Pennell v. Philadelphia & Reading Ry. Co.
231 U.S. 675 (1914)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Pennell v. Philadelphia & Reading Ry. Co., 231 U.S. 675 (1914)

Pennell v. Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company

No. 46

Argued December 3, 1913

Decided January 5, 1914

231 U.S. 675

Syllabus

Quaere, and not decided on this record, whether the purpose of the Safety Appliance Act is to protect all employees of every class and the mere absence of an automatic coupler is enough for liability if accident and injury result to an employee.

Under the Safety Appliance Act of March 2, 1893, c.196, 27 Stat. 531, as amended March 2, 1903, c. 976, 32 Stat. 943, automatic couplers are not required between the locomotive and the tender. While a custom of railroads cannot justify a violation of a mandatory statute, a custom which has the sanction of the Interstate Commerce Commission is persuasive of the meaning of that statute.

203 F. 681 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the construction of the Safety Appliance Acts and their application to tenders of locomotives, are stated in the opinion.

Page 231 U. S. 676

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