McLaughlin v. New York Cent. R. Co., No. 25550.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Ohio
Writing for the CourtMATTHIAS
Citation200 N.E. 757,130 Ohio St. 527
Decision Date18 March 1936
Docket NumberNo. 25550.

130 Ohio St. 527
200 N.E. 757

R. CO.

No. 25550.

Supreme Court of Ohio.

March 18, 1936.

Error to Court of Appeals, Huron County.

Action by one McLaughlin, as administrator of the estate of Hershel McLaughlin, deceased, against the New York Central Railroad Company. Judgment for plaintiff was reversed by the Court of Appeals, and judgment was rendered for defendant, and plaintiff brings error on allowance of motion to certify.-[Editorial Statement.]

Judgment of the Court of Appeals reversed, and case remanded.

Hershel McLaughlin, while riding as a guest in an automobile, was struck and killed by a train of the New York Central Railroad Company at a crossing in Huron county. Action was brought by his administrator to recover damages for his death. The trial resulted in a verdict and judgment for the plaintiff. Upon proceeding in error to the Court of Appeals, that court reversed the judgment of the court of common pleas and rendered judgment for the plaintiff in error. The case comes into this court on allowance of the motion to certify.

Syllabus by the Court.

[Ohio St. 527]1. In the trial of a railroad crossing collision case, where evidence adduced tended to show there was some smoke and steam which, because of atmospheric conditions, remained near the ground and obstructed the vision, it is erroneous to instruct the jury that by reason of such conditions ‘a higher degree of care’ was required of the defendant company.

2. In such case it is also erroneous to indicate in the charge that the railroad company owes a higher degree of care to a passenger in, than to the driver of, an automobile approaching its crossing.

[200 N.E. 758]

Young & Young, of Norwalk, for plaintiff in error.

Guilbert W. Martin, of Norwalk, and T. A. McCormack, H. N. Quigley, and S. W. Baxter, all of Cincinnati, for defendant in error.


In the course of the general charge, the trial court instructed the jury as follows: ‘If there [Ohio St. 528]was smoke and steam in the atmosphere, to the interruption of the vision of persons upon the highway a higher degree of care was required of the defendant-company than would have been had the atmosphere been clear and the vision good at this crossing under the circumstances which are undisputed with reference to the opportunities for vision. And whether or not the defendant-company failed to exercise the care which I have outlined to you as placed upon it in this situation is for your...

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