Great Northern Ry. Co. v. Wiles - 240 U.S. 444 (1916)
U.S. Supreme Court
Great Northern Ry. Co. v. Wiles, 240 U.S. 444 (1916)
Great Northern Railway Company v. Wiles
Submitted January 26, 1916
Decided March 20, 1916
240 U.S. 444
Where there is nothing to extenuate the negligence of the employee or to confuse his judgment, and his duty is as clear as its performance is easy, and he knows not only the imminent danger of the situation, but also how it can be averted by complying with the rules of the employer, there is no justification for a comparison of negligences on the part of the employer and employee or the apportioning of their effect under the provision of the Employers' Liability Act. To excuse such neglect on the part of an employee of an interstate carrier would not only cast immeasurable liability on the carriers but remove security from those carried.
In such cases, it is disputable whether the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies at all, and, in this case, held that the submission to the jury of whether negligence of the carriers existed as a deduction from the fact that a draw-bar pulled out from causes not shown by the testimony, and the proportion of the carrier's negligence in causing the death of an employee was, in view of the failure of the employee to perform his duty and comply with the rules of the employer under such circumstances, reversible error.
125 Minn. 348 reversed.
The facts, which involve the construction and application of the Federal Employers' Liability Act and the validity
of a judgment in an action thereunder, are stated in the opinion.