Lilly v. Grand Trunk Western R. Co.
317 U.S. 481 (1943)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lilly v. Grand Trunk Western R. Co., 317 U.S. 481 (1943)

Lilly v. Grand Trunk Western Railroad Co.

No. 124

Argued December 8, 9, 1942

Decided January 11, 1943

317 U.S. 481

Syllabus

1. The Boiler Inspection Act imposes upon the carrier an absolute and continuing duty to maintain its locomotives, and all parts and appurtenances thereof, in proper condition, and safe to operate without unnecessary peril to life or limb. Negligence is not the basis of liability. P. 317 U. S. 485.

2. The Boiler Inspection Act is to be liberally construed in the light of its prime purpose, the protection of employees and others by requiring the use of safe equipment. P. 317 U. S. 486.

3. The use of a locomotive tender upon which an employee must go in the course of his duties, the top of which tender is covered with ice, involves "unnecessary peril to life or limb" within the meaning of the Boiler Inspection Act, as construed by Rule 153 of the Rules adopted pursuant thereto by the Interstate Commerce Commission,

Page 317 U. S. 482

which rule provides that the "Top of tender behind fuel space shall be kept clean, and means provided to carry off waste water." P. 317 U. S. 486.

4. A rule promulgated by the Interstate Commerce Commission in the exercise of its authority under the Boiler Inspection Act has the force of law, and becomes an integral part of the Act to be judicially noticed. P. 317 U. S. 488.

5. In an action for personal injuries, a railway employee relied upon infractions of the Boiler Inspection Act in the use of a locomotive which was in improper condition and unsafe to operate, constituting unnecessary peril to life and limb (1) in that the tender on the top where he was required to work was slippery with ice (this count being supplemented by a charge that the tender leaked there), and (2) in that the tender at the place in question was cracked, so as to permit leakage of water, liable to freeze and cause a dangerous condition on top of the tender.

Held: that the existence of a leak was not essential to the first charge, and that a general verdict for the plaintiff could be sustained notwithstanding that, by answer to a special interrogatory, the jury also found that the alleged leak in the tender did not exist. P. 317 U. S. 489.

6. In an action for personal injuries resulting from violations of the Boiler Inspection Act, the partial defense of contributory negligence and the bar of assumption of risk are not available under §§ 3 and 4 of the Federal Employers' Liability Act, as those sections read at the date of the accident here in question. P. 317 U. S. 491.

312 Ill.App. 73, 37 N.E.2d 888, reversed.

Certiorari, post, p. 612, to review a judgment for the present respondent, entered by the court below non obstante veredicto in an action under the Federal Employers' Liability and the Boiler Inspection Acts. The Supreme Court of Illinois refused leave to appeal.

Page 317 U. S. 483

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