Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Opinion of the Court.

made, the fact that jurisdiction existed was sufficiently. apparent on the first pleading. As to the second ground, it is true that if the amended petition, which may, perhaps, be treated as equivalent to a second count in a declaration, had brought forward a new and independent cause of action, the bar might apply to it, Sicard v. Davis, 6 Pet. 124; yet, as the transaction set forth in both counts was the same, and the negligence charged in both related to defective conditions in respect of coupling cars in safety, we are not disposed by technical construction to hold that the second count alleged another and different negligence from the first.

Counsel further urge, with much earnestness, that the cause of action founded upon the statute of Louisiana conferring the right to recover damages for an injury resulting in death, was not enforceable in Texas.

The action, being in its nature transitory, might be maintained if the act complained of constituted a tort at common law, but as a statutory delict, it is contended that it must be justiciable not only where the act was done, but where redress is sought. If a tort at common law where suit was brought, it would be presumed that the common law prevailed where the occurrence complained of transpired; but if the cause of action was created by statute, then the law of the forum and of the wrong must substantially concur in order to render legal redress demandable.

In The Antelope, 10 Wheat. 66, 123, Mr. Chief Justice Marshall stated the international rule, with customary force, that: “The courts of no country execute the penal laws of another," but we have held that that rule cannot be invoked as applicable to a statute of this kind, which merely authorizes “ a civil action to recover damages for a civil injury.Dennick v. Railroad Company, 