Seaboard Air Line Railway v. Ernest Duvall, No. 304

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtLurton
Citation225 U.S. 477,32 S.Ct. 790,56 L.Ed. 1171
PartiesSEABOARD AIR LINE RAILWAY, Plff. in Err., v. ERNEST N. DUVALL
Docket NumberNo. 304
Decision Date10 June 1912

225 U.S. 477
32 S.Ct. 790
56 L.Ed. 1171
SEABOARD AIR LINE RAILWAY, Plff. in Err.,

v.

ERNEST N. DUVALL.

No. 304.
Argued April 30, 1912.
Decided June 10, 1912.

Page 478

Messrs. Walter H. Neal, Benjamin Micou, Hilary A. Herbert, Richard P. Whiteley, and E. T. Cansler for plaintiff in error.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 478-481 intentionally omitted]

Page 481

Mr. William C. Douglass for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice Lurton delivered the opinion of the court:

This was an action by an employee of the plaintiff in error to recover damages for severe and permanent personal injuries alleged to have been received while in its service. The plaintiff alleged that he was baggage master and flagman on one of the defendant's passenger trains, running from Portsmouth, Virginia, to Monroe, North Carolina. That a head-on collision occurred with another of defendant's trains, whereby plaintiff and others were injured, and that the collision was due to the negligence of defendant's officers and agents. The answer was, in substance, a general denial for want of knowledge. There was a jury, verdict and judgment for the defendant in error, which was later affirmed by the supreme court of the state. This writ of error was allowed by the chief justice of that court upon the ground that 'there was drawn into question a right, privilege, or immunity claimed by the railroad company under a statute of the United States, and the decision was against such right, privilege, or immunity so claimed and specially set up by said defendant,' etc. Such a certificate is, however, not sufficient to confer jurisdiction to review the judgment of a state court under § 709 Revised Statutes (U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 575). That there was set up and denied some claim or right under the Constitution or a statute of the United States must appear upon the record; and such a certificate is only of value to make more definite or certain that the Federal right was definitely asserted and decided. Sayward v. Denny, 158

Page 482

U. S. 180, 183, 39 L. ed. 941, 942, 15 Sup. Ct. Rep. 777; Louisville & N. R. Co. v. Smith, H. & Co. 204 U. S. 551, 51 L. ed. 612, 27 Sup. Ct. Rep. 401.

The Federal question relied upon to sustain the writ of error to this court concerns the construction and application of the Employers' liability act of April 22, 1908 (35 Stat. at L. 65, chap. 149, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1911, p. 1322). Neither the complaint nor the answer makes any direct reference to that act; but the complaint did allege that the railroad company was operating a line of railroad between Portsmouth, Virginia, and Monroe, North Carolina, and that the plaintiff, while in its employment as baggage master and flagman upon a passenger train running between said points, was negligently injured by a head-on collision. This states a ground of action under that act, and it was so assumed by the trial court, as appears from that part of the charge relating to the effect of contributory negligence, as well as from some of the questions made in the supreme court of the state.

That the collision was due to negligence was conceded. The only defense which seems to have been made was that, under the rules of the company, the plaintiff was required to remain in the baggage car; but that he was hurt while in the express car, a place where, it is claimed, his duty did not call him, and therefore, he was not injured while employed in the service of the company, or engaged in any duty his employment devolved upon him.

The case was submitted upon these issues, and the finding of the jury upon each was as follows:

'1. Was the plaintiff injured by the negligence of the defendant? Answer. Yes.

'2. Was the plaintiff's injury caused by his contributory negligence? Answer. No.

'3. What damage is the plaintiff entitled to recover? Answer. $30,000.'

Four requests for special charges, which bear upon this defense and which were denied, have been assigned here

Page 483

as error reviewable by this court. They were as follows:

'1. That where an employee undertakes to do something not his duty to do, the master is not negligent; and if the jury shall find by the greater weight of the evidence that the plaintiff was acting outside of the scope of his employment when he was injured, they will find the first issue 'No.'

'3. That as the plaintiff admits that he was in the express car at the time of his injuries, and as the rules of the receivers of the defendant (of which he admits he had that notice) required him to remain in the baggage car when not engaged in flagging the train, the burden is upon the plaintiff to satisfy the jury by the greater weight of evidence, that when he went into said express car, and was injured, he was engaged in the discharge of the duties of his employment; and if he has failed to so satisfy the jury, you will answer the first issue 'No.'

