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Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 2.djvu/232

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HARVARD LAW REVIEW.

of any officer, agent, servant, or employee/* does not alter the common-law rule in this respect.^ In Maine, the common law in its application to railroad corporations was not changed by R. S., chap. 8i, § 21, providing that "every railroad corporation shall be liable for all damages sustained by any person in consequence of any neglect of the provisions of the foregoing section, or of any other neglect of any of their servants, or by any mismanagement of their engineer, in an action on the case by the person sustaining such damages." The court held that "statutes, unless plainly to be otherwise construed, should receive a construction not in derogation of the common law.'* Consequently the words " any person " are limited to such persons as are not servants of the corporation.^ In Randall v. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, 109 U. S. 478, the Supreme Court held that a statute providing that " the corporation owning the railroad shall be liable to any person injured for all damages sustained** by neglect to ring the locomotive bell, did not make the corporation liable for an injury to a brakeman caused by the negligence of a fellow-servant, a fireman.

Statutes have been passed, however, with the special purpose of modifying or abolishing the doctrine of common employment. In Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Wisconsin, Montana, and Wyoming the legislatures have guarded the employees of railroad corpora- tions from the common-law rule of non-liability. In England, Alabama, and Massachusetts the statutory changes have been more extensive, and are confined to no special class of workmen.^

The first legislature in this country to attack the growing power of the doctrine of common employment was that of Georgia. Prior to 1856 there was no right of action in the State by an employee when the injury was caused by the negligence of a co-employee. In that year a statute^ was passed providing that

^ Proctor V, Hannibal and St. J. R. Co., 64 Mo. 112. Cf.9 Hdik. 376.

  • Carle v. Bangor and Piscataqnit C & R. Co., 43 Me. 269.
  • Employen' liabflity it slightly increased by the Illinois Miners Acts of 187a and

1877, and the Kentucky Statute (a Stanton's Rer. SUt Ky. 510, § 3) as to killing through wilful neglect; but more than a passing notice of them is unnecessary. The same is true of the English Factory Acts of 7 Vict., c. 15, § 21, and the English Coal-Mines Regula- tion Act of 35 and 36 Vict, c. 76, § 36. The California Statute (Codes and Stats. CsL 6971, § 1971, and 6970, § I970)» copied by DakoU (Rcrised Code, 1877, P* 396)9 mukcs no material change in the commob law.

« Acta of 1855-56^ p. i$$.