Slack v. St. Louis, I. M. & S. Ry. Co., No. 1631.

CourtMissouri Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtSturgis
Citation187 S.W. 275
PartiesSLACK v. ST. LOUIS, I. M. & S. RY. CO.<SMALL><SUP>*</SUP></SMALL>
Decision Date17 June 1916
Docket NumberNo. 1631.
187 S.W. 275
SLACK
v.
ST. LOUIS, I. M. & S. RY. CO.*
No. 1631.
Springfield Court of Appeals. Missouri.
June 17, 1916.

[187 S.W. 276]

Appeal from Circuit Court, Mississippi County; Frank Kelly, Judge.

Action by W. R. Slack against the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway Company. From a judgment for plaintiff, defendant appeals. Affirmed on condition.

J. F. Green, of St. Louis, and N. A. Mozley, of Bloomfield, for appellant. H. C. O'Bryan and Haw & Brown, all of Charleston, for respondent.

STURGIS, J.


The defendant has appealed from a judgment against it for $952.47 in a jury trial for alleged damages, in that plaintiff's property, a handle factory and its contents, was destroyed by fire escaping from one of defendant's engines. This handle factory was situated about 2,000 feet northwest of defendant's depot in Charleston, Mo. The train in question, after stopping at the depot, went northwest, passing this factory adjoining its right of way on the southwest, the track running southeast and northwest. The main building of the factory stood nearly at right angles with the railroad track, its northeast end abutting close to the edge of the right of way. Its northeast corner, where plaintiff's evidence shows the fire originated, was 52 feet from defendant's track. Another smaller building, called the old storage building, stood about flush with the right of way, a short distance southeast of the northeast end of the main building, and this was burned also. The engine and boiler room was attached to the main building near to its southwest end, and was about 100 feet from the track. The theory of plaintiff is that the fire originated from a spark thrown from the engine and igniting the main building near the northeast corner next to the right of way. The defendant's evidence indicates that the fire started either in the interior of the main building or in the engine and boiler room. There was shown to have been considerable machinery in the northeast part of the main building next to the railroad, and some oil, shavings, etc. On account of this machinery one of plaintiff's witnesses designated this part of the main building as the engine room, but we think it is evident that the witness, in designating where the fire started, meant the part of the main building near the railroad, rather than the engine and boiler room much further distant.

The defendant's principal contention is that there is no evidence warranting the jury's finding that the fire originated from sparks from defendant's passing engine. We have given this contention careful consideration, and do not agree with defendant's contention. In fact, we think that plaintiff made a rather strong case, fully warranting the jury's finding. Stating the evidence favorably to plaintiff, it shows that there was a good, strong breeze blowing from the northeast; that is, from the railroad toward this factory. The train in question left the depot shortly before noon, being behind time. The track was nearly level between it and the factory, but the engine was working full steam in order to attain the maximum speed, and this it did not attain until after it passed the factory. Several witnesses said that the train started out at an unusual rate of speed, and that it was emitting large volumes of black smoke and live sparks and cinders. This continued till the train passed the factory. One witness was pasturing some mules just a short distance southeast of this factory and near the track. He testified that as the engine passed him it was throwing live sparks and cinders, one of which lighted on and burned a hole in his wool hat, and others fell on and among the mules, making them rear and plunge. Another witness was standing at the right of way fence a short distance beyond the factory, and the passing engine threw live sparks on and around him. It is true that the engine was shown to have had a wire screen through which the smoke and cinders must pass, but this was exhibited to the jury, had a one-fourth inch mesh, and does not conclusively show that sparks and cinders, large enough and containing enough vitality...

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4 practice notes
  • Turner v. Great N. Ry. Co., No. 6436.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of North Dakota
    • March 27, 1937
    ...R. Co. (Mo.App.) 209 S.W. 314;Jones v. Chicago, M. & St. P. Ry. Co. (Mo.App.) 204 S.W. 192;Slack v. St. Louis, I M. & S. R. Co. (Mo.App.) 187 S.W. 275;Bankers' & Shippers' Insurance Co. v. Charleston & W. C. Ry. Co., 138 S.C. 339, 136 S.E. 557;Virginian Ry. Co. v. London, 148 Va. 699, 139 S......
  • Lober v. Kansas City, No. 34710.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • December 14, 1936
    ...Atkinson v. Railroad Co., 73 Mo. 367; Meyer v. Railroad Co., 64 Mo. 542; DeSteiger v. Railroad Co., 73 Mo. 33; Slack v. Railroad Co., 187 S.W. 275; Oliver v. Railroad Co., 190 S.W. 361; Jordan v. Railroad Co., 206 Mo. App. 56; Hartford Ins. Co. v. Payne, 243 S.W. 357; Jackels v. K.C. Ry. Co......
  • Alcorn v. St. Louis & H.R. Co., No. 19405.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • April 4, 1926
    ...premises. Circumstantial evidence will suffice." And likewise said the Springfield Court of Appeals in the case of Slack v. Railroad, 187 S. W. 275, loc. cit. 277: "The evidence in such cases generally consists in showing that an engine passed so recently before the fire as to indicate, and......
  • Oliver v. St. Louis, I. M. & S. Ry. Co., No. 1742.
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • December 16, 1916
    ...the judgment hereinbefore mentioned. The facts of this case are identical with those in the case of Slack v. St. L., I. M. & S. Ry. Co., 187 S. W. 275, decided by this court on June 17, 1916. Practically the same evidence was introduced and the same instructions given in both cases; the evi......
4 cases
  • Turner v. Great N. Ry. Co., No. 6436.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of North Dakota
    • March 27, 1937
    ...R. Co. (Mo.App.) 209 S.W. 314;Jones v. Chicago, M. & St. P. Ry. Co. (Mo.App.) 204 S.W. 192;Slack v. St. Louis, I M. & S. R. Co. (Mo.App.) 187 S.W. 275;Bankers' & Shippers' Insurance Co. v. Charleston & W. C. Ry. Co., 138 S.C. 339, 136 S.E. 557;Virginian Ry. Co. v. London, 148 Va. 699, 139 S......
  • Lober v. Kansas City, No. 34710.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • December 14, 1936
    ...Atkinson v. Railroad Co., 73 Mo. 367; Meyer v. Railroad Co., 64 Mo. 542; DeSteiger v. Railroad Co., 73 Mo. 33; Slack v. Railroad Co., 187 S.W. 275; Oliver v. Railroad Co., 190 S.W. 361; Jordan v. Railroad Co., 206 Mo. App. 56; Hartford Ins. Co. v. Payne, 243 S.W. 357; Jackels v. K.C. Ry. Co......
  • Alcorn v. St. Louis & H.R. Co., No. 19405.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • April 4, 1926
    ...premises. Circumstantial evidence will suffice." And likewise said the Springfield Court of Appeals in the case of Slack v. Railroad, 187 S. W. 275, loc. cit. 277: "The evidence in such cases generally consists in showing that an engine passed so recently before the fire as to indicate, and......
  • Oliver v. St. Louis, I. M. & S. Ry. Co., No. 1742.
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • December 16, 1916
    ...the judgment hereinbefore mentioned. The facts of this case are identical with those in the case of Slack v. St. L., I. M. & S. Ry. Co., 187 S. W. 275, decided by this court on June 17, 1916. Practically the same evidence was introduced and the same instructions given in both cases; the evi......

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