Janelle v. Seaboard Coast Line R. Co., No. 75-3174

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore COLEMAN, AINSWORTH and SIMPSON; SIMPSON
Citation524 F.2d 1259
PartiesRomeo L. JANELLE, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. SEABOARD COAST LINE RAILROAD COMPANY et al., Defendants-Appellees. Summary Calendar. *
Docket NumberNo. 75-3174
Decision Date24 December 1975

Page 1259

524 F.2d 1259
Romeo L. JANELLE, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
SEABOARD COAST LINE RAILROAD COMPANY et al., Defendants-Appellees.
No. 75-3174
Summary Calendar. *
United States Court of Appeals,
Fifth Circuit.
Dec. 24, 1975.

Page 1260

Samuel F. Maguire, Augusta, Ga., for plaintiffs-appellants.

N. William Pettys, Jr., John I. Harper, Augusta, Ga., for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia.

Before COLEMAN, AINSWORTH and SIMPSON, Circuit Judges.

SIMPSON, Circuit Judge:

The decedent, Mrs. Tena P. Janelle, was a clerical employee of the Georgia Railroad in its Augusta, Georgia offices. Mrs. Janelle was struck and killed at 8:00 a. m. November 12, 1973, by a Georgia Railroad switch engine as she walked across a grade crossing to report for work at the railroad's offices. Following the accident, Mrs. Janelle's husband, Romeo Janelle, sued as Executor of her estate to recover damages from the railroads for her death allegedly caused by the negligent operation of the switch engine, in a suit under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, Title 45, U.S.C. § 51 et seq. 1 A jury trial ensued in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. In response to a special verdict form, the jury fixed Mrs. Janelle's negligence in causing her own death at 100% and thus found for the defendant railroad companies.

This action was later brought by the husband and adult children of the deceased in the Superior Court of Richmond County, Georgia, charging the same defendant railroad companies with the wrongful death of Mrs. Janelle pursuant to Georgia's Death by Wrongful Death Statute. 2 Appellees removed the case to the federal district court pursuant to Title 28, U.S.C. § 1441. The district court dismissed the action under a

Page 1261

theory of res judicata, or estoppel by judgment. This appeal timely followed.

Georgia law controls this action as to what constitutes res judicata. Erie v. Tompkins, 1937, 304 U.S. 64, 58 S.Ct. 817, 82 L.Ed. 1188. Under the Georgia Code 3 and decisional law, in order for a prior judgment to operate as res judicata to any subsequent action, the causes of action must be the same and the party against whom res judicata is invoked must be the same or one in privity with a party to the prior case. Darling Stores v. Beautus, 1945, 199 Ga. 215, 33 S.E.2d 701; Commercial Credit Corp. v. Citizens Bank, 1942, 68 Ga.App. 393, 23 S.E.2d 198. Ordinarily, a prior FELA action will operate as res judicata to a subsequent suit for wrongful death because "the right of action which would have accrued under the State statute would have been for the benefit of the same persons as benefited from the action under the Federal statute". Dixon v. Ross, 1956, 94 Ga.App. 187, 94 S.E.2d 86. But two of the appellants in this case contend that they, the adult children of the decedent, were not represented in the prior suit, brought by the personal...

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20 practice notes
  • Monarch v. Southern Pacific Transp. Co., No. A081178
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 25, 1999
    ...railroad employees. Wabash R.R. Co. v. Hayes, 234 U.S. 86, 34 S.Ct. 729, 58 L.Ed. 1226, (1914); Janelle v. Seaboard Coast Line R.R. Co., 524 F.2d 1259, 1261 (5th Cir.1975). FELA is worded broadly and is interpreted even more broadly." (Earwood v. Norfolk Southern Ry. Co. (N.D.Ga.1993) ......
  • Noice v. BNSF Ry. Co., S–1–SC–35198
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • August 18, 2016
    ...negligence. Wabash R.R. Co. v. Hayes , 234 U.S. 86, 89, 34 S.Ct. 729, 58 L.Ed. 1226 (1914) ; Janelle v. Seaboard Coast Line R.R. Co. , 524 F.2d 1259, 1261 (5th Cir. 1975) (“[D]amages for the death or injury of a railroad employee engaged in interstate commerce, allegedly caused by the negli......
  • Lancaster v. Norfolk and Western Ry. Co., No. 84-2768
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • November 18, 1985
    ...FELA (the Yawn case, discussed below), even though the FELA preempts state law within its domain, Janelle v. Seaboard Coast Line R.R., 524 F.2d 1259, 1261 (5th Cir.1975), so that a railroad worker who has a cause of action under the FELA cannot sue under state tort law instead. As an origin......
  • Chapman v. Union Pacific R.R., No. 89-1329
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nebraska
    • March 22, 1991
    ...Act. See, Second Employers' Liability Cases, 223 U.S. 1, 32 S.Ct. 169, 56 L.Ed. 327 (1912); Janelle v. Seaboard Coast Line R. Co., 524 F.2d 1259 (5th Cir.1975); Geris v. Burlington Northern, Inc., THE STRICKEN ALLEGATIONS Chapman claims that reversible error occurred as the result of the di......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
20 cases
  • Monarch v. Southern Pacific Transp. Co., No. A081178
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 25, 1999
    ...railroad employees. Wabash R.R. Co. v. Hayes, 234 U.S. 86, 34 S.Ct. 729, 58 L.Ed. 1226, (1914); Janelle v. Seaboard Coast Line R.R. Co., 524 F.2d 1259, 1261 (5th Cir.1975). FELA is worded broadly and is interpreted even more broadly." (Earwood v. Norfolk Southern Ry. Co. (N.D.Ga.1993) ......
  • Noice v. BNSF Ry. Co., S–1–SC–35198
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • August 18, 2016
    ...negligence. Wabash R.R. Co. v. Hayes , 234 U.S. 86, 89, 34 S.Ct. 729, 58 L.Ed. 1226 (1914) ; Janelle v. Seaboard Coast Line R.R. Co. , 524 F.2d 1259, 1261 (5th Cir. 1975) (“[D]amages for the death or injury of a railroad employee engaged in interstate commerce, allegedly caused by the negli......
  • Lancaster v. Norfolk and Western Ry. Co., No. 84-2768
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • November 18, 1985
    ...FELA (the Yawn case, discussed below), even though the FELA preempts state law within its domain, Janelle v. Seaboard Coast Line R.R., 524 F.2d 1259, 1261 (5th Cir.1975), so that a railroad worker who has a cause of action under the FELA cannot sue under state tort law instead. As an origin......
  • Chapman v. Union Pacific R.R., No. 89-1329
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nebraska
    • March 22, 1991
    ...Act. See, Second Employers' Liability Cases, 223 U.S. 1, 32 S.Ct. 169, 56 L.Ed. 327 (1912); Janelle v. Seaboard Coast Line R. Co., 524 F.2d 1259 (5th Cir.1975); Geris v. Burlington Northern, Inc., THE STRICKEN ALLEGATIONS Chapman claims that reversible error occurred as the result of the di......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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