Jeffrey Manufacturing Company v. Harry Blagg, No. 511

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtDay
Citation235 U.S. 571,59 L.Ed. 364,35 S.Ct. 167
Decision Date05 January 1915
Docket NumberNo. 511
PartiesJEFFREY MANUFACTURING COMPANY, Flff. in Err., v. HARRY O. BLAGG, by Joseph M. Downing, His Next Friend

235 U.S. 571
35 S.Ct. 167
59 L.Ed. 364
JEFFREY MANUFACTURING COMPANY, Flff. in Err.,

v.

HARRY O. BLAGG, by Joseph M. Downing, His Next Friend.

No. 511.
Argued December 1, 1914.
Decided January 5, 1915.

Page 572

Messrs. H. B. Arnold and W. Wilson Carlile for plaintiff in error.

Messrs. Fred C. Rector, James I. Boulger, F. M. McSweeney, and Mr. Timothy S. Hogan, Attorney General of Ohio, for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice Day delivered the opinion of the court:

This action was brought in the court of common pleas of Franklin county, Ohio, to recover for injuries received by Harry O. Blagg, while in the service of the Jeffrey Manufacturing Company, a corporation engaged in manufacturing at Columbus, Ohio. The allegation was that the injury happened to the plaintiff because of the standing of certain freight cars upon a switch, with an opening left between them for the use of employees; that the plaintiff was directed by the defendant to assist in removing certain lumber from a point on the north side of the switch, and, in so doing, it was necessary for the plaintiff to pass, as directed and instructed by the defendant, through the opening between the fourth and fifth cars on the switch; that whilst he was so doing, defendant caused to run against the car standing on the east end of the switch a long cut of cars pushed by an engine, with the result that the cars on the switch were jammed and pushed together, and the plaintiff was caught and seriously injured. The negligence charged was (1) in causing said cut of cars to be pushed upon and against the car standing upon said switch while plaintiff was between said cars; (2) in failing to warn or notify the plaintiff of the intention of the defendant to push said cars into or upon said switch or

Page 573

against the car on the east end thereof; and (3) in having an insufficient number of men or employees engaged in the handling and switching of said cut of cars. A recovery was hed in the court of common pleas, and the judgment was affirmed in the court of appeals and in the supreme court of the state, and the case was brought here by writ of error.

The constitutionality of the act of the general assembly of the state of Ohio, known as the workmen's compensation law, is brought in question because of the fact that manufacturing companies, employing five or more, who do not take advantage of its provisions, and the plaintiff in error did not, are deprived in negligence cases of certain defenses otherwise available: (1) negligence of fellow servants; (2) defense of assumed risk; and (3) defense of contributory negligence.

The constitutionality of the act was sustained against many objections after full consideration by the supreme court of Ohio in State ex rel. Yaple v. Creamer, 85 Ohio St. 349, 39 L.R.A.(N.S.) 694, 97 N. E. 602. The validity of the act in a single feature is here brought in question. To decide it renders necessary some examination of its provisions, as outlined in §§ 1465-37 et seq. of vol. 1, Page & Adams's Annotated General Code of Ohio. The act is intended to create a state insurance fund for the benefit of injured, and the dependents of killed, employees. The general scheme of the law is to provide compensation by means of procedure before a board, for injuries not wilfully self-inflicted, received by employees in the course of their employment. The employer who complies with the law is relieved from liability for injury or death of an employee who has complied with the terms of the act, except the injury arise from the wilful act of the employer, his officer or agent, or from failure to comply with laws enacted for protection of the employee, in which event the injured may sue for damages or recover under the act. It is one of the laws which has

Page 574

become more or less common in the states, and aims to substitute a method of compensation by means of investigation and hearing before a board, for what was regarded as an unfair and inadequate system, based upon statutes or the common law. The purpose of the act, as appears from its title, is to provide a fund out of which reparation in such cases shall be made. For that purpose the employments are classified by the state liability board of awards, with reference to their degree of hazard and risk, and rates of premiums fixed, based upon the total payroll and number of employees in each of the classes of employments, the purpose being to establish a fund adequate to provide for the compensation required in the act, and to create a surplus sufficiently large to guarantee a state insurance fund from year to year. General Code, § 1465-53. Every employer who employs five workmen or more regularly in the same business or in the same establishment, who pays into the fund in accordance with the...