'4. That unless the jury shall find by the greater weight of the evidence that when the plaintiff went into the express car, he understood that he was going there to discharge some of the duties of his employment, the defendant's negligence in causing the derailment of said car would not be the proximate cause of the plaintiff's injuries, and the jury will answer the first issue 'No.'

'6. The admitted rules of the receivers of the defendant required the plaintiff to remain in the baggage car when not engaged in flagging the train, and the plaintiff had no right to go into the express car in violation of the provisions of the said rules, unless the conductor ordered him to do so for the purpose of discharging...

To continue reading

Request your trial
35 practice notes
  • Sears v. Texas & N. O. Ry. Co., (Nos. 445-3934.)
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • November 26, 1924
    ...299; Missouri, etc., Ry. Co. v. Wulf, 226 U. S. 570, 33 S. Ct. 135, 57 L. Ed. 355, Ann. Cas. 1914B, 134; Seaboard, etc., Ry. v. Duvall, 225 U. S. 477, 32 S. Ct. 790, 56 L. Ed. 1171; Hours of Service Act, U. S. Comp. Stat. §§ 8677-8678; Baltimore, etc., Co. v. Wilson, 242 U. S. 295, 37 S. Ct......
  • Charleston Federal Savings Loan Ass v. Alderson, No. 400
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 26, 1945
    ...85, 47 L.Ed. 117, 63 L.R.A. 329; Fullerton v. Texas, 196 U.S. 192, 194, 25 S.Ct. 221, 222, 49 L.Ed. 443; Seaboard Air Line Ry. v. Duvall, 225 U.S. 477, 481, 32 S.Ct. 790, 56 L.Ed. 1171; Connecticut General Life Ins. v. Johnson, 296 U.S. 535, 56 S.Ct. 103, 80 L.Ed. 380; Purcell v. New York C......
  • Beck v. Washington, No. 40
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 14, 1962
    ...that the question of equal protection was a 'definite issue' decided by the Washington Supreme Court (Seaboard Air Line R. Co. v. Duvall, 225 U.S. 477, 487, 32 S.Ct. 790, 792, 56 L.Ed. 1171); and in at least two places in the questions presented by the petition for certiorari that decision ......
  • Whitney v. People of State of California, No. 3
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 16, 1927
    ...U. S. 291, 301, 27 S. Ct. 281, 51 L. Ed. 490), but to the particular claims duly made below, and denied (Seaboard Air Line Ry. v. Duvall, 225 U. S. 477, 485, 488, 32 S. Ct. 790, 56 L. Ed. 1171). We lack here the power occasionally exercised on review of judgments of lower federal courts to ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
35 cases
  • Sears v. Texas & N. O. Ry. Co., (Nos. 445-3934.)
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • November 26, 1924
    ...299; Missouri, etc., Ry. Co. v. Wulf, 226 U. S. 570, 33 S. Ct. 135, 57 L. Ed. 355, Ann. Cas. 1914B, 134; Seaboard, etc., Ry. v. Duvall, 225 U. S. 477, 32 S. Ct. 790, 56 L. Ed. 1171; Hours of Service Act, U. S. Comp. Stat. §§ 8677-8678; Baltimore, etc., Co. v. Wilson, 242 U. S. 295, 37 S. Ct......
  • Charleston Federal Savings Loan Ass v. Alderson, No. 400
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 26, 1945
    ...85, 47 L.Ed. 117, 63 L.R.A. 329; Fullerton v. Texas, 196 U.S. 192, 194, 25 S.Ct. 221, 222, 49 L.Ed. 443; Seaboard Air Line Ry. v. Duvall, 225 U.S. 477, 481, 32 S.Ct. 790, 56 L.Ed. 1171; Connecticut General Life Ins. v. Johnson, 296 U.S. 535, 56 S.Ct. 103, 80 L.Ed. 380; Purcell v. New York C......
  • Beck v. Washington, No. 40
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 14, 1962
    ...that the question of equal protection was a 'definite issue' decided by the Washington Supreme Court (Seaboard Air Line R. Co. v. Duvall, 225 U.S. 477, 487, 32 S.Ct. 790, 792, 56 L.Ed. 1171); and in at least two places in the questions presented by the petition for certiorari that decision ......
  • Whitney v. People of State of California, No. 3
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 16, 1927
    ...U. S. 291, 301, 27 S. Ct. 281, 51 L. Ed. 490), but to the particular claims duly made below, and denied (Seaboard Air Line Ry. v. Duvall, 225 U. S. 477, 485, 488, 32 S. Ct. 790, 56 L. Ed. 1171). We lack here the power occasionally exercised on review of judgments of lower federal courts to ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT