Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Co. v. Smith, 17703

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Writing for the CourtCOOK, P. J.
Citation71 So. 752,111 Miss. 471
PartiesYAZOO & MISSISSIPPI VALLEY RAILROAD COMPANY v. SMITH
Decision Date15 May 1916
Docket Number17703

71 So. 752

111 Miss. 471

YAZOO & MISSISSIPPI VALLEY RAILROAD COMPANY
v.

SMITH

No. 17703

Supreme Court of Mississippi

May 15, 1916


APPEAL from the circuit court of Quitman county, HON. W. A. ALCORN, Judge.

Suit by Tiny Bell Smith, by next friend against the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Company. From a judgment for plaintiff, defendant appeals.

The facts are fully stated in the opinion of the court.

Reversed and dismissed.

St. John Waddell and F. H. Montgomery, for appellant.

P. H. Lowrey and R. A. Tribble, for appellee.

OPINION

[111 Miss. 473] COOK, P. J.

This suit was brought by the appellee, a little girl hardly two years of age, by her next friend and father, in the court below for fourteen thousand dollars damages on account of having her right hand crushed by one of defendant's trains on August 1, 1913, resulting in the loss of all of the hand except the thumb, and in the declaration filed for her it is alleged that the accident was caused by the negligence of appellant's employees in the handling of the train which caused the injury. To appellee's declaration appellant pleaded the general issue of not guilty, and the case was tried before a jury on these pleadings. There was a verdict in favor of the appellee for fourteen thousand dollars, the amount claimed in her declaration, and a motion made by appellant for a new trial, which was overruled, and a judgment entered against appellant for the amount of the verdict, and from which judgment this appeal is prosecuted.

On August 1, 1913, the defendant owned and was getting gravel from, for the purpose of ballasting and keeping up its railroad track, a gravel pit at a place called Buxton, some three or four miles south of a station called Sarah, on its line of railroad that ran through Tate county, Miss., and on this morning it had loaded a train of fourteen cars with gravel at the pit, with the caboose in front of them and a locomotive behind them, the locomotive, however, headed in the direction of the cars so as to shove the cars in front of it. These cars were equipped with what is called a "Ledgerwood" engine that was supplied with steam through a pipe from the locomotive engine, and the steam thus supplied to the Ledgerwood engine would draw a heavy plow over the cars, this plow being so shaped that it would shove the gravel, or unload it on each side of the cars as it was pulled over the train. By this arrangement a train of this character could be unloaded along the main line of railroad while under way, and without stopping or obstructing the passage [111 Miss. 474] of other trains. The fourteen cars with the caboose and locomotive, constituted this train, and it was destined to be unloaded along the main line of defendant's railroad some distance north of the station of Sarah. One of the witnesses in the case stated that a gravel train thus equipped could be unloaded while under way in ten or fifteen minutes. This train was equipped with air brakes on every car, including caboose and locomotive, and all of the same were in first-class working condition, and were tested and examined by the engineer and conductor before starting out on the trip from the gravel pit. This train pulled out from the gravel pit onto the main line of defendant's track, and started on its journey early in the morning, going north, the caboose and loaded cars being in front of the locomotive, with the locomotive head-on to the cars pushing them, and everything in good working order. The crew of the train consisted of the conductor, a flagman, an engineer, a fireman, and a brakeman, and the evidence showed these men were all [71 So. 753] experienced men in the business in which they were engaged.

The station of Sarah consisted of a depot and a ginning plant on the east side of the railroad track, with Coldwater river on the immediate west side of the railroad, and in a narrow space between the river and the railroad are one or two small stores, and just north of the depot is a blacksmith shop, and just north of it was the home where plaintiff lived; plaintiff's home being along the edge of a cut the railroad enters at that point. South of the depot at Sarah, some one hundred and fifty feet, is a road crossing, and north of the depot a distance of four hundred and eight feet, is another public road crossing leading from the east westward to a bridge across Coldwater river. Just at this north road crossing, the railroad in going north, enters a cut, on the west bank of which was situated the house where plaintiff lived with her father and mother, the house being situated some two hundred feet or more north of the north public road crossing. [111 Miss. 475] There was no one living on the east bank of the cut, and the same was growing with trees, and the sides of the cut were probably ten feet deep.

The depot at Sarah is near the center of a curve in the railroad; that is, in coming northward to the depot the curve is to the west; after leaving the depot, going north, the railroad curves to the east until after getting past the north, road crossing, where it enters the cut, and there it curves again to the east, and in leaving the cut on the north it curves back again to the west. The cut was occasioned by the line of hills bounding the Mississippi Delta on the east coming down at that point to Coldwater river, and the cut was made through the edge of these hills because at that point the river was only a few feet or a short distance west of the railroad track.

The conductor was in the caboose, and came out on the front platform of same down on the steps, and threw off a message, and, there being none for him to receive, got back up into the caboose. The flagman, expecting the train to come to a full stop, came down off of the caboose where he was stationed to the ground, and, there being no message for them, signalled the engineer to go ahead, and immediately got back up on top of the caboose. The conductor, in the meantime, had got back to his seat in the cupola of the caboose, and was looking out ahead on the west side of the track; the flagman was on top of the caboose, either standing on top of the cupola, or between the cupola and the front end of the caboose. The train did not come to a full stop at the depot, but after finding out that there were no orders for them, the signal was given, and the train proceeded on its way northward, accelerating its speed so that, by the time the caboose reached the road crossing north of the depot, it was running, as stated by some of the witnesses, at from seven to ten miles per hour. There was no one on the public road or at the crossing.

