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GULF, MOBILE & NORTHERN R. CO. V. WELLS, 275 U. S. 455 (1928)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Gulf, Mobile & Northern R. Co. v. Wells, 275 U.S. 455 (1928)

Gulf, Mobile & Northern Railroad Company v. Wells

No. 39

Argued October 18, 1927

Decided January 3, 1928

275 U.S. 455


1. A judgment for damages cannot stand in an action under the Federal Employers' Liability Act if, under the applicable principles of law as interpreted by the federal courts, the evidence was not sufficient in kind or amount to warrant a finding that the negligence alleged was the cause of the injury. P 275 U. S. 457.

2. A brakeman, in seeking to board the caboose of a local freight train moving at ten miles per hour, ran to it from where he had chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 275 U. S. 456

thrown a switch, and, as he caught a grab-iron, turned his foot on a piece of coal, went down, was thrown loose from the train, fell to the ground, and was inured. Held, that his testimony to the effect that the loss of his hold was due to an unusual jerk given by the engine, more severe than any he had experienced or seen on a local freight train, could not sustain an inference of negligence upon the part of the engineer (1) because there was no evidence that the engineer knew or should have known that he was not on the train, but was attempting to get on it after it had started and was in a situation in which a jerk of the train would be dangerous to him; (2) because, in view of the brakeman's position at the side of the caboose, ten car-lengths from the engine, his statement that the jerk was given by the engine was mere conjecture; (3) because, considering his situation at the time, his opinion that the jerk was unusual was without substantial weight. P. 275 U. S. 458.


Certiorari, 271 U.S. 654, to a judgment of the Supreme Court of Mississippi sustaining a judgment for personal injuries in an action under the Federal Employers' Liability Act.

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