Gilmer v. Higley,
110 U.S. 47 (1884)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Gilmer v. Higley, 110 U.S. 47 (1884)

Gilmer v. Higley

Argued December 10, 1883

Decided January 7, 1884

110 U.S. 47


1. In a suit by a passenger on a stage coach against the proprietors as common carriers to recover damages for personal injuries sustained by the upsetting of the coach, the plaintiff as witness stated that he was received by the driver as a passenger from Boulder to Helena without charge, and that one of the defendants had said since the accident that the driver had orders to carry him without fare to Helena. On cross-examination, he was asked whether his fare was not demanded before the accident at Jefferson -- a station between Boulder and Helena -- whether he had not refused to pay it, or to leave the coach when required to do so. These cross-questions were objected to, and the objections sustained below. Held that they related to the same transaction inquired of in chief, and should have been allowed.

2. When the record does not contain all the evidence in a case, the appellate court is not warranted in assuming that the refusal by the court at nisi prius to permit a question to be put to a witness worked no injury to the party questioning. The farthest that any court has gone has been to hold that when it can be seen affirmatively that the refusal worked no injury to party appealing, it will be disregarded.

Action in the nature of an action on the case to recover damages for injuries done to the plaintiff by the defendants as common carriers through the upsetting of a stage coach in the Territory of Montana. Plea that the plaintiff was not a passenger, but was unlawfully on board the coach, and refused to pay his fare when demanded.

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