Homan v. Mo. Pac. Railroad Co., No. 30117½.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtHyde
Citation64 S.W.2d 617
Docket NumberNo. 30117½.,No. 30118.
Decision Date07 November 1933
PartiesMILDRED HOMAN v. MISSOURI PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY, a Corporation, and CAPITOL STAGE LINES COMPANY, a Corporation, Appellants.
64 S.W.2d 617
MILDRED HOMAN
v.
MISSOURI PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY, a Corporation, and CAPITOL STAGE LINES COMPANY, a Corporation, Appellants.
No. 30117½.
No. 30118.
Supreme Court of Missouri, in Banc.
November 7, 1933.

[64 S.W.2d 618]

Appeal from Boone Circuit Court.Hon. H.A. Collier, Judge.

AFFIRMED.

Rubey Hulen, Montgomery & Rucker, Thomas J. Cole and Edward J. White for appellant.

(1) Under the undisputed facts shown by the record the proximate cause of the plaintiff's injury was the negligence of the driver of the Capitol Stage Coach in running into the side of defendant's flat car, and for this reason the defendant's demurrer offered at the close of the evidence should have been given. "The proximate cause of an injury is that which, in a natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any new cause, produces the injury and without which the injury would not have occurred." Kennedy v. Construction Co., 316 Mo. 783; George v. K.C.S. Ry. Co., 286 S.W. 130; State ex rel. v. Ellison, 271 Mo. 463; Majors v. Power Co., 205 Mo. App. 337; De Moss v. Rys. Co., 296 Mo. 526; Hall v. Frisco, 240 S.W. 175; Spain v. Frisco, 190 S.E. 358; Redger v. St. Charles, 11 S.W. (2d) 753; Schmidt v. Northwestern Ry. Co., 210 N.W. 370; Brinson v. Davis, 122 S.E. 643; Frush v. Railroad Co., 169 N.W. 360; Gibson v. Railroad Co., 96 S.E. 519; Henderson v. Frisco, 248 S.W. 987; Dickey v. Railroad Co., 251 S.W. 112; Evans v. Ill. Cent., 233 S.W. 397; Morris v. Railroad Co., 126 Atl. 295; Haarstrich v. Railroad Co., 262 Pac. 100; C.C.C. & St. L. v. Gillespie, 172 N.E. 131. (2) All the best considered cases hold that there is no negligence on the part of a railroad company where the occupant of an automobile is injured as the result of the automobile being driven into the side of a freight train which is already occupying a public crossing. McFadden v. Northern Pacific, 289 Pac. 1; Coil's Admn. v. Railroad, 22 S.W. (2d) 428; Sandoval v. Railroad Co., 233 Pac. 840; Railroad Co. v. Holifield, 120 So. 750; Missouri Pac. v. Price, 33 S.W. (2d) 366; Hendley v. Railroad Co., 225 N.W. 205; Railroad Co. v. Gillespie, 172 N.E. 131; Godron Fireproof, etc., Co. v. Hines, 272 Fed. 604; Curran v. Railroad Co., 149 Atl. 885; Yano v. Stott Briquet Co., 199 N.E. 48; Railroad Co. v. Guthrie, 114 So. 215; Killen v. Railroad Co., 232 N.Y. Supp. 76; Gilman v. Railroad Co., 107 Atl. 122; Orton v. Railroad Co., 7 Fed. (2d) 36; Rhoades v. Railroad Co., 264 Pac. 994; Wolf v. Railroad Co., 147 Atl. 575. (3) When it is considered that the bus in which plaintiff was riding approached the defendant's spur track at a speed of forty or forty-five miles an hour, and after it passed the second automobile that had stopped for the crossing, it would strike the car in only two seconds because it was going from sixty to sixty-five feet per second, it should be apparent that the humanitarian or last-clear-chance doctrine upon which the plaintiff recovered in the trial court can have no place in this case. Sevedge v. Railroad Co., 53 S.W. (2d) 287; Ziegelmeyer v. Ry. Co., 51 S.W. (2d) 1027; Sullivan v. Santa Fe, 317 Mo. 1009; Stewart v. Mo. Pac., 308 Mo. 387; Bennett v. Railroad Co., 242 Mo. 133; Rowe v. Frisco, 41 S.W. (2d) 632; Missouri Pac. v. Price, 33 S.W. (2d) 366; Gray v. Mo. Pac., 23 Fed. (2d) 190; Kinney v. Railroad Co., 17 Fed. (2d) 708; Wheelock v. Clay, 13 Fed. (2d) 972; Engle v. Railroad Co., 149 N.E. 643; L.R. & N. Co. v. Brewer, 275 S.W. 181; Beal v. Frisco, 256 S.W. 733; Betz v. K.C.S. Co., 253 S.W. 1089; Young v. So. Pac., 210 Pac. 259; Anderson v. Davis, 251 S.W. 86; Sutherland v. Payne, 274 Fed. 360; Railroad Co. v. Hart, 39 Ohio St. 465; Rollison v. Ry. Co., 252 Mo. 525; State ex rel. v. Bland, 313 Mo. 246; McGee v. Mo. Pac., 214 Mo. 530; State ex rel. Fleming v. Bland, 322 Mo. 565. (4) The court erred in giving plaintiff's Instruction No. 3-A, for the reason that there was no evidence upon which to base the fact that the crossing in question was "an unusually hazardous and dangerous crossing," and this gave the jury a roving commission to find that this spur track crossing was "an unusually hazardous and dangerous crossing." State ex rel. v. Ellison, 270 Mo. 653; Welsch v. Railroad Co., 72 Mo. 451; Railroad Co. v. Howe's Admr., 270 S.W. 57; Railroad Co. v. Long, 299 S.W. 854; Hinnant v. Railroad Co., 163 S.E. 555; Butters v. Railroad Co., 243 N.W. 597. (5) The court erred in excluding the answer of the defendant Capitol Stage Coach Co., in which it was admitted that the driver of the bus had violated both the order of the Public Service Commission, in failing to come to a full stop before crossing the defendant's spur track, and also the rules of the defendant Capitol Stage Coach Co. In view of the fact that under all the circumstances and the physical facts, the proximate cause of the injury of plaintiff was the negligence of the driver of this bus, this admission on the part of the defendant Capitol Stage Coach Co. was clearly competent, and should have been admitted in evidence. Gann v. Railroad Co., 319 Mo. 215; Adair v. Railroad Co., 282 Mo. 134; Chawkley v. Railroad Co., 317 Mo. 782; Block v. Epstein, 221 Mo. 286; State v. Bersch, 276 Mo. 416.

