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U.S. Supreme Court

Northern Railway Company v. Page, 274 U.S. 65 (1927)

Northern Railway Company v. Page

No. 136

Argued January 17, 1927

Decided April 11, 1927

274 U.S. 65


Costa Rican troops on a railway train fired into a train of the defendant and shot the plaintiff, a passenger. The negligence alleged was that defendant knew the troops had reasonable cause to believe the passenger train was transporting armed hostile forces and failed chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 274 U. S. 66

seasonably and adequately to inform the government troops that this was not so.


1. Plaintiff had the burden to show that the specified negligence was the proximate cause of his injuries, and a verdict in his favor cannot be sustained if essential facts are left to conjecture and speculation. P. 274 U. S. 72.

2. There being no evidence that the conductor did not notify those in charge of the troops that there were no hostile forces on the passenger train, his failure to testify on that point does not permit an inference that he was not in position so to state. P. 274 U. S. 73.

3. The mere fact of the shooting does not tend to show defendant was at fault; the uncontradicted evidence shows that the shooting could not reasonably have been anticipated as the natural and probable result of the failure of defendant to inform the government forces, earlier or otherwise than was done, that there were no insurrectos on the train. P. 274 U. S. 75.

3 F.2d 747 reversed.

Certiorari (269 U.S. 542) to a judgment of the circuit court of appeals which reversed a judgment of the district court, entered on an alternative verdict for defendant, and directed the district court to enter judgment on the verdict of damages for the plaintiff, in an action for personal injuries suffered by the plaintiff while a passenger on defendant's railway in Costa Rica when the train was fired upon by Costa Rican troops.

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