Louisville & N.R. Co. v. Anchors

Decision Date01 May 1897
Citation22 So. 279,114 Ala. 492
CourtAlabama Supreme Court
PartiesLOUISVILLE & N. R. CO. v. ANCHORS. [1]

Appeal from city court of Anniston; James W. Lapsley, Judge.

Action brought by Hannah Anchors, as administratrix of the estate of J. F. Anchors, deceased, against the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company, to recover damages for negligently causing the death of plaintiff's intestate. From an order of the lower court overruling its demurrers to plaintiff's complaint, defendant appeals. Reversed in part.

The complaint contained 10 counts. The first count of the complaint was as follows: "The plaintiff claims of the defendant the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars, for that heretofore, to wit, on the 4th day of July, 1896, the defendant was a railroad company, and a common carrier operating a railroad which passes through the city of Anniston, and, in passing through the said city, it ran over and across Eleventh street, a public street in said city that running along Eleventh street is an electric car line called the 'Oxford Lake Line,' which runs from Anniston to Oxford Lake, a point four miles distant from Anniston, within Calhoun county, and beyond the corporate limits of any town, city, or village; that the said Oxford Lake Line is engaged in the business of transporting freight and passengers between Anniston, Oxford, and intermediate points; that on the night of the said July 4th the defendant company was running and moving a passenger train drawn by a steam locomotive over its said line, and passing through said city, and along and across the said Eleventh street, and across the track of the said Lake Line; that Anniston is a regular station or stopping place on the line of the defendant's said railroad; that the crossing of the defendant's said line with that of the Oxford Lake Line on Eleventh street, is more than a half mile in every direction, and is within a quarter of a mile of the regular station or stopping place on the line of the defendant's railroad; that the ordinances of the city of Anniston provide that no person shall run or cause to be run any car, engine or railroad train within the corporate limits of the city of Anniston faster than six miles per hour, or run any railroad train, car, or engine over any street crossing within the corporate limits of said city without continually ringing a bell over and between said crossing. And plaintiff avers That the said defendant, in running its said passenger train at the time and place as aforesaid, ran into and collided with a passenger car of said Lake Line at the place where its railroad crosses the railroad of defendant, knocked the passenger car of said Lake Line off the track, and struck and killed plaintiff's intestate, who was the conductor on the said car of the Oxford Lake Line, while the said car was running along the track of the said Oxford Lake Line's railroad. That the death of plaintiff's intestate was caused by the negligence of defendant in this: That (1) Robert Wallace, defendant's engineer on said passenger train, failed to blow the whistle or ring the bell at least one-quarter of a mile before reaching said crossing with Eleventh street, and in failing to continue to blow the whistle or ring his bell at short intervals until said train had passed said crossing. (2) Said Wallace failed to ring his bell or blow his whistle at least one-quarter of a mile from the regular station or stopping place of said defendant's trains at Anniston, and in failing to continue said ringing or blowing at short intervals until such station or stopping place was reached. (3) Said Wallace failed to ring his bell at short intervals while moving within the corporate limits of the city of Anniston. (4) Said Wallace and one Hiram Meigs, who was defendant's conductor on said passenger train, run or caused to be run the said train of defendant in the corporate limits of the city of Anniston at a greater rate of speed than six miles per hour, and without continually ringing the bell within the said corporate limits of Anniston, and while running over and between the crossing of said Eleventh street with defendant's railroad, by reason of all which negligence on the part of the defendant plaintiff was damaged in the said sum of twenty-five thousand dollars." The third, fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth, and ninth counts of the complaint charge the defendant with simple negligence, while the second, sixth, and tenth counts sought to allege that the injury was willfully inflicted, or resulted from such wanton negligence as to be the equivalent of a willful wrong. The allegations of the second and tenth counts are sufficiently stated in the opinion. The sixth count was as follows: "Plaintiff claims of the defendant the other and further sum of twenty-five thousand dollars as damages, for that heretofore, to wit, on the fourth day of July, 1896, defendant was running and moving a passenger car over a line of railroad that it was operating in and beyond the corporate limits of the city of Anniston, an incorporated town or city; that, while the said passenger car was moving within said corporate limits, it ran into and against a passenger car of the Oxford Lake Line; that plaintiff's intestate was the conductor on said last-named passenger car; that the ordinances of the city of Anniston prohibit any person from running or causing any railroad train, car, or engine [to run] at a faster speed than six miles an hour; that defendant's agents and servants Hiram Meigs and Robert Wallace, conductor and engineer on said defendant's train, were willfully or wantonly running defendant's said train at a greater rate of speed than six miles per hour, and, by reason of such speed, they willfully or wantonly ran into and against the car on which plaintiff's intestate was the conductor, knocked the said car off its track, and struck and killed plaintiff's intestate, plaintiff's intestate's death being caused by the said willfulness or wantonness in running said train of defendant's at such a high rate of speed, to the damage of the plaintiff in the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars." To the first, third, fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth, and ninth counts of the complaint the defendant separately demurred, upon the grounds (1) that they stated no cause of action; (2) that it does not appear from said counts that the alleged negligence of the defendant was the proximate cause of the injury to plaintiff's intestate; (3) that it does not appear from the facts that the defendant was guilty of negligence. To the second, sixth, and tenth counts of the complaint the defendant demurred, upon the grounds (1) that they state no cause of action; (2) that no sufficient facts are stated to show that the plaintiff's intestate was injured by reason of the wanton, careless, or willful negligence of the defendant or its agents; (3) that the facts stated do not show that the defendant or its agents willfully or wantonly or negligently caused the defendant's locomotive to strike the deceased or cause the injuries. These demurrers were overruled by the court, and from the judgment...

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