Sunday, November 24, 2013

Gallick v. Baltimore & Ohio R.R. Co. case brief

Gallick v. Baltimore & Ohio R.R. Co. case brief summary
372 U.S. 108 (1963)

Petitioner railroad employee sought certiorari review of a decision from the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Cuyahoga County, which reversed a judgment entered for the railroad employee in his action for damages against respondent employer under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (Act), 45 U.S.C.S. § 51.

A railroad employee brought an action under the Act for injuries he sustained when bitten by an insect while working in the vicinity of a stagnant pool of water in the employer railroad's right-of-way. A jury verdict was returned for the railroad employee in the state trial court but the state court of appeals reversed, finding that there was no direct or substantial circumstantial evidence of a causal relationship between the insect and the stagnant pool of water.


  • When the state supreme court refused a further appeal, the railroad employee petitioned for and was granted certiorari for further review, and the court reversed the judgment, finding that the court of appeals improperly invaded the function of the jury because the evidence was sufficient to warrant the jury's conclusion that the injuries were caused by the acts or omissions of the employer. 
  • The court determined that it was not the function of the court of appeals to search the record for conflicting circumstantial evidence in order to take the case away from the jury on a theory that gave equal support to inconsistent and uncertain inferences after the jury concluded that the employer was negligent.

The court reversed the judgment in favor of the railroad employer and remanded the cause for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.

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