Friday, December 6, 2013

Sioux City & Pacific Railroad Co. v. Stout case brief

Sioux City & Pacific Railroad Co. v. Stout case brief summary
84 U.S. (17 Wall.) 657 (1873)

Plaintiff in error railroad challenged a judgment from the Circuit Court for the District of Nebraska, which was entered upon a jury verdict in favor of defendant in error child, who sued, by his next friend, to recover damages for an injury he sustained upon a turntable belonging to the railroad.

The child was six years old when he was injured on the railroad's turntable while playing with his friends. The railroad defended the child's action against it by arguing that it was not negligent and that the injury to the child was accidental or brought upon himself. The jury returned a verdict for the child.

  • On appeal, the court affirmed. 
  • Although the turntable was located away from inhabited dwellings, it was proven that several boys were playing on the turntable when the child was injured and that they had done so on other occasions within the observation and to the knowledge of the railroad's employees. 
  • The jury was justified in believing that the railroad should have anticipated the accident and could have prevented it without considerable expense or inconvenience. 
  • The jury properly concluded that the railroad had omitted the care and attention it ought to have given, that it was negligent, and that its negligence caused the child's injury. 
  • Although the facts were undisputed, it was for the jury to determine whether proper care was given or whether they established negligence. 
  • The facts proved justified the jury in finding that the railroad was guilty of negligence.
The court affirmed the finding that the child was entitled to recover damages from the railroad.

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