Illinois Central Railroad Company v. Joseph Behrens, No. 241

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtVan Devanter
Citation233 U.S. 473,34 S.Ct. 646,58 L.Ed. 1051
Docket NumberNo. 241
Decision Date27 April 1914
PartiesILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY v. JOSEPH BEHRENS, Administrator, etc

233 U.S. 473
34 S.Ct. 646
58 L.Ed. 1051
ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY

v.

JOSEPH BEHRENS, Administrator, etc.

No. 241.
Argued March 6, 1914.
Decided April 27, 1914.

Page 474

Messrs. Blewett Lee, Hunter C. Leake, and Gustave Lemle for the Illinois Central Railroad Company.

Mr. Armand Romain for Joseph Behrens.

[Argument of Counsel from page 474 intentionally omitted]

Page 475

Messrs. Alfred L. Becker, Mauice C. Spratt, and Lester F. Gilbert as amici curice.

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

In an action in the circuit court for the eastern district of Louisiana, under the Federal employers' liability act of April 22, 1908 (35 Stat. at L. 65, chap. 149, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1911, p. 1322), against a railroad

Page 476

company, by a personal representative to recover for the death of his intestate, the plaintiff prevailed, and the defendant took the case by writ of error to the circuit court of appeals. That court, desiring instruction upon a question of law arising in the case, certified the question here under § 239 of the Judicial Code [36 Stat. at L. 1157, chap. 231, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1911, p. 228]. The facts shown in the certificate are these: The intestate was in the service of the railroad company as a member of a crew attached to a switch engine operated exclusively within the city of New Orleans. He was the fireman, and came to his death, while at his post of duty, through a head-on collision. The general work of the crew consisted in moving cars from one point to another within the city over the company's tracks and other connecting tracks. Sometimes the cars were loaded, at other times empty, and at still other times some were loaded and others empty. When loaded the freight in them was at times destined from within to without the state or vice versa; at other times was moving only between points within the state, and at still other times was of both classes. When the cars were empty the purpose was usually to take them where they were to be loaded or away from where they had been unloaded. And oftentimes, following the movement of cars, loaded or empty, to a given point, other cars were gathered up and taken or started elsewhere. In short, the crew handled interstate and intrastate traffic indiscriminately, frequently moving both at once and at times turning directly from one to the other. At the time of the collision the crew was moving several cars loaded with freight which was wholly intrastate, and upon completing that movement was to have gathered up and taken to other points several other cars as a step or link in their transportation to various destinations within and without the state. The question of law upon which the circuit court of appeals desires instruction is whether, upon these facts, it can be said that the intestate, at the time of his fatal injury, was employed in

Page 477

interstate commerce within the meaning of the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
341 practice notes
  • Railroad Retirement Board v. Alton Co, No. 566
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 6, 1935
    ...do not define the scope of constitutional authority as to employees of interstate carriers. Illinois Central Railroad Company v. Behrens, 233 U.S. 473, 477, 34 S.Ct. 646, 58 L.Ed. 1051, Ann. Cas. 1914C, 163; Chicago & Northwestern Railway Co. v. Bolle, 284 U.S. 74, 78, 52 S.Ct. 59, 76 L.Ed.......
  • Mississippi Cent R. Co. v. Knight, 24615
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • March 30, 1925
    ...of the character of the employment is the nature of the work being done at the time of the injury. Illinois Central R. R. Co. v. Behrens, 233 U.S. 473, 34 S.Ct. 646; Chicago, B. & O. R. R. Co. v. Harrington, 241 U.S. 177; Erie Railroad Co. v. Welsh, 242 U.S. 303, 61 L.Ed. 319. We have given......
  • Howard v. Mobile & Ohio Railroad Co., No. 32092.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 12, 1934
    ...205, 76 L. Ed. 370; C. & E.I. Railroad Co. v. Industrial Commission, 284 U.S. 296, 52 Sup. Ct. 151; Ill. Cent. Railroad Co. v. Behrens, 233 U.S. 473, 34 Sup. Ct. 646, 58 L. Ed. 1051; Erie Railroad Co. v. Welsh, 242 U.S. 303, 37 Sup. Ct. 116, 61 L. Ed. 319; Middleton v. Railroad Co., 61 Fed.......
  • McNatt v. Wabash Ry. Co., No. 34916.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 30, 1937
    ...St. Louis-S.F. Ry. Co., 302 Mo. 506, 258 S.W. 1023; Myers v. Railroad Co., 296 Mo. 239, 246 S.W. 257; Ill. Cent. Railroad Co. v. Behrens, 233 U.S. 473, 34 Sup. Ct. 646, 58 L. Ed. 1051; C.B. & Q. Railroad Co. v. Harrington, 241 U.S. 177; Illinois Cent. Railroad Co. v. Peery, 242 U.S. 292, 37......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
341 cases
  • Railroad Retirement Board v. Alton Co, No. 566
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 6, 1935
    ...do not define the scope of constitutional authority as to employees of interstate carriers. Illinois Central Railroad Company v. Behrens, 233 U.S. 473, 477, 34 S.Ct. 646, 58 L.Ed. 1051, Ann. Cas. 1914C, 163; Chicago & Northwestern Railway Co. v. Bolle, 284 U.S. 74, 78, 52 S.Ct. 59, 76 L.Ed.......
  • Mississippi Cent R. Co. v. Knight, 24615
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • March 30, 1925
    ...of the character of the employment is the nature of the work being done at the time of the injury. Illinois Central R. R. Co. v. Behrens, 233 U.S. 473, 34 S.Ct. 646; Chicago, B. & O. R. R. Co. v. Harrington, 241 U.S. 177; Erie Railroad Co. v. Welsh, 242 U.S. 303, 61 L.Ed. 319. We have given......
  • Howard v. Mobile & Ohio Railroad Co., No. 32092.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 12, 1934
    ...205, 76 L. Ed. 370; C. & E.I. Railroad Co. v. Industrial Commission, 284 U.S. 296, 52 Sup. Ct. 151; Ill. Cent. Railroad Co. v. Behrens, 233 U.S. 473, 34 Sup. Ct. 646, 58 L. Ed. 1051; Erie Railroad Co. v. Welsh, 242 U.S. 303, 37 Sup. Ct. 116, 61 L. Ed. 319; Middleton v. Railroad Co., 61 Fed.......
  • McNatt v. Wabash Ry. Co., No. 34916.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 30, 1937
    ...St. Louis-S.F. Ry. Co., 302 Mo. 506, 258 S.W. 1023; Myers v. Railroad Co., 296 Mo. 239, 246 S.W. 257; Ill. Cent. Railroad Co. v. Behrens, 233 U.S. 473, 34 Sup. Ct. 646, 58 L. Ed. 1051; C.B. & Q. Railroad Co. v. Harrington, 241 U.S. 177; Illinois Cent. Railroad Co. v. Peery, 242 U.S. 292, 37......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT