Okla. Ry. Co. v. Dalton, Case Number: 23550

CourtSupreme Court of Oklahoma
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM.
Citation174 Okla. 170,50 P.2d 302,1934 OK 603
Docket NumberCase Number: 23550
Decision Date30 October 1934

1934 OK 603
50 P.2d 302
174 Okla. 170


Case Number: 23550

Supreme Court of Oklahoma

Decided: October 30, 1934


¶0 1. Master and Servant--Liability of Railroad for Injuries to Employee Under Federal Employers' Laibility Act.

As to whether or not a railway company is liable to an employee for alleged injuries sustained by reason of its carelessness and negligence, depends on whether or not at the time of the alleged injury it was engaged in interstate transportation or work so closely related to it as to be practically a part of it.

2. Same.

Every common carrier by railway, while engaged in commerce between several states, shall be liable in damages to any person suffering injuries while he is employed by such carrier in such commerce under the Federal Employers' Liability Act.

3. Same--Evidence Held to Show Railroad not Engaged in Interstate Transportation.

Evidence examined, and it is held by the court that the record evidence of the Oklahoma Stock Yards Company that certain shipments in cars had their origin entirely within the state of Oklahoma is conclusive, especially when uncontradicted and no competent testimony to the contrary.

4. Same--Defendant Railroad not Liable Under Federal Employers' Liability Act.

A common carrier by railway, while engaged in intrastate commerce, is not liable in damages to a person suffering injuries while he is employed by such carrier in such intrastate commerce under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, approved by the Act of Congress April 22, 1908.

Appeal from District Court, Oklahoma County; Earl Welch, Assigned Judge.

Action by W. A. Dalton against the Oklahoma Railway Company. Trial was had in the lower court beginning June 18, 1931, concluded June 20, 1931. jury returning a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant and fixing the amount of the recovery at $ 27,500, in which amount the lower court rendered judgment, and from this judgment the defendant appeals. On rehearing, judgment reversed and cause remanded, with directions.

Hayes, Richardson Shartel, Gilliland & Jordan, for plaintiff in error.

O. A. Cargill and Gomer Smith, for defendant in error.


¶1 This case was instituted in the district court of Oklahoma county, February 25, 1931, by W. A. Dalton, plaintiff, against the Oklahoma Railway Company, defendant. In this court the Oklahoma Railway Company is the plaintiff in error, but will be referred to herein as the defendant, and W. A. Dalton is the defendant in error, and will be referred to herein as the plaintiff.

¶2 W. A. Dalton was and is a resident and citizen of Oklahoma City, Okla., and the Oklahoma Railway Company is a corporation, duly organized and existing under and by virtue o the laws of the state of Oklahoma, with its principal place of business in Oklahoma City, and conducting a street and interurban railway for the handling of passengers and freight, both urban and interurban, intra- and interstate.

¶3 The plaintiff below was, on September 4, 1930, an employee of the defendant company as a switchman or conductor, and he, on that date, together with the motorman or engineer, R. A. Murphy, also an employee of the defendant railway company, was engaged in switching cars with a switch engine of the defendant company in the yards in Packingtown. the said plaintiff was riding on the rear end of a string of box ears which were being pushed by the switch engine aforesaid and giving the signals to advance, retard the speed of or stop the ears upon and along the said switch track upon which the said switch engine was moving the said ears loaded with cattle, which were being handled at the time and place by the defendant, the Oklahoma Railway Company, through its agents, servants and employees. The cattle cars. on one of which the plaintiff was standing, being propelled by the said switch engine aforesaid, were pushed by the said switch engine into another string of empty cars standing on the same track, allegedly in disregard of the plaintiff's signals, and with such speed and in such a manner as to throw the plaintiff several feet above and off the said car on which he was riding at the time and when the rebound of the said cars came, as a result of the impact, he went off the end of the said cars and down between the said standing cars, injuring him in the following particulars: Bones in his ankles were broken and permanently injured and he received profound nervous and mental shock. He was compelled to be confined to his bed. hospital and home and to undergo medical and surgical treatment continuously from that date for several months and he suffered severe and excruciating pain as a result therefrom and he was left permanently disfigured and crippled.

¶4 He was a man 34 years of age and previous to the time of his injury was healthy, robust and strong, with an earning capacity of $ 180 per month, and free from bodily infirmities. The plaintiff was compelled to spend large sums of money in treatment of his...

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