O.H. Swearingen, Bohling & Bohling and Harris, Price & Alexander for respondent.

(1) Respondent having prevailed below is entitled to the most favorable inferences that can be drawn from the evidence. Allen v. Ry. Co., 313 Mo. 57, 281 S.W. 741; Toeneboehn v. Railroad Co., 317 Mo. 1115, 298 S.W. 803; Stauffer v. Met. St. Ry. Co., 243 Mo. 316, 147 S.W. 1032; Dell v. Schaefer Const. Co., 29 S.W. (2d) 78; Zumwalt v. Railroad Co., 266 S.W. 724; Story v. Peoples M. Co., 37 S.W. (2d) 898; Chawkley v. Wabash Ry. Co., 317 Mo. 782, 297 S.W. 23; Hinson v. Morris, 298 S.W. 258; Montague v. M. & K.I. Ry. Co., 305 Mo. 269, 264 S.W. 815; Alexander v. St. Louis-S.F. Ry. Co., 38 S.W. (2d) 1027. (2) Appellant Missouri Pacific Railroad Company's general demurrer to the evidence was properly overruled. The verdict was fully supported by the evidence. (a) There was positive evidence at the time the demurrer was offered, warranting the submission of the case to the jury upon the violation of the statute requiring signal by bell, or whistle, beginning 80 rods back from the railroad crossing. Sec. 4756, R.S. 1929; Stotler v. C. & A. Ry. Co., 200 Mo. 138; Toeneboehn v. St. Louis-S.F. Ry. Co., 317 Mo. 1117, 298 S.W. 805; Peppers v. Railway Co., 316 Mo. 1112; Herrell v. St. Louis & S.F. Ry. Co., 18 S.W. (2d) 483; Connole v. Railroad Co., 21 S.W. (2d) 910; Gann v. C.R. I & P. Ry. Co., 319 Mo. 222; Anderson v. Davis, 314 Mo. 562; Sing v. St. Louis-S.F. Ry. Co., 30 S.W. (2d) 40. (b) There was abundant evidence to establish the fact that the surrounding circumstances and conditions required the railroad company in the exercise of ordinary care, to send someone forward to flag or protect the crossing to stop said drag of cars before crossing the highway. Homan v. Railroad, Op. p. 10 et seq.; Toeneboehn v. St. Louis-S.F. Ry. Co., 317 Mo. 1116, 298 S.W. 801; Grand Trunk Ry. Co. v. Ives, 144 U.S. 408, 36 L. Ed. 492; Thomas v. Chicago, R.I. & P. Ry. Co., 271 S.W. 862; Evans v. Erie Ry. Co., 213 Fed. 129; Welsch v. Railroad Co., 72 Mo. 451; Galveston Wharf Co. v. Peterson, 11 Fed. (2d) 775; North Pac. Rd. Co. v. Moe, 13 Fed. 377; Tisdale v. Railroad Co., 16 A.L.R. 1280, 228 S.W. 133; Peppers v. St. Louis-S.F. Ry. Co., 316 Mo. 1104, 295 S.W. 759; Herrell v. Frisco Ry. Co., 18 S.W. (2d) 485; Hinzeman v. Mo. Pac. Ry. Co., 199 Mo. 65; Ward v. Mo. Pac. Ry. Co., 311 Mo. 92, 277 S.W. 908; Allen v. Chicago, B. & Q. Co., 313 Mo. 65, 281 S.W. 737; Vowels v. Mo. Pac. Ry. Co., 320 Mo. 41, 8 S.W. (2d) 7; Alewel v. St. Louis & S. Ry. Co., 26 S.W. (2d) 871; Montague v. Ry. Co., 305 Mo. 280, 264 S.W. 813; Cowherd v. Railroad Co., 218 Mo. App. 697, 268 S.W. 107; McWhirt v. Railroad Co., 187 S.W. 834; Burger v. Mo. Pac. Ry. Co., 112 Mo. 246. This collision occurred within the yard limits of appellant Missouri Pacific Railroad Company while it was performing a yard-switching movement by a switching crew with a switch engine. The entire crew knew No. 50 was a greatly used highway. There was no flagman or gate at this crossing. Homan v. Railroad, Op. pp. 5, 10 et seq.; Weed v. Am. C. & F. Co., 14 S.W. (2d) 655; Bond v. St. Louis-S.F. Ry. Co., 315 Mo. 987, 288 S.W. 788; Railroad Co. v. Pigott, 254 U.S. 553. Construction of rule most favorable to plaintiff should be adopted. Stuart v. Dickinson, 290 Mo. 558, 235 S.W. 459. (c) There was sufficient evidence to require the submission of the case under the humanitarian rule. Homan v. Railroad, Op. p. 14 et seq.; Banks v. Morris, 302 Mo. 254, 257 S.W. 484; Vowels v. Railroad Co., 320 Mo. 34, 8 S.W. (2d) 7; Herrell v. St. Louis-S.F. Ry. Co., 18 S.W. (2d) 485; Logan v. C.B. & Q. Ry. Co., 300 Mo. 632, 254 S.W. 711; State ex rel. v. Trimble, 260 S.W. 1001; Montague v. Ry. Co., 305 Mo. 281, 264 S.W. 816; Allen v. C.B. & Q. Ry. Co., 313 Mo. 61, 281 S.W. 742; Schroeder v. Wells, 310 Mo. 655; Gann v. Ry. Co., 319 Mo. 214, 6 S.W. (2d) 39; Owen v. Delano, 194 S.W. 759; Anderson v. Davis, 314 Mo. 546, 284 S.W. 449; Griggs v. K.C. Rys. Co., 228 S.W. 510; Mahany v. K.G. Rys. Co., 286 Mo. 601; Alexander v. St. Louis-S.F. Ry. Co., 38 S.W. (2d) 1023; Eppstein v. Mo. Pac. Ry. Co., 197 Mo. 720, 94 S.W. 967. Appellant Missouri Pacific Railroad Company had no right to rely upon the bus driver observing the Public Service Commission rule requiring him to stop. Homan v. Railroad, Op. p. 15; Clark v. Railroad Co., 127 Mo. 213; Taylor v. Grand Ave. Ry. Co., 137 Mo. 368, 39 S.W. 88; Neal v. Curtis & Co., Mfg. Co., 328 Mo. 389, 41 S.W. (2d) 550; Beal v. Railroad Co., 285 S.W. 486; McFadden v. Loft, 161 Mo. App. 659. The negligence of the bus driver in failing to stop cannot be imputed to plaintiff. Becke v. Railroad Co., 102 Mo. 550; Smith v. Frisco Ry. Co., 9 S.W. (2d) 946; Treadway v. United Rys. Co., 300 Mo. 173, 253 S.W....

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23 practice notes
  • Boyd v. Illinois Cent. R. Co., No. 37888
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • April 9, 1951
    ...227 Mo.App. 225, 52 S.W.2d 448; Roshel v. Litchfield & M. R. Co., Mo.App., 112 S.W.2d 876; Homan v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., 334 Mo., 61, 64 S.W.2d 617; Toeneboehn v. St. L[ouis] S[an] F[rancisco] R. Co., 317 Mo. 1096, 298 S.W. 795. Testimony in behalf of plaintiff shows that the flatcar which......
  • Housman v. Fiddyment, No. 52185
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 13, 1967
    ...or knowledge of the subject, to draw correct conclusions from the facts proved.' In Homan v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., Mo.Sup., 334 Mo. 61, 64 S.W.2d 617, citing the Benjamin case, among others, this Court quoted with approval the following from 22 C.J. 639, § 733: 'The necessity for such testi......
  • Frandeka v. St. Louis Public Service Co., No. 41612
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 13, 1950
    ...of his vehicle was oblivious to the danger and was intent on continuing across his path. Homan v. Missouri Pacific R. Co., 334 Mo. 61, 64 S.W.2d 617. It is his duty to act on reasonable appearances of obliviousness and at a time when action would be effective. Womack v. Missouri Pacific R. ......
  • Jenkins v. Wabash R. Co., Nos. 46233
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • March 9, 1959
    ...See also, Hein v. Terminal Page 796 R. Ass'n, of St. Louis, 359 Mo. 946, 224 S.W.2d 963, and Homan v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., 334 Mo. 61, 64 S.W.2d 617. But, as pointed out by Wabash, the objection to the instructions which it raises in this case apparently was not specifically presented in t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
23 cases
  • Boyd v. Illinois Cent. R. Co., No. 37888
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • April 9, 1951
    ...227 Mo.App. 225, 52 S.W.2d 448; Roshel v. Litchfield & M. R. Co., Mo.App., 112 S.W.2d 876; Homan v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., 334 Mo., 61, 64 S.W.2d 617; Toeneboehn v. St. L[ouis] S[an] F[rancisco] R. Co., 317 Mo. 1096, 298 S.W. 795. Testimony in behalf of plaintiff shows that the flatcar which......
  • Housman v. Fiddyment, No. 52185
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 13, 1967
    ...or knowledge of the subject, to draw correct conclusions from the facts proved.' In Homan v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., Mo.Sup., 334 Mo. 61, 64 S.W.2d 617, citing the Benjamin case, among others, this Court quoted with approval the following from 22 C.J. 639, § 733: 'The necessity for such testi......
  • Frandeka v. St. Louis Public Service Co., No. 41612
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 13, 1950
    ...of his vehicle was oblivious to the danger and was intent on continuing across his path. Homan v. Missouri Pacific R. Co., 334 Mo. 61, 64 S.W.2d 617. It is his duty to act on reasonable appearances of obliviousness and at a time when action would be effective. Womack v. Missouri Pacific R. ......
  • Jenkins v. Wabash R. Co., Nos. 46233
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • March 9, 1959
    ...See also, Hein v. Terminal Page 796 R. Ass'n, of St. Louis, 359 Mo. 946, 224 S.W.2d 963, and Homan v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., 334 Mo. 61, 64 S.W.2d 617. But, as pointed out by Wabash, the objection to the instructions which it raises in this case apparently was not specifically presented in t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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