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TEXAS & P R CO v. MARCUS , 237 U.S. 215 (1915)

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United States Supreme Court

TEXAS & P R. CO. v. MARCUS(1915)

No. 790

Argued: Decided: April 12, 1915

[237 U.S. 215, 216]   Mr. F. H. Prendergast for plaintiff in error.

Mr. S. P. Jones for defendant in error.

[237 U.S. 215, 217]  

Memorandum opinion by Mr. Chief Justice White, by direction of the court:

The Texas & Pacific Railway Company, a corporation created by an act of Congress, prosecutes this writ of error to reverse a judgment of the court below, affirming one of the trial court, entered on the verdict of a jury in favor of the defendant in error, awarding damages alleged to have been by her suffered through the negligence of the railway company. We pass from the motion to [237 U.S. 215, 218]   dismiss, as there is jurisdiction. Texas & P. R. Co. v. Hill, this day decided [ 237 U.S. 208 , 59 L. ed. --, 35 Sup. Ct. Rep. 575].

To understand the controversy a statement of the circumstances from which it arose is essential. Immediately north of the depot of the railway company at Marshall, Texas, two tracks run east and west. At the time here in question, on the track farthest from the depot, the more northern of the two, there stood a train scheduled shortly to depart east for Shreveport, Louisiana. A party, including the defendant in error, accompanying a friend, who was leaving on such train, came to the depot and crossed over to the waiting train. While they were there a train bound west for Texarkana, which was behind time, came in and was stopped on the track immediately north of the depot, and therefore stood between the track on which the Shreveport train was standing and the platform of the depot. When the party, after bidding goodby to their friend, started to return to the depot, they found the Texarkana train barring their passage. The vestibules, however, between some or all of the cars of this train, were open, and most of the party crossed through an open vestibule to the depot platform. When, however, the defendant in error was doing so, by a sudden jerking movement of the train, made without any notice or warning, as she alleged, she was thrown down and received the injury for which she sued. It is not traversed that usually persons wishing to go from the depot platform to a train standing on the northern track crossed the open vestibules on trains standing on the track nearest the depot. It was disputed, however, whether, on coming from a train standing on the farthest track, it was usual to cross an open vestibule of an intervening train for the purpose of reaching the depot. There was dispute as to whether notice was given of the movement of the Texarkana train.

The trial court gave to the jury full instructions concerning every aspect of the case, some of which were [237 U.S. 215, 219]   objected to on the ground that the tendency of the proof was not such as to justify the instructions. The court also refused to give certain instructions asked by the railway company, which either depended upon assumptions as to the condition of the proof, or were equivalent only to an expression in different form of the contention concerning the tendency of the proof which formed the basis of the exception to the charges which were given.

Examining the whole record and considering all the propositions and arguments deemed as sustaining them, pressed at bar, we are of opinion that all the contentions urged to show that reversible error exists in ultimate analysis rest upon assertions as to the existence or nonexistence of tendencies of the proof; in other words, in substance but assert that there was nothing in the case to justify its going to the jury for decision. When the case is thus resolved, we are clearly of the opinion that the propositions relied upon are without merit, and therefore that no reversible error exists, and the judgment below should be affirmed. As the grounds upon which this conclusion rests involve only a consideration of the evidence and the tendencies of the proof resulting from it, matters of no doctrinal concern, we again say that we see no necessity of doing more than announce our conclusion. Seaboard Air Line R. Co. v. Padgett, decided March 22d, 1915 [ 236 U.S. 668 , 59 L. ed. --, 35 Sup. Ct. Rep. 481]; Texas & P. R. Co. v. Hill, supra.


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