Southern Ry Co v. Walters, No. 52

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtROBERTS
Citation76 L.Ed. 239,52 S.Ct. 58,284 U.S. 190
Docket NumberNo. 52
Decision Date23 November 1931
PartiesSOUTHERN RY. CO. v. WALTERS

284 U.S. 190
52 S.Ct. 58
76 L.Ed. 239
SOUTHERN RY. CO.

v.

WALTERS.

No. 52.
Argued Oct. 27, 28, 1931.
Decided Nov. 23, 1931.

Page 191

Messrs. Bruce A. Campbell, of East St. Louis, Ill., and H. O'B. Cooper, S. R. Prince, and L. E. Jeffries, all of Washington, D. C., for petitioner.

Mr. Charles A. Lich, of St. Louis, Mo., for respondent.

Mr. Justice ROBERTS delivered the opinion of the Court.

This action was instituted in a state court and removed to the District Court for Eastern Missouri. Respondent, the minor plaintiff, averred in his declaration that, as he was in the act of crossing defendant's track on Bond avenue, East St. Louis, he was struck by a train and seriously injured. The negligence alleged was failure to sound a

Page 192

bell or other signal when the train was approaching the crossing, failure to maintain a proper and sufficient lookout, and failure to comply with an order of the Illinois Commerce Commission requiring defendant to stop all trains and flag the crossing before they crossed Bond avenue. The answer was a general denial.

At the trial both parties presented proofs, and at the close of the plaintiff's case, as well as at the conclusion of all the evidence, the defendant moved for a binding direction, which was refused. The trial judge withdrew from the jury's consideration all the specifications of negligence except that which charged a failure to stop the train and flag the crossing before proceeding over Bond avenue. He charged the jury that, if these precautions were omitted, the verdict should be for plaintiff, but, if they were observed, they should find for defendant. The jury found for the plaintiff, and on appeal the Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment entered upon that verdict.1 This Court granted certiorari.2 We need consider only whether upon the whole case defendant was entitled to a binding direction.

The tracks on which the accident occurred extend from the railway company's main line to a freight yard and run approximately north and south, almost parallel with, and some seventy-five feet west of, Eighth street. Bond avenue, which extends eastwardly and westwardly, crosses the tracks at a right angle. The train involved in the accident consisted of a locomotive running tender-first and pulling fifty freight cars in a northerly direction from the freight yard towards the main tracks.

The plaintiff called four adult witnesses who were at the scene of the accident, none of whom saw its actual occurrence. Each of them was to the east of the train and each first noticed the plaintiff lying to the west of it after the locomotive and several cars had completely crossed Bond avenue.

Page 193

The plaintiff, who was between five and six years of age at the time of the accident, testified that he was about to cross the railroad tracks from west to east and was struck by the front of the locomotive. He stated repeatedly that the train was coming from the north, whereas it is beyond question...

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47 practice notes
  • Hardin v. Ill. Central Railroad Co., No. 32084.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 19, 1934
    ...should be disregarded in passing on a demurrer to the evidence or a request for a peremptory instruction. So. Ry. v. Walters, 284 U.S. 190, 52 Sup. Ct. 58; A.D. Small v. Lamborn & Co., 267 U.S. 254, 45 Sup. Ct. 303; Herbert v. Butler, 97 U.S. 320; Anderson County Commrs. v. Beal, 113 U.S. 2......
  • Mooney v. Terminal Railroad Assn. of St. Louis, No. 39202.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • March 5, 1945
    ...Draper v. L. & N.R. Co., 156 S.W. (2d) 626; Pennsylvania R. Co. v. Chamberlain, 228 U.S. 333, 77 L. Ed. 819; Southern Ry. Co. v. Walters, 284 U.S. 190, 76 L. Ed. 239. (10) The closing argument of respondent's counsel was reversibly erroneous. Draper v. L. & N.R. Co., 156 S.W. (2d) 626; Fath......
  • Howard v. Mobile & Ohio Railroad Co., No. 32092.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 12, 1934
    ...v. Railroad Co., 179 U.S. 658, 21 Sup. Ct. 275, 45 L. Ed. 361; Martin v. Railroad Co., 30 S.W. (2d) 735; So. Railroad Co. v. Walters, 284 U.S. 190, 52 Sup. Ct. 58, 76 L. Ed. 239; Shidloski v. Ry. Co., 64 S.W. (2d) 259; Adelsberger v. Sheehy, 59 S.W. (2d) 647; Steele v. Railroad Co., 265 Mo.......
  • Pallazola v. Rucker, Nos. 85-1888
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • August 1, 1986
    ...he might thus be clothed with a right to institute an action which could not be ... removed on the ground of diversity of citizenship." 284 U.S. at 190, 52 S.Ct. at 8 This distinction might not be particularly important. See Betar v. De Havilland Aircraft of Canada, Ltd., 603 F.2d 30, 36 (7......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
47 cases
  • Hardin v. Ill. Central Railroad Co., No. 32084.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 19, 1934
    ...should be disregarded in passing on a demurrer to the evidence or a request for a peremptory instruction. So. Ry. v. Walters, 284 U.S. 190, 52 Sup. Ct. 58; A.D. Small v. Lamborn & Co., 267 U.S. 254, 45 Sup. Ct. 303; Herbert v. Butler, 97 U.S. 320; Anderson County Commrs. v. Beal, 113 U.S. 2......
  • Mooney v. Terminal Railroad Assn. of St. Louis, No. 39202.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • March 5, 1945
    ...Draper v. L. & N.R. Co., 156 S.W. (2d) 626; Pennsylvania R. Co. v. Chamberlain, 228 U.S. 333, 77 L. Ed. 819; Southern Ry. Co. v. Walters, 284 U.S. 190, 76 L. Ed. 239. (10) The closing argument of respondent's counsel was reversibly erroneous. Draper v. L. & N.R. Co., 156 S.W. (2d) 626; Fath......
  • Howard v. Mobile & Ohio Railroad Co., No. 32092.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 12, 1934
    ...v. Railroad Co., 179 U.S. 658, 21 Sup. Ct. 275, 45 L. Ed. 361; Martin v. Railroad Co., 30 S.W. (2d) 735; So. Railroad Co. v. Walters, 284 U.S. 190, 52 Sup. Ct. 58, 76 L. Ed. 239; Shidloski v. Ry. Co., 64 S.W. (2d) 259; Adelsberger v. Sheehy, 59 S.W. (2d) 647; Steele v. Railroad Co., 265 Mo.......
  • Pallazola v. Rucker, Nos. 85-1888
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • August 1, 1986
    ...he might thus be clothed with a right to institute an action which could not be ... removed on the ground of diversity of citizenship." 284 U.S. at 190, 52 S.Ct. at 8 This distinction might not be particularly important. See Betar v. De Havilland Aircraft of Canada, Ltd., 603 F.2d 30, 36 (7......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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