Hinson v. Atlanta & C. Air Line Ry. Co, (No. 444.)

Docket Nº(No. 444.)
Citation90 S.E. 772
Case DateDecember 06, 1916
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of North Carolina

(172 N.C. 646)
90 S.E. 772

HINSON.
v.
ATLANTA & C. AIR LINE RY.
CO.

(No. 444.)

Supreme Court of North Carolina.

Dec. 6, 1916.


Clark, C. J., dissenting.

Appeal from Superior Court, Mecklenburg County; Justice, Judge.

Action by W. R. Hinson against the Atlanta & Charlotte Air Line Railway Company. Judgment for the defendant on nonsuit, and plaintiff appeals. Affirmed.

C. A. Cochran and Stewart & MacRae, all of Charlotte, for appellant.

O. F. Mason, of Gastonia, and F. M. Shannonhouse, and W. S. Beam, both of Charlotte, for appellee.

BROWN, J. The only evidence taken was that offered by plaintiff. Taking that to be true, the court did not err in sustaining the motion to nonsuit.

Plaintiff was a hostler in the yards of Southern Railway Company, lessee of defendant in Charlotte. On the evening of December 20, 1914, he started home across the yards and switching tracks of defendant. On his way he encountered a train of coal cars connected together, that had been run in on one of the side tracks that day. Plaintiff looked up and down the train of cars, and decided to cross the track underneath the cars, and started across underneath the drawhead connecting two of the cars. While he was under the drawhead and putting his leg out to cross the rail to get out, an engine struck the train with sufficient force to move the train and drive a wheel over his leg. When the engine struck the train plaintiff states he was under the drawhead, and had extended his leg across the track to get out. He could not have been seen from the engine or tender nor from the cars.

[90 S.E. 773]

Plaintiff testifies that before he went under the train he heard the switch engine over in the junction yard, 175 yards away, and felt perfectly safe in so doing, as it was usually the business of the switch engine to move the cars on the set-off tracks. He further states that the path he was going was used by other employés, and that he had seen them, as well as a boss man, cross over the drawheads between cars when the path was blocked by trains. Plaintiff admits that there were other safe ways for him to go home provided by the company, and that he could easily have walked around either end of this train. He says:

"The reason I did not walk around this string of cars is because I did not think there was any danger." "If I had walked around I don't suppose I would be here to-day with a lost leg."

Plaintiff further testified that he was engaged in preparing engines engaged in interstate commerce for use; that he had just finished preparing engine No. 4619 to be taken on its run to Greenville, S. C, at 6 p. m., and he was hurt an hour later.

As it appears from the evidence of plaintiff that both he and his employer were engaged in interstate commerce, the case is governed by the federal Employers' Liability Act and the law as construed by the federal courts, and not by the law as expounded by this court. Railway v. Gray, 241 U. S. 333, 36 Sup. Ct. 558, 60 L. Ed. 1030; Railway v. Horton, 233 U. S. 492, 34 Sup. Ct. 635, 58 L. Ed. 1062, L. R. A. 1915C, 1, Ann. Cas. 1915B, 475; Mondon v. Railway, 223 U. S. 1, 32 Sup. Ct. 169, 56 L. Ed. 327, 38 L. R. A. (N. S.) 44; Tel. Co. v. Milling Co., 218 U. S. 406, 31 Sup. Ct. 59, 54 L. Ed. 1088, 36 L. R. A. (N. S.) 220, 21 Ann. Cas. 815; Lloyd v. Railroad, 166 N. C. 27, 81 S. E. 1003. The facts show that plaintiff had been preparing engines for use in interstate commerce, and had, within the hour, fitted out one to start on its run from Charlotte, N. C, to Greenville, S. C. The road of defendant extends from Charlotte to Atlanta, and is under lease to Southern Railway, a corporation doing business as a carrier in a dozen or more states. Under such conditions, that plaintiff was a railway employé engaged in interstate commerce has been expressly decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in numerous cases. N. C. R. R. Co. v. Zachary, 232 U. S. 248, 34 Sup. Ct. 305, 58 L. Ed. 591, Ann. Cas. 1914C, 159. The following are cases decided in the federal and state courts: Roundhouse employe (a hostler) whose duty it is to clean engines engaged in interstate commerce, as well as to operate turntables (Cross v. Railway Co., 191 Mo. App. 202, 177 S. W. 1127; Lloyd v. Railroad, 166 N. C. 27, 81 S. E. 1003); employe carrying bolts used in repairing bridge (Pedersen v. Railway, 229 U. S. 146, 33 Sup. Ct. 648, 57 L. Ed. 1125, Ann. Cas. 1914C, 153); employes engaged in repairing switches and side tracks (Jones v. Railroad, 149 Ky. 566, 149 S. W. 951; Truesdell v. Railroad, 159 Ky. 718, 169 S. W. 471; Lombardo v. Railroad [D. C] 223 Fed. 427). This subject is elaborately discussed by Mr. Justice Myers, Supreme Court of Indiana in Railway v. Howerton, 182 Ind. 208, 105 N. E. 1026, 106 N. E. 369.

Plaintiff's evidence fails to disclose wherein the defendant failed to discharge any duty it owed him. The habit of employés going under trains instead of around them is not sufficient to charge an engineer with notice that plaintiff was under the draw-head. Plaintiff was a workman of long experience, and entirely familiar with the uncertain movements of engines and cars in the yards. The defendant had a right to move cars and engines on the yards as the necessities of its business required, and the only duty, under the circumstances, that it owed plaintiff was to refrain, if possible, from injuring him in case his precarious condition had been discovered. There is no pretense that plaintiff's condition was discovered, and as he was under the train, it is manifest it could not have been discovered by any one on the engine or tender. The defendant is not required to ring bells and blow whistles every time a car is shifted or a train moved on its switching yards, for the reason stated by Justice Brewer in Aerkfetz v. Humphreys, 145 U. S. 418, 12 Sup. Ct. 835, 36 L. Ed. 758.

"The ringing of bells and the sounding of whistles on trains going and coming, and switch engines moving forwards and backwards, would have simply tended to confusion. The person in direct charge had a right to act on the belief that the various employés in the yard, familiar with the continuously recurring movement of the cars, would take reasonable precaution against their approach. The engine was moving slowly, so slowly that any ordinary attention on the part of the plaintiff to that which he knew was a part of the constant business of the yard would have made him aware of the approach of the ears, and enabled him to...

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9 practice notes
  • Moore v. Dir. Gen. Of R.R.S *, (No. 594.)
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • June 2, 1920
    ...nor was there any evidence of negligence ultra which might have misled the claimant to his hurt. And in Hinson v. Railroad, 172 N. C. 646, 90 S. E. 772, also referred to by counsel, plaintiff was injured while attempting to cross rails under the drawheads of cars standing on a live track wi......
  • Ottley v. St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. Co., LOUIS-SAN
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • September 11, 1950
    ...1068; Loring v. Kansas City, Fort Scott & Memphis R. Co., 128 Mo. 349, 31 S.W. 6; Hinson v. Atlanta & C. Air Line Ry. Co., 172 N.C. 646, 90 S.E. 772; Peterson v. L. Ry. & Nav. Co., 9 La.App. 714, 119 So. 759; 56 C.J.S., Master and Servant, Sec. 456, p. 1293; and 39 C.J. p. The safety rules ......
  • Southwell v. Atl. Coast Line R. Co, (No. 286.)
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • April 8, 1925
    ...Puckett, 244 V. S. 571, 37 S. Ct. 703, 61 L. Ed. 1321, Ann. Cas. 1918B, 69; Railroad v. Zachary, supra; Hinson v. Railroad, 172 N. C. 646, 90 S. E. 772; Davis v. Railroad, 134 Minn. 49, 158 N.. W. 911; Easter v. Railroad, 76 W. Va. 383, 86 S. E. 37; Railroad v. Walker's Adm'r, 162 Ky. 209, ......
  • Cincinnati, N. O. & T. P. Ry. Co. v. Morgan
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • February 11, 1918
    ...268 Ill. 356, 109 N. E. 342, L. R. A. 1916A, 450; Lloyd v. North Carolina R. Co., supra; Hinson v. Atlanta, etc., R. Co., 172 N. C. 646, 90 S. E. 772. The character of the engine, therefore, did not depend on any probability or upon any accidental later event. The test event of designation ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9 cases
  • Moore v. Dir. Gen. Of R.R.S *, (No. 594.)
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • June 2, 1920
    ...nor was there any evidence of negligence ultra which might have misled the claimant to his hurt. And in Hinson v. Railroad, 172 N. C. 646, 90 S. E. 772, also referred to by counsel, plaintiff was injured while attempting to cross rails under the drawheads of cars standing on a live track wi......
  • Ottley v. St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. Co., LOUIS-SAN
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • September 11, 1950
    ...1068; Loring v. Kansas City, Fort Scott & Memphis R. Co., 128 Mo. 349, 31 S.W. 6; Hinson v. Atlanta & C. Air Line Ry. Co., 172 N.C. 646, 90 S.E. 772; Peterson v. L. Ry. & Nav. Co., 9 La.App. 714, 119 So. 759; 56 C.J.S., Master and Servant, Sec. 456, p. 1293; and 39 C.J. p. The safety rules ......
  • Southwell v. Atl. Coast Line R. Co, (No. 286.)
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • April 8, 1925
    ...Puckett, 244 V. S. 571, 37 S. Ct. 703, 61 L. Ed. 1321, Ann. Cas. 1918B, 69; Railroad v. Zachary, supra; Hinson v. Railroad, 172 N. C. 646, 90 S. E. 772; Davis v. Railroad, 134 Minn. 49, 158 N.. W. 911; Easter v. Railroad, 76 W. Va. 383, 86 S. E. 37; Railroad v. Walker's Adm'r, 162 Ky. 209, ......
  • Cincinnati, N. O. & T. P. Ry. Co. v. Morgan
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • February 11, 1918
    ...268 Ill. 356, 109 N. E. 342, L. R. A. 1916A, 450; Lloyd v. North Carolina R. Co., supra; Hinson v. Atlanta, etc., R. Co., 172 N. C. 646, 90 S. E. 772. The character of the engine, therefore, did not depend on any probability or upon any accidental later event. The test event of designation ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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