Indianapolis v. Birney

Decision Date31 January 1874
Citation71 Ill. 391,1874 WL 8681
CourtIllinois Supreme Court


APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Champaign county; the Hon. A. J. GALLAGHER, Judge, presiding.

Mr. J. C. BLACK, for the appellant.

Messrs. SOMERS & WRIGHT, for the appellee.

Mr. JUSTICE WALKER delivered the opinion of the Court:

We perceive nothing in this case to take it out of the general rule, that a party suing for an injury received can only recover such damages as flow from and are the immediate result of that injury. Damages produced by other agencies than those causing the injury, or even by agencies remotely connected with those causing the injury, can not be awarded as proximate or proper compensation, but only where the injury flows from the wrongful act as its natural concomitant, or as the direct result thereof. Where speculation or conjecture has to be resorted to, for the purpose of determining whether the injury results from the wrongful act or from some other cause, then the rule of law excludes the allowance of damages for such injury.

Did the sickness and loss of time proved in this case naturally result from the failure of the train to stop for appellee? That is the only wrongful act charged to appellant. The walk by appellee to the next station was not a natural sequence to the failure of the agents of the company to stop the train for him to get aboard. That he should be delayed in reaching that point was a natural consequence, as there was no other known means by which the space could be overcome in so short a time as by a train of cars; but that appellee should walk through the extreme cold to that point, and thus injure his health, was by no means a necessary result. He had his option to remain five or six hours, and take the next train, or procure a horse, or a horse and carriage, and thus have arrived much sooner, and all persons of even small prudence and judgment know, with less exposure to his health; and, being a physician, he must have known that he was incurring increased hazard to his health when he determined to walk instead of riding, and that he was incurring a large amount of discomfort, when, by awaiting the next train or procuring a vehicle and horse, he could have gone in comparative comfort and free from risk to his health.

Had he procured a carriage and horses to make the trip, the company would no doubt have been liable for reasonable compensation for its use and for a driver, or had he awaited the next train, and gone on it, he would have been entitled to nominal damages at least, and could have recovered for...

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58 cases
  • Wilson v. Northern Pacific Railway Company, a Corporation
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • May 12, 1915
    ... ... 396; Wyman v ... Leavitt, 71 Me. 227, 36 Am. Rep. 303; Johnson v ... Wells, F. & Co., 6 Nev. 224, 3 Am. Rep. 245; ... Indianapolis & St. L. R. Co. v. Stables, 62 Ill ... 313; Terre Haute & I. R. Co. v. Brunker, 128 Ind ... 542, 26 N.E. 178; Haile v. Texas & P. R. Co., 23 ... recovery, then the effects furnish no ground. Pierce, ... Railroads, 1881 ed. 302; Indianapolis, B. & W. R. Co. v ... Birney, 71 Ill. 391; Hobbs v. London S.W. R. Co. L ... R. 10 Q. B. 111, 44 L. J. Q. B. N. S. 49, 32 L. T. N. S ... 352, 23 Week. Rep. 520, 5 Eng ... ...
  • Connell v. The Western Union-Telegraph Company
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • May 16, 1893
    ...unless the injury is accompanied by circumstances of malice, insult or inhumanity.'" Citing Pierce on Railroads [Ed. 1881] 302; Railroad v. Birney, 71 Ill. 391. authority of this case has never been questioned by the courts of this state, to our knowledge. The rule announced was in strict h......
  • Garland v. Chicago
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • March 31, 1881
    ...Rimpert, 75 Ill. 228; Bradley v. Parks, 83 Ill. 169; Straus v. Minzesheimer, 78 Ill. 492; Nichols v. Bradsby, 78 Ill. 44; I. B. & W. R. R. Co. v. Birney, 71 Ill. 391; C. B. & Q. R. R. Co. v. George, 19 Ill. 510; Sprague v. Hazenwinkle, 53 Ill. 419; Andreas v. Ketcham, 77 Ill. 377. Negligenc......
  • Heyer v. Salsbury
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • July 31, 1880
    ... ... Hobbs, 56 Ill. 231; Goodwin v. Durham, 56 Ill. 239; Geary v. O'Neil, 73 Ill. 593; Shephard v. The People, 72 Ill. 480; I. B. & W. Ry. Co. v. Birney, 71 Ill. 391; Nichols v. Bradsby, 78 Ill. 44; Plummer v. Rigdon, 78 Ill. 222; Wenger v. Calder, 78 Ill 275. The instructions should limit the right ... ...
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