Minneapolis, St Co v. Borum, 585

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Citation52 S.Ct. 612,76 L.Ed. 1218,286 U.S. 447
Docket NumberNo. 585,585
PartiesMINNEAPOLIS, ST. P. & S. S. M. R. CO. v. BORUM
Decision Date23 May 1932

Messrs. Henry S. Mitchell and John E. Palmer, both of Minneapolis, Minn., for petitioner.

Mr. Ernest A. Michel, of Minneapolis, Minn., for respondent.

Mr. Justice BUTLER delivered the opinion of the Court.

In October, 1921, petitioner accepted respondent's application for work as a switchman, and the latter in December, 1928, was injured while employed in interstate transportation. He brought this action in the district court of Hennepin county to recover damages under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (45 U. S. C. §§ 51-59 (45 USCA §§ 51-59)) and, after issue was joined, the parties made an agreement for arbitration under a statute of Minnesota (Gen. St. 1923, §§ 9513-9519) pursuant to which the company paid plaintiff $12,500 to be retained by him in any event. And it was agreed that, if the arbitrators found for plaintiff on the merits, the award should be $12,500 in addition to the amount so paid. The arbitrators made findings of fact, and held that plaintiff's injuries were caused by defendant's negligence, and that he was entitled to recover the stipulated amount. A motion made by defendant to vacate having been denied, the district court entered judgment for plaintiff in accordance with the award and the Supreme Court affirmed. 184 Minn. 126, 238 N. W. 4.

Defendant's contention here is that the state court erred in sustaining the finding that plaintiff was an employee within the meaning of the act as construed in Minneapolis, etc., R. Co. v. Rock, 279 U. S. 410, 49 S. Ct. 363, 73 L. Ed. 766.

Plaintiff made application in writing to defendant for employment as switchman. Then, and continuously thereafter while plaintiff worked for it, defendant had a rule, No. 16, promulgated to promote safety and efficiency in the operation of its railroad, which declared that no person over 45 years should be taken into the service. Another rule, No. 22, was to the effect that applications for employment in the yard service not rejected within 30 days would be considered accepted. And there was one, No. 4(A), stating that all employees who attain the age of 65 will be retired.

When plaintiff made his application he was 49 years old and understood that defendant had a rule against accepting men over 45 to work in its train service. He falsely stated in his application that he was 38 years old, and when submitting to a physical examination required of applicants for employment, he again so misrepresented his age. This statement was relied upon by the examining surgeon and was in part the basis of his finding and report that plaintiff was in good health and acceptable physical condition. It was a general practice of men, over the age specified in the rule, when applying for such work on the railroads of defendant and other carriers in the Northwest, falsely to represent their ages to be within the specified limit, and that practice was known to the defendant. The arbitrators were unable to find whether defendant knew plaintiff was over 45 years. They did not find, nor does the evidence require a finding, that defendant was deceived by plaintiff's false statements or that it accepted his application because of or in reliance upon them. The application was not rejected within 30 days, and, under rule 22, must be deemed to have been finally accepted. Under the terms of the contract of hiring, defendant did not without more have the right to remove plaintiff from its service on account of such misrepresentation. Plaintiff worked for defendant as a switchman for about 7 years and when injured was well under the age for retirement. His work was satisfactory. Neither his age nor his physical condition contributed to cause his injury.

In Minneapolis, etc., R....

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22 cases
  • Harkrider v. Posey
    • United States
    • Oklahoma Supreme Court
    • 5 Diciembre 2000
    ...This pronouncement was followed three years later by the Court's pronouncement in Minneapolis, St. P. & S.S. M. Ry. Co. v. Borum, 286 U.S. 447, 52 S.Ct. 612, 76 L.Ed. 1218 (1932), in which the Court held that the fraudulent procurement of employment did not prevent an employee from recoveri......
  • Godsy v. Thompson
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 6 Marzo 1944
    ... ... Ry. Co. v. Rock, 279 U.S. 410, 49 S.Ct ... 363; C. & O. v. Bryant, 280 U.S. 404, 50 S.Ct. 167; ... Minn., St. P. & S.S.M. Ry. Co. v. Borum, 286 U.S ... 447, 52 S.Ct. 612; Lloyd v. N.C.R. Co., 151 N.C ... 536, 45 L.R.A. (N.S.) 378; Fitzmaurice v. N.Y., N.H. & H.R. Co., 78 N.E ... ...
  • White v. Thompson
    • United States
    • Kansas Supreme Court
    • 8 Junio 1957
    ...U.S. 410, 49 S.Ct. 363, 73 L.Ed. 766; rehearing denied 50 S.Ct. 79, 73 L.Ed. 767, footnote 1; Minneapolis, St. P. & S. S. M. R. Co. v. Borum, 1932, 286 U.S. 447, 52 S.Ct. 612, 76 L.Ed. 1218; Southern Pacific Co. v. Libbey, 9 Cir., 1952, 199 F.2d 341; Fort Worth & D. C. Ry. Co. v. Griffith, ......
  • Godsy v. Thompson
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 6 Marzo 1944
    ...Ry. Co. v. Rock, 279 U.S. 410, 49 S. Ct. 363; C. & O. v. Bryant, 280 U.S. 404, 50 S. Ct. 167; Minn., St. P. & S.S.M. Ry. Co. v. Borum, 286 U.S. 447, 52 S. Ct. 612; Lloyd v. N.C.R. Co., 151 N.C. 536, 45 L.R.A. (N.S.) 378; Fitzmaurice v. N.Y., N.H. & H.R. Co., 78 N.E. 418, 6 L.R.A. (N.S.) 114......
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