Callen v. Pennsylvania R. Co.
332 U.S. 625 (1948)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Callen v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 332 U.S. 625 (1948)

Callen v. Pennsylvania Railroad Co.

No. 331

Argued December 18, 1947

Decided January 12, 1948

332 U.S. 625

Syllabus

1. Where plaintiff in a suit under the Federal Employers' Liability Act contended that a release relied upon by defendant was invalid because neither party knew at the time it was given that plaintiff's injury was permanent, and the permanence of the injury was disputed by defendant, defendant was entitled to have the issue as to the permanence of the injury passed upon by the jury, and it was error for the trial court to withdraw from the jury the question of the validity of the release. Pp. 332 U. S. 626-629.

2. Where, in a case under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, a railroad pleads a release obtained from an injured employee and the employee admits giving the release but challenges its validity on the ground of fraud or mutual mistake, the burden is on the employee to show that the contract was invalid. Pp. 332 U. S. 629-630.

3. Section 5 of the Federal Employers' Liability Act, providing that any contract to enable any common carrier to "exempt itself from any liability created by this chapter shall to that extent be void," does not prevent a railroad from compromising or settling claims and obtaining releases based upon such settlements. Pp. 332 U. S. 630-631.

162 F.2d 832 affirmed.

In a suit under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, the plaintiff obtained a judgment notwithstanding a release previously given. The Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and ordered a new trial. 162 F.2d 832. This Court granted certiorari. 332 U.S. 807. Affirmed, p. 332 U. S. 631.

Page 332 U. S. 626

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