Norfolk Southern Railroad Company v. Walter Ferebee, No. 779

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtLamar
Citation238 U.S. 269,59 L.Ed. 1303,35 S.Ct. 781
Decision Date14 June 1915
Docket NumberNo. 779
PartiesNORFOLK SOUTHERN RAILROAD COMPANY, Plff. in Err., v. WALTER G. FEREBEE

238 U.S. 269
35 S.Ct. 781
59 L.Ed. 1303
NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAILROAD COMPANY, Plff. in Err.,

v.

WALTER G. FEREBEE.

No. 779.
Argued April 23, 1915.
Decided June 14, 1915.

Page 270

Messrs. Murray Allen, R. N. Simms, John H. Small, and W. B. Rodman for plaintiff in error.

[Argument of Counsel from page 270 intentionally omitted]

Page 271

Messrs. Clyde A. Douglass and William C. Douglass for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice Lamar delivered the opinion of the court:

Ferebee was employed by the Norfolk Southern Railroad Company as a train hand on a passenger train running from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Norfolk, Virginia. During the night, at some place on the journey, the steps to the platform of one of the cars were torn away by coming in contact with some unknown obstruction. The consequence was that when Ferebee attempted to alight at a station, he stepped from the platform to the ground, and received personal injuries for which he brought suit in the superior court of Wake county, North Carolina, under the Federal employers' liability act (35 Stat. at L. 65, chap. 149, Comp. Stat. 1913, § 8657). The company defended on the ground that the plaintiff had been guilty of contributory negligence in attempting to leave the car while it was in motion; in failing to hold on to the hand rail; in failing to use his lantern; and in failing to discover that the steps were missing. There was a trial in which, under the North Carolina practice, the jury returned a special verdict, finding, among other things, (1) that the railroad company was negligent, and (2) that the plaintiff was not guilty of contributory negligence.

Page 272

The case was then taken to the supreme court of the state, which, because of an error in the charge on the subject of damages, granted a partial new trial and remanded the case for a hearing in which the only question to be considered was the amount to be awarded the plaintiff. 163 N. C. 351, 52 L.R.A.(N.S.) 1114, 79 S. E. 685.

At the second trial the plaintiff, on crossexamination, testified that when he left the car for the purpose of assisting passengers, he had in his hand a railroad lantern, and by holding it beneath the platform and 'making an examination like a car inspector' he could have been that the steps had been torn away. He testified that he made no such examination, and owing to the construction of the lantern—throwing light from the side instead of from the bottom—he did not see that they were missing. On motion of the plaintiff this evidence was excluded. Later the objection was withdrawn and the testimony admitted. On further cross-examination the plaintiff was asked if the rules did not require him to make such examinations. This evidence was...

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78 practice notes
  • Mississippi Cent R. Co. v. Knight, 24615
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • March 30, 1925
    ...v. Zachary, 232 U.S. 248, 58 L.Ed. 591; Southern R. R. Co. v. Gadd, 233 U.S. 572, 58 L.Ed. 1099; Norfolk Southern R. R. Co. v. Ferebee, 238 U.S. 269, 59 L.Ed. 1303; New York Central & Hudson River R. R. Co. v. Carr, 238 U.S. 260, 59 L.Ed. 1298; Central Vermont R. R. Co. v. White, 238 U.S. 5......
  • Richardson v. Kornegay, No. 18-6488
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • July 8, 2021
    ...).10 Although the Supreme Court has acknowledged a possible exception to the rule in the "gravest and most important cases," McDonald , 238 U.S. at 269, 35 S.Ct. 783, the Court only addressed potential constitutional exceptions twice in the 3 F.4th 703 period after Rule 606(b) was enacted, ......
  • United States v. Dioguardi, No. 113-114
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • January 4, 1974
    ...ought always to be received with great caution." Nor has the Court seen fit since then to relax its position, McDonald v. Pless, supra, 238 U.S. at 269, 35 S.Ct. 783. See Rotondo v. Isthmian Steamship Co., 243 F.2d 581, 583 (2d Cir. 1957); United States v. Crosby, 294 F.2d 928, 949-950 (2d ......
  • Strong v. Roper, Case No. 4:08CV1917 JCH
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • June 29, 2011
    ...Mechem, 801 F.2d 1233, 1236 (10th Cir. 1986)(quoting United States v. Wright, 506 F.3d 1293, 1303 (10th Cir. 2007)); see also McDonald, 238 U.S. at 269 ("the losing party cannot, in order to secure a new trial, use the testimony of jurors to impeach their verdict"); United States v. Johnson......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
78 cases
  • Mississippi Cent R. Co. v. Knight, 24615
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • March 30, 1925
    ...v. Zachary, 232 U.S. 248, 58 L.Ed. 591; Southern R. R. Co. v. Gadd, 233 U.S. 572, 58 L.Ed. 1099; Norfolk Southern R. R. Co. v. Ferebee, 238 U.S. 269, 59 L.Ed. 1303; New York Central & Hudson River R. R. Co. v. Carr, 238 U.S. 260, 59 L.Ed. 1298; Central Vermont R. R. Co. v. White, 238 U.S. 5......
  • Richardson v. Kornegay, No. 18-6488
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • July 8, 2021
    ...).10 Although the Supreme Court has acknowledged a possible exception to the rule in the "gravest and most important cases," McDonald , 238 U.S. at 269, 35 S.Ct. 783, the Court only addressed potential constitutional exceptions twice in the 3 F.4th 703 period after Rule 606(b) was enacted, ......
  • United States v. Dioguardi, No. 113-114
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • January 4, 1974
    ...ought always to be received with great caution." Nor has the Court seen fit since then to relax its position, McDonald v. Pless, supra, 238 U.S. at 269, 35 S.Ct. 783. See Rotondo v. Isthmian Steamship Co., 243 F.2d 581, 583 (2d Cir. 1957); United States v. Crosby, 294 F.2d 928, 949-950 (2d ......
  • Strong v. Roper, Case No. 4:08CV1917 JCH
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • June 29, 2011
    ...Mechem, 801 F.2d 1233, 1236 (10th Cir. 1986)(quoting United States v. Wright, 506 F.3d 1293, 1303 (10th Cir. 2007)); see also McDonald, 238 U.S. at 269 ("the losing party cannot, in order to secure a new trial, use the testimony of jurors to impeach their verdict"); United States v. Johnson......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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