Chicago, R.I. & Pac. Ry. Co. v. Ward,
252 U.S. 18 (1920)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Chicago, R.I. & Pac. Ry. Co. v. Ward, 252 U.S. 18 (1920)

Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company v. Ward

No. 198

Submitted January 28, 1920

Decided March 1, 1920

252 U.S. 18


The Federal Employers' Liability Act places a co-employee's negligence, when the ground of the action, in the same relation as that of the employer as regards assumption of risk. P. 252 U. S. 22.

It is inaccurate to charge without qualification that a servant does not assume a risk created by his master's negligence, the rule being otherwise where the negligence and danger are so obvious that an ordinarily careful person, under the circumstances, would observe and appreciate them. P. 252 U. S. 21.

But the defense of assumed risk is inapplicable when the injury arises from a single act of negligence creating a sudden emergency without warning to the servant or opportunity to judge of the resulting danger. P. 252 U. S. 22.

Where a switchman, when about to apply the brake to stop a "cut" of freight cars, was thrown to the ground by a jerk due to delay in uncoupling them from a propelling engine when the engine was slowed, held that he had a right to assume that they would be uncoupled at

Page 252 U. S. 19

the proper time, as usual, and did not assume the risk of a co-employee's negligent failure to do so. Id.

The error of a charge that contributory negligence will prevent recovery in an action under the Federal Liability Act, being favorable to defendants, does not require reversal of a judgment against them. P. 252 U. S. 23.

The Seventh Amendment does not forbid a jury of less than twelve in a case under the Federal Employers' Liability Act tried in a state court. Id. St. Louis & San Francisco R. Co. v. Brown, 241 U. S. 223.

68 Okla. ___ affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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