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160 practice notes
  • Barrows v. Jackson, No. 517
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 15, 1953
    ...whose constitutional rights are allegedly infringed. Bode v. Barrett, 344 U.S. 583, 585, 73 S.Ct. 468, 470; Jeffrey Mfg. Co. v. Blagg, 235 U.S. 571, 576, 35 S.Ct. 167, 169, 59 L.Ed. 364; People of State of New York ex rel. Hatch v. Reardon, 204 U.S. 152, 160 161, 27 S.Ct. 188, 190, 51 L.Ed.......
  • Virginian Ry Co v. System Federation No 40, No. 324
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 29, 1937
    ...its employees. Erie R. Co. v. Williams, 233 U.S. 685, 697, 34 S.Ct. 761, 58 L.Ed. 1155, 51 L.R.A.(N.S.) 1097; Jeffrey Mfg. Co. v. Blagg, 235 U.S. 571, 576, 35 S.Ct. 167, 59 L.Ed. 364; Rail & River Coal Co. v. Yaple, 236 U.S. 338, 349, 35 S.Ct. 359, 59 L.Ed. 607; cf. Hawkins v. Bleakly, ......
  • Duehay v. Acacia Mut. Life Ins. Co., No. 7183.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • May 29, 1939
    ...authority, exercise any jurisdiction whatever not expressly given by this code * * *." 12 See also, Jeffrey Mfg. Co. v. Blagg, 235 U.S. 571, 576, 35 S.Ct. 167, 59 L. Ed. 364, and cases there cited; Blackmer v. United States, 284 U.S. 421, 442, 52 S.Ct. 252, 76 L.Ed. 375. 13 See Clark v......
  • Howes Bros. Co. v. Massachusetts Unemployment Comp. Comm'n
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • December 30, 1936
    ...185 U.S. 203, 22 S.Ct. 616, 46 L.Ed. 872. A like distinction in a workmen's compensation law has been upheld. Jeffrey Mfg. Co. v. Blagg, 235 U.S. 571, 35 S.Ct. 167, 59 L.Ed. 364. To the same effect in principle are Middleton v. Texas Power & Light Co., 249 U.S. 152, 159, 39 S.Ct. 227, 6......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
160 cases
  • Barrows v. Jackson, No. 517
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 15, 1953
    ...whose constitutional rights are allegedly infringed. Bode v. Barrett, 344 U.S. 583, 585, 73 S.Ct. 468, 470; Jeffrey Mfg. Co. v. Blagg, 235 U.S. 571, 576, 35 S.Ct. 167, 169, 59 L.Ed. 364; People of State of New York ex rel. Hatch v. Reardon, 204 U.S. 152, 160 161, 27 S.Ct. 188, 190, 51 L.Ed.......
  • Virginian Ry Co v. System Federation No 40, No. 324
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 29, 1937
    ...its employees. Erie R. Co. v. Williams, 233 U.S. 685, 697, 34 S.Ct. 761, 58 L.Ed. 1155, 51 L.R.A.(N.S.) 1097; Jeffrey Mfg. Co. v. Blagg, 235 U.S. 571, 576, 35 S.Ct. 167, 59 L.Ed. 364; Rail & River Coal Co. v. Yaple, 236 U.S. 338, 349, 35 S.Ct. 359, 59 L.Ed. 607; cf. Hawkins v. Bleakly, 243 ......
  • Duehay v. Acacia Mut. Life Ins. Co., No. 7183.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • May 29, 1939
    ...authority, exercise any jurisdiction whatever not expressly given by this code * * *." 12 See also, Jeffrey Mfg. Co. v. Blagg, 235 U.S. 571, 576, 35 S.Ct. 167, 59 L. Ed. 364, and cases there cited; Blackmer v. United States, 284 U.S. 421, 442, 52 S.Ct. 252, 76 L.Ed. 375. 13 See Clark v. Wil......
  • Howes Bros. Co. v. Massachusetts Unemployment Comp. Comm'n
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • December 30, 1936
    ...185 U.S. 203, 22 S.Ct. 616, 46 L.Ed. 872. A like distinction in a workmen's compensation law has been upheld. Jeffrey Mfg. Co. v. Blagg, 235 U.S. 571, 35 S.Ct. 167, 59 L.Ed. 364. To the same effect in principle are Middleton v. Texas Power & Light Co., 249 U.S. 152, 159, 39 S.Ct. 227, 63 L.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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