On account of the curve in the track to the east from the depot until after it crossed the north road crossing, [111 Miss. 476] the conductor, being on the west side of the caboose, could not see the track ahead. The flagman, however, on top of the caboose, had a better view; and, as the caboose reached or was passing over the north road crossing, the flagman saw something on the track, about one hundred and fifty feet north of the read crossing, which he did not at first clearly distinguish, and then he saw that it was the plaintiff, a little child, a mere baby, out on the track, and he immediately called to the conductor, "There is something on the track--I believe it's a baby"--gave the engineer a stop signal, and ran back to get down off of the top of the caboose onto the front end to render what assistance he could. In the cupola, where the conductor's seat was situated, was an appliance for throwing on all of the air brakes on the train in an emergency, and as soon as the flagman called to the conductor that a baby was on the track, and without ever seeing or knowing where the child was, the conductor immediately applied the air in full force and in emergency on the entire train. The engineer was at his post of duty, and saw the signal of the flagman to stop, and immediately shut off the steam and raised his hand to put the air on the train, and found it had already been applied from the caboose. The track north of the north road crossing has a slight...

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17 practice notes
  • Henry v. Mississippi Power & Light Co., 30455
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • March 27, 1933
    ...83 Vt. 189; Wilburn v. Charleston Cooperage Co., 127 Miss. 290; Woodlawn Gin Co. v. Moore, 103 Miss. 447; Y. & M. V. R. R. Co. v. Smith, 111 Miss. 471; Y. & M. V. R. R. Co. v. Mansfield (Miss.), 134 So. 577. There was no question for the jury. Sunflower Compress Co. v. Clark et al. (Miss.),......
  • Gulf & S. I. R. Co. v. Bond, 33050
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • March 7, 1938
    ...a railway company is entitled to a clear track and owes no obligation to keep a lookout for trespassers. Y. & M. V. R. R. Co. v. Smith, 111 Miss. 471, 71 So. 752; M. & O. R. R. Co v. Robinson, 132 Miss. 841, 96 So. 749; Hubbard v. So. Ry., 120 Miss. 834, 83 So. 247; Murray v. L. & N. R. R. ......
  • Edward Hines Yellow Pine Trustees v. Holley, 25385
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • February 1, 1926
    ...737, 63 So. 221; R. R. Co. v. Cooper, 68 Miss. 368, 8 So. 747; Billingsley v. R. R. Co., 100 Miss. 612, 56 So. 790; R. R. Co. v. Smith, 111 Miss. 471, 71 So. 752; R. R. Co. v. Huff, 111 Miss. 486, 71 So. 757; R. R. Co. v. Adkinson, 117 Miss. 118, 77 So. 954; Hubbard v. R. R. Co., 120 Miss. ......
  • Maxwell v. Illinois Central Gulf R.R., No. 57088
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • September 16, 1987
    ...once Keith was spotted on the tracks and, of course, whether the Railroad discharged that duty. In Yazoo & Mississippi V.R. Co. v. Smith, 111 Miss. 471, 71 So. 752, 756 (1916), we said, "Of course, circumstances may, and do, have something to do with the degree of care incumbent upon railro......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • Henry v. Mississippi Power & Light Co., 30455
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • March 27, 1933
    ...83 Vt. 189; Wilburn v. Charleston Cooperage Co., 127 Miss. 290; Woodlawn Gin Co. v. Moore, 103 Miss. 447; Y. & M. V. R. R. Co. v. Smith, 111 Miss. 471; Y. & M. V. R. R. Co. v. Mansfield (Miss.), 134 So. 577. There was no question for the jury. Sunflower Compress Co. v. Clark et al. (Miss.),......
  • Gulf & S. I. R. Co. v. Bond, 33050
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • March 7, 1938
    ...a railway company is entitled to a clear track and owes no obligation to keep a lookout for trespassers. Y. & M. V. R. R. Co. v. Smith, 111 Miss. 471, 71 So. 752; M. & O. R. R. Co v. Robinson, 132 Miss. 841, 96 So. 749; Hubbard v. So. Ry., 120 Miss. 834, 83 So. 247; Murray v. L. & N. R. R. ......
  • Edward Hines Yellow Pine Trustees v. Holley, 25385
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • February 1, 1926
    ...737, 63 So. 221; R. R. Co. v. Cooper, 68 Miss. 368, 8 So. 747; Billingsley v. R. R. Co., 100 Miss. 612, 56 So. 790; R. R. Co. v. Smith, 111 Miss. 471, 71 So. 752; R. R. Co. v. Huff, 111 Miss. 486, 71 So. 757; R. R. Co. v. Adkinson, 117 Miss. 118, 77 So. 954; Hubbard v. R. R. Co., 120 Miss. ......
  • Maxwell v. Illinois Central Gulf R.R., No. 57088
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • September 16, 1987
    ...once Keith was spotted on the tracks and, of course, whether the Railroad discharged that duty. In Yazoo & Mississippi V.R. Co. v. Smith, 111 Miss. 471, 71 So. 752, 756 (1916), we said, "Of course, circumstances may, and do, have something to do with the degree of care incumbent upon railro......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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