Western & Atlantic Railroad v. Henderson,
279 U.S. 639 (1929)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Western & Atlantic Railroad v. Henderson, 279 U.S. 639 (1929)

Western & Atlantic Railroad v. Henderson

No. 519

Argued April 17, 1929

Decided May 27, 1929

279 U.S. 639


A state statute which, upon the mere fact of a collision between a railway train and a vehicle at a highway grade crossing and resulting death, raises a presumption that the railway company and it employees were negligent in the particulars alleged in the complaint (even where the allegations are conflicting), and that every act or omission so alleged was the proximate cause of the death; which makes the company liable unless it shows due care in respect of every matter alleged against it, and permits the jury to consider and weigh the presumption as evidence against the testimony of the company's witnesses tending affirmatively to prove due care, is unreasonable and arbitrary, and violates the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Mobile, etc. R. Co. v. Turnipseed, 219 U. S. 35, distinguished.

167 Ga. 22 reversed.

Appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court of Georgia sustaining a recovery in an action for wrongful death. The case was twice before the Court of Appeals of Georgia, 35 Ga.App. 353; 36 id. 679. The appeal here was at first dismissed for want of a federal question, but a rehearing was granted, 278 U.S. 577.

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