Pennsylvania Railroad v. Chamberlain case brief summary
288 U.S. 333 (1933)
Petitioner railroad company sought
review of the order of the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit, which reversed the district court's grant of a directed
verdict in favor of the railroad company in respondent
administratrix' action for wrongful death of an employee, under the
Employer's Liability Act.
CASE FACTS The decedent, a brakeman for the
company, fell to his death from a string of railroad cars during a
maneuver to break up and make up chains of cars. The administratrix
claimed that the decedent fell from the train on which he was riding
because of a collision caused by the company's negligence. The only
witness for the administratrix testified that he heard a bump, but
that it was not loud enough for him to turn around. He testified that
he did not actually see a collision. Three employees, riding the
nine-car string, testified that no such collision occurred.
appeal, the court reversed the lower court's judgment, holding that
the district court properly directed a verdict in favor of the
company on the state of the evidence before it.
case could not properly be submitted to the jury in the face of
testimony that gave a mere inference that the alleged collision
occurred, in light of unambiguous testimony by those involved that no
such collision took place.
The court reversed the lower court's judgment and affirmed the
judgment of the district court in favor of the railroad company. Suggested law school study materials
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