Section 4 of the Safety Appliance Act of 1893, in requiring grab
irons or handholds "in the ends and sides of each car," should be
interpreted and applied in view of practical railroad operations,
Page 252 U. S. 497
not mean that the handholds on the side shall be supplied at all
four corner, but is satisfied if they are placed at corners
diagonally opposite. P. 252 U. S.
Whether a railroad company was negligent in not notifying a
brakeman that a car was not supplied with handholds on its sides at
all four corners held
a matter dependent on appreciation
of peculiar facts concerning which this Court will accept the
concurrent judgment of the two courts below without entering upon a
minute analysis of evidence. Id.
252 F. 553 affirmed.
The case is stated in the opinion.
MR. JUSTICE McREYNOLDS delivered the opinion of the Court.
Relying upon the Federal Employers' Liability Act, petitioner
sought damages for personal injuries sustained by him November 8,
1915, while employed by respondent as brakeman. He claimed that the
railroad was negligent in using a freight car not equipped with
handholds or grabirons on all four outside corners, and also in
failing to instruct him that he would be required to work about
cars not so equipped. The car in question had secure and adequate
handholds on the diagonally opposite corners. Being of opinion that
this equipment sufficed to meet the commands of the statute and
that, under the circumstances disclosed, failure to instruct the
petitioner concerning possible use of such car did not constitute
negligence, the trial court directed verdict for respondent.
The circuit court of appeals affirmed the consequent judgment.
252 F. 553.
Page 252 U. S. 498
Section 4 of the Safety Appliance Act of 1893 (27 Stat. 531),
"That from and after the first day of July, eighteen hundred and
ninety-five, until otherwise ordered by the Interstate Commerce
Commission, it shall be unlawful for any railroad company to use
any car in interstate commerce that is not provided with secure
grabirons or handholds in the ends and sides of each car for
greater security to men in coupling and uncoupling cars."
Petitioner insists that the Act of 1893 was designed for the
safety of employees, and specified grabirons or handholds in the
end and sides of each car as one of the essential requirements;
that, while it did not specifically command that these should be
placed at all four corners, this was the obvious intent. But the
courts below concurred in rejecting that construction, and we
cannot say they erred in so doing. Section 4 must be interpreted
and applied in view of practical railroad operations, and, having
considered these, the courts below ruled against petitioner's
Likewise we accept the concurrent judgment of the lower courts
that the carrier was not negligent in failing to give warning
concerning the use of cars with handholds only at two diagonal
corners. Whether this constituted negligence depended upon an
appreciation of the peculiar facts presented, and the rule is well
settled that, in such circumstances, where two courts have agreed,
we will not enter upon a minute analysis of the evidence.
Chicago Junction Railway Co. v. King, 222 U.
The judgment is