Sarah Chunn v. City Suburban Railway of, No. 43

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMoody
Citation207 U.S. 302,52 L.Ed. 219,28 S.Ct. 63
Docket NumberNo. 43
Decision Date02 December 1907
PartiesSARAH CHUNN, Piff. in Err., v. CITY & SUBURBAN RAILWAY OF washington

207 U.S. 302
28 S.Ct. 63
52 L.Ed. 219
SARAH CHUNN, Piff. in Err.,

v.

CITY & SUBURBAN RAILWAY OF washington.

No. 43.
Argued November 8, 1907.
Decided December 2, 1907.

Page 303

Messrs. Percy Metzger and Victor H. Wallace for plaintiff in error.

Messrs. George P. Hoover and Charles A. Douglas for defendant in error.

[Argument of Counsel from page 303 intentionally omitted]

Page 304

Mr. Justice Moody delivered the opinion of the court:

This is a writ of error to the court of appeals of the District of Columbia. The plaintiff in error brought an action to recover damages for personal injuries which she alleged were suffered by her through the negligence of the defendant in error, a corporation operating an electric street railway. The defendant pleaded in abatement that the plaintiff was, at the time of bringing action, an infant under the age of twenty-one years. Issue was joined on the plea. Thereafter the defend-

Page 305

ant, on motion and payment of the costs, was permitted to withdraw this plea and file a plea in bar. When the case came for trial at a later term the plaintiff tendered back the costs and moved the court to reconsider its order that the plea in abatement might be withdrawn and the plea in bar filed, and that the trial proceed upon the issue joined on the plea in abatement. To the refusal to grant these motions the plaintiff excepted. This exception requires no further consideration than that given to it in the court below, and is overruled.

The plaintiff then introduced testimony in support of her declaration, and at the close of this testimony the judge presiding at the trial directed a verdict for the defendant. The plaintiff excepted to the order of the court and her exception was overruled by the court of appeals, and is now here for our consideration. The question is whether there was evidence which, with the inferences reasonably to be drawn from it, tended to prove all the essential elements of the plaintiff's cause of action.

Without reciting all the testimony, which is set forth in full in the opinion of the court of appeals, the facts disclosed by it may be stated in narrative form. The plaintiff, a young woman, had lived and worked in Riverdale, Maryland, for about a year before the accident. During that time she had frequently traveled to Washington on the defendant's cars. It was the custom of persons who traveled from Riverdale to Washington on the defendant's railway to board the cars from what was called the platform near the station of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. At that point there are two tracks of the defendant, running north and south. The distance between the inner rails of the two tracks was 7 feet, 10 inches. The steps of the cars projected 2 feet, 2 inches beyond the tracks, leaving, when two cars passed each other at this point, a clear space between them of 3 feet, 6 inches, so that, as one of the plaintiff's witnesses said, 'there was ample room to stand if you were thinking what you were doing.' The platform extended 30 feet lengthwise along the tracks.

Page 306

It consisted of boards laid on the ground and sleepers and parallel with the tracks. It covered the space between the tracks and the rails of the tracks and the width of two boards beyond the outside tracks. A road ran west of and near the tracks. West of the tracks there was 'a kind of sink,' and those boarding the cars for Washington from that side had 'to stand out in the mud or in that hole to get on the car.' The cars to Washington ran on the west, and the cars from Washington ran on the east, track. It was the custom of persons taking the Washington car to board it from the east side, standing on the platform between the tracks, and the doors of the cars were opened to receive them from that side; sometimes, however, such passengers entered from the west side. The purpose for which the platform was originally constructed was not shown, but it was used in the manner stated and for the passage of persons and vehicles. One standing on the platform at this point could see or be seen for a distance of at least a quarter of a mile north or south. On the evening of September 29, 1900, the plaintiff came to this place to take the car for Washington. The hour was not stated, but it was light enough to recognize a...

