Seaboard Air Line Railway Co. v. Watson - 287 U.S. 86 (1932)


U.S. Supreme Court

Seaboard Air Line Railway Co. v. Watson, 287 U.S. 86 (1932)

Seaboard Air Line Railway Co. v. Watson

No. 4

Argued October 14, 1932

Decided November 7, 1932

287 U.S. 86

Syllabus

1. A Florida statute provides that railroad companies shall be liable for damages done to persons or property by the running of their locomotives, unless they make it appear that their agents exercised all ordinary and reasonable care and diligence, the presumption in all cases being against the company.

Held:

(1) The fact that a like rule is not applied against carriers by motor and other litigants does not render the statute unduly discriminatory against railroads in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 287 U. S. 90.

(2) The objection that it violates the due process clause of the Amendment, cf. Western & Atlantic R. Co. v. Henderson, 279 U. S. 639, was not properly presented in this case. P. 287 U. S. 91.

2. The court may, and generally will, disregard a specification that is so uncertain or otherwise deficient as not substantially to comply with the rule respecting assignments of errors, even if the opposing party raises no question as to the sufficiency of the specification and treats it as adequate. Id.

3. An appeal from a state court on which no federal question is presented will be dismissed. P. 287 U. S. 92.

103 Fla. 477, 137 So. 719, appeal dismissed.

Appeal from a judgment sustaining in part a recovery from the railroad company for damages suffered by the plaintiff in a grade crossing accident.



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