Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad Company v. Horst - 93 U.S. 291 (1876)
U.S. Supreme Court
Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad Company v. Horst, 93 U.S. 291 (1876)
Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad Company v. Horst
93 U.S. 291
1. When instructions are asked in the aggregate and there is anything exceptionable in either of them, the court may properly reject the whole.
2. It is the settled law in this Court that if the charge given by the court below covers the entire case and submits it properly to the jury, such court may refuse to give further instructions.
3. In an action against a railroad company for injuries received by a passenger upon its road, it is not error for the court to instruct the jury, "that a person taking a cattle train is entitled to demand the highest possible degree of care and diligence, regardless of the kind of train he takes."
4. The rule of law that the standard of duty on the part of a carrier of passengers should be according to the consequences that may ensue from carelessness, applies as well to freight trains as to passenger trains. It is founded deep in public policy, and is approved by experience and sanctioned by the plainest principles of reason and justice.
5. A plaintiff is bound to state his case, but not the evidence by which he intends to prove it.
6. Where the evidence on the part of the plaintiff did not tend to establish contributory negligence on his part, and the court charged that the burden of proving it rested on the defendant and that it must be established by a preponderance of evidence, held that the charge was not erroneous.
7. The construction given in Nudd v. Burrows, 91 U. S. 426, to the Act of June 1, 1872, 17 Stat. 197, reaffirmed.
8. A motion for a new trial is not a mere matter of proceeding or practice in the district and circuit courts. It is therefore not within the Act of June 1, 1872, and cannot be affected by any state law upon the subject.
This was an action by the defendant in error against the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad Company for injuries received while traveling on a cattle train, and resulted in a verdict against the company for $8,000, whereupon it brought the case here. The facts are stated and the assignment of errors referred to in the opinion of the Court.