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Union Pacific Railway Company v. James

(Redirected from 163 U.S. 485)

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United States Supreme Court

163 U.S. 485

Union Pacific Railway Company  v.  James

On April 12, 1890, defendant in error filed his petition in the district court of Pottawattamie county, Iowa, to recover of plaintiff in error $20,000 for personal injuries. From the petition it appears that he was a brakeman in the employ of the railway company; that the injury occurred at the town of North Bend, in the state of Nebraska; and that it was caused by reason of his catching his foot in the narrow angle or frog made by the junction of the main and side tracks at that place, from which frog he was unable to extricate himself until an engine had passed over him. It was alleged that the blocking of such frog is the proper duty of every railway company, upon the performance of which every employ e has a right to rely; and, further, 'that, in fact, said angle or frog was not then, and had not been, blocked or filled, but was in a very dangerous and hazardous condition by reason of not being blocked or filled, all of which the said defendant then and there knew, but of which said plaintiff had no knowledge whatever.'

The defendant answered with a general denial, and by amendment that the plaintiff was entirely familiar with the condition of the tracks at North Bend, and by virtue of such knowledge waived the right to take advantage of any alleged defect in their condition. The case was removed, on application of the railway company, to the circuit court of the United States for the Southern district of Iowa. Trial being had, it resulted in a verdict and judgment for the plaintiff, which was affirmed by the court of appeals of the Eighth circuit (6 C. C. A. 217, 56 Fed. 1001), to reverse which judgment the railway company sued out this writ of error.

John M. Thurston, for plaintiff in error.

Francis A. Brogan, for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice BREWER, after stating the facts in the foregoing language, delivered the opinion of the court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).