Ry. Co. v. King, 217 U. S. 524, 30 Sup. Ct. 594, 54 L. Ed. 868.

Frese brought his train to a stop somewhat over two hundred feet from the crossing and the Wabash train stopped at about three hundred feet from it. But the view of the

Page 3

Wabash track from the Burlington was obstructed intermittently until the Wabash track was reached. The two trains did not discover each other, but started on again and collided, killing Frese. The Supreme Court of Missouri held that as the engine was under the control of the engineer who was killed, the statute of Illinois imposed upon him the imperative duty positively to ascertain that the way was clear before entering upon the crossing; that if he had done so he would not have been killed, and that the plaintiff could not recover. Judgment was ordered for the defendant. 290 Mo. 501, 235 S. W. 97.

The plaintiff contends that there was evidence of contributory negligence on the part of the fireman, Savage, and therefore that even if Frese was negligent that would not be a bar to this action under the Employers' Liability Act. But the only evidence as to the fireman came from a man who was standing on the ground as the engine passed him. He says that it looked...

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136 practice notes
  • New Orleans & N.E. R. Co. v. Benson, 33160
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • October 10, 1938
    ...on other members of crew, and plaintiff's negligence bars recovery. G. N. R. Co. v. Wiles, 240 U.S. 444; Frese v. C. B. & Q. R. Co., 263 U.S. 1; Davis v. Kennedy, 266 U.S. 147, 69 L.Ed. 212; U. V. R. Co. v. Caldine, 278 U.S. 139, 73 L.Ed. 224; Cain v. R. R. Co., 75 F.2d 103; L. & N. R. Co. ......
  • Koonse v. Mo. Pac. Railroad Co., No. 27609.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 5, 1929
    ...his own carelessness, unaffected by and independent of any negligence of appellant. Ry. Co. v. Wiles, 240 U.S. 444; Frese v. Railroad Co., 263 U.S. 1; Davis v. Kennedy, 266 U.S. 147. (4) The purpose for which deceased alighted from the train, if he did so, was known only to him. He did not,......
  • McNatt v. Wabash Ry. Co., No. 34916.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 30, 1937
    ...62 S.W. (2d) 475; O'Donnell v. Railroad Co., 324 Mo. 1097; Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Co. v. Davis, 279 U.S. 34; Frese v. Railroad Co., 263 U.S. 1: Davis v. Kennedy, 266 U.S. 147; Unadilla Ry. Co. v. Caldine, 278 U.S. 139; Paster v. Penn. Railroad Co., 43 Fed. (2d) 910; Southern Ry. Co. v......
  • Good v. M.-K.-T. Railroad Co., No. 32650.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • August 20, 1936
    ...which would have prevented the accident. Unadilla Valley Ry. Co. v. Caldine, 278 U.S. 139, 73 L. Ed. 225; Frese, Admx., v. Railroad Co., 263 U.S. 1, 68 L. Ed. 131; Davis v. Kennedy, 266 U.S. 147, 69 L. Ed. 212; Great Northern Ry. Co. v. Wiles, 240 U.S. 444, 36 Sup. Ct. 406, 60 L. Ed. 732. (......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
136 cases
  • New Orleans & N.E. R. Co. v. Benson, 33160
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • October 10, 1938
    ...on other members of crew, and plaintiff's negligence bars recovery. G. N. R. Co. v. Wiles, 240 U.S. 444; Frese v. C. B. & Q. R. Co., 263 U.S. 1; Davis v. Kennedy, 266 U.S. 147, 69 L.Ed. 212; U. V. R. Co. v. Caldine, 278 U.S. 139, 73 L.Ed. 224; Cain v. R. R. Co., 75 F.2d 103; L. & N. R. Co. ......
  • Koonse v. Mo. Pac. Railroad Co., No. 27609.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 5, 1929
    ...his own carelessness, unaffected by and independent of any negligence of appellant. Ry. Co. v. Wiles, 240 U.S. 444; Frese v. Railroad Co., 263 U.S. 1; Davis v. Kennedy, 266 U.S. 147. (4) The purpose for which deceased alighted from the train, if he did so, was known only to him. He did not,......
  • McNatt v. Wabash Ry. Co., No. 34916.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 30, 1937
    ...62 S.W. (2d) 475; O'Donnell v. Railroad Co., 324 Mo. 1097; Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Co. v. Davis, 279 U.S. 34; Frese v. Railroad Co., 263 U.S. 1: Davis v. Kennedy, 266 U.S. 147; Unadilla Ry. Co. v. Caldine, 278 U.S. 139; Paster v. Penn. Railroad Co., 43 Fed. (2d) 910; Southern Ry. Co. v......
  • Good v. M.-K.-T. Railroad Co., No. 32650.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • August 20, 1936
    ...which would have prevented the accident. Unadilla Valley Ry. Co. v. Caldine, 278 U.S. 139, 73 L. Ed. 225; Frese, Admx., v. Railroad Co., 263 U.S. 1, 68 L. Ed. 131; Davis v. Kennedy, 266 U.S. 147, 69 L. Ed. 212; Great Northern Ry. Co. v. Wiles, 240 U.S. 444, 36 Sup. Ct. 406, 60 L. Ed. 732. (......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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