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68 practice notes
  • Mooney v. Terminal Railroad Assn. of St. Louis, No. 39202.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • March 5, 1945
    ...W.R. Co. v. Allen, 276 U.S. 166, 72 L. Ed. 513; St L.-S.F.R. Co. v. Schumacher, 152 U.S. 77, 38 L. Ed. 361; Chunn v. City & Suburban Ry., 207 U.S. 302, 52 L. Ed. 219. (4) Comparative negligence as a governing principle of the Federal Employers' Liability Act in no way affects the federal la......
  • Mooney v. Terminal Railroad Association, No. 38122.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • January 3, 1944
    ...W.R. Co. v. Allen, 276 U.S. 166, 72 L. Ed. 513; St. L.-S.F.R. Co. v. Schumacher, 152 U.S. 77, 38 L. Ed. 361; Chunn v. City & Suburban Ry., 207 U.S. 302. 52 L.Ed. 219; Smith v. Gould (dissenting opinion), 110 W. Va. 579, 159 S.E. 53, 92 A.L.R. l.c. 37; Bassett & Co. v. Wood, 146 Va. 654, 132......
  • Graham v. Thompson, No. 39898.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • May 27, 1948
    ...W.R. Co. v. Allen, 276 U.S. 166, 72 L. Ed. 513; St. L.-S.F.R. Co. v. Schumacher, 152 U.S. 77, 38 L. Ed. 361; Chunn v. City & Suburban Ry., 207 U.S. 302, 52 L. Ed. 219. (17) The last clear chance doctrine is appreciably a narrower field of recovery than is the Missouri humanitarian doctrine.......
  • Meyn v. Dulaney-miller Auto Co, No. 8465.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • April 3, 1937
    ...interval of time after Scanlon saw the plaintiff's position for him to avert the accident. Chunn v. City & Suburban Ry. of Washington, 207 U.S. 302, 28 S.Ct. 63, 52 L.Ed. 219; Godfrey v. Vinson, 215 Ala. 166, 110 So. 13; Missouri P. R. Co. v. Skipper (1927) 174 Ark. 1083, 298 S.W. 849; Harr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
68 cases
  • Mooney v. Terminal Railroad Assn. of St. Louis, No. 39202.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • March 5, 1945
    ...Co. v. Allen, 276 U.S. 166, 72 L. Ed. 513; St L.-S.F.R. Co. v. Schumacher, 152 U.S. 77, 38 L. Ed. 361; Chunn v. City & Suburban Ry., 207 U.S. 302, 52 L. Ed. 219. (4) Comparative negligence as a governing principle of the Federal Employers' Liability Act in no way affects the federal las......
  • Mooney v. Terminal Railroad Association, No. 38122.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • January 3, 1944
    ...Co. v. Allen, 276 U.S. 166, 72 L. Ed. 513; St. L.-S.F.R. Co. v. Schumacher, 152 U.S. 77, 38 L. Ed. 361; Chunn v. City & Suburban Ry., 207 U.S. 302. 52 L.Ed. 219; Smith v. Gould (dissenting opinion), 110 W. Va. 579, 159 S.E. 53, 92 A.L.R. l.c. 37; Bassett & Co. v. Wood, 146 Va. 654, ......
  • Graham v. Thompson, No. 39898.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • May 27, 1948
    ...Co. v. Allen, 276 U.S. 166, 72 L. Ed. 513; St. L.-S.F.R. Co. v. Schumacher, 152 U.S. 77, 38 L. Ed. 361; Chunn v. City & Suburban Ry., 207 U.S. 302, 52 L. Ed. 219. (17) The last clear chance doctrine is appreciably a narrower field of recovery than is the Missouri humanitarian doctrine. ......
  • Meyn v. Dulaney-miller Auto Co, No. 8465.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • April 3, 1937
    ...interval of time after Scanlon saw the plaintiff's position for him to avert the accident. Chunn v. City & Suburban Ry. of Washington, 207 U.S. 302, 28 S.Ct. 63, 52 L.Ed. 219; Godfrey v. Vinson, 215 Ala. 166, 110 So. 13; Missouri P. R. Co. v. Skipper (1927) 174 Ark. 1083, 298 S.W. 849; ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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