Hunt v. New York, N.H. & H.R. Co.

Decision Date24 May 1912
Citation212 Mass. 102,98 N.E. 787
PartiesHUNT v. NEW YORK, N.H. & H. R. CO. (two cases).
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court

E. P. Saltonstall and A. M. Beale, both of Boston for plaintiffs.

John L Hall and Jos. Wentworth, both of Boston, for defendant.


These are two actions of tort, both of which were tried together with two similar actions brought by the same plaintiffs against the Boston Terminal Company. The action of Annie E. Hunt (who will hereafter be referred to as the plaintiff) is for the recovery of damages for personal injuries sustained by her, and that of George W. Hunt, who is her husband, for his expenses in consequence of the injury to his wife. There was evidence tending to show that the plaintiff, having bought a ticket of the defendant for transportation over its line of railroad on a special train, was waiting in the Boston Terminal Station for the train on which the ticket entitled her to ride. The excursion train, instead of stopping at the usual place upon the track, came through the bumper and fence at the end of the track about 10 feet into the space reserved for passengers. In the resultant confusion among the waiting crowd, the plaintiff was knocked down and received injuries. The South Terminal Station and all tracks converging there for a distance of about half a mile were owned by the Boston Terminal Company, a corporation organized under St. 1896, c. 516, and all trains, cars and engines were operated over the tracks so owned solely by the Boston Terminal Company. The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company used the South Terminal Station in accordance with St. 1896, c. 516, as the Boston terminal for its trains, and the locomotive and cars which ran over the bumper on the day in question were the property of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company. Among the rules of the Boston Terminal Company in force respecting its station at the time were these:

'Conductors, enginemen and other trainmen in the employ of the company owning or operating a train will remain in charge of the train while passing over the track of this company.
'In backing train into station great care must be exercised by enginemen and men in charge of train not to strike bumping post or cars that may be standing on track.
'The train must come to a stop ten feet away from bumping post or stationary cars before backing up to proper position.

In addition to these rules, trainmen, enginemen and other employes will comply with the rules or special orders of their respective companies when such do not conflict with the rules of this company.'

The plaintiff claims that she was entitled to an instruction to the effect that she had the rights of a passenger against the present defendant. Ordinarily, one who has bought a ticket of a railroad company and is waiting for the train in the station, either of the company, from whom the ticket was bought, or of another company whose station the first company is using voluntarily, is a passenger and entitled to all the protection of a passenger. This general rule does not apply in its full scope to the Boston Terminal Station as was decided in Frazier v. N. Y., N.H. & H. R. R. Co., 180 Mass. 427, 62 N.E. 731. It was held there that the railroad companies using that station have no option respecting it, but are compelled by act of the Legislature to use it and that the effect of the statute is to require the railroad companies using 'a union station owned and operated by a separate corporation' to 'deliver its passengers to the care of the owner of the union station and that' the railroad company's liability to its passenger 'is at an end when the passenger alights in safety from its cars on to the platform of the station of the Terminal Company.' Although the facts in that case required a decision as to the converse of those presented in the present case, the governing rule of law must be the same. The rights of a passenger do not accrue to one, having a ticket and intending to board the train of a railroad using the station, earlier than the moment when standing upon the platform adjacent to the train the ticket holder is about to step upon the train. The plaintiff was not, therefore, entitled to the protection of a passenger as against the present defendant. The reasons for this are set forth at length in the Frazier Case and need not be repeated.

The superior court instructed the jury, subject to the plaintiff's exception, that she was not entitled to a verdict against both the railroad company and the Terminal Company, and left it to the jury to say which one of the two corporations caused her injury. Plainly there was evidence as to the negligence of the Terminal Company, and the verdict of the jury has settled that its negligence was a cause contributing to the plaintiff's injury.

The question whether a railroad company using the South Terminal Station can be held responsible for an accident occurring while its trains are being drawn over the tracks of the Terminal Company was left undecided in Frazier v. N. Y., N.H. & H. R. R., 180 Mass. 427, 431, 62 N.E. 731. That point is now presented for decision. Sections 8 and 9 of St. 1896, c. 516, give to the Terminal Company authority to make reasonable rules and regulations for the use of the station and its approaches, which shall be binding upon the corporations using the same. The rules which have been quoted, therefore, were binding upon the defendant railroad. Although the...

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2 cases
  • Pennsylvania Greyhound Lines, Inc. v. Rosenthal
    • United States
    • New Jersey Supreme Court
    • 11 janvier 1954
    ...Karcher v. Burbank, 303 Mass. 303, 21 N.E.2d 542, 124 A.L.R. 1292 (Sup.Jud.Ct.1939); Hunt v. New York, N.H. & H.R. Co., 212 Mass. 102, 98 N.E. 787, 40 L.R.A., N.S., 778 (Sup.Jud.Ct.1912); Sherwood v. Huber & Huber Motor Express Co., 286 Ky. 775, 151 S.W.2d 1007, 135 A.L.R. 263 (Ct.App.1941)......
  • Hunt v. New York, N.H.&H.R. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • 24 mai 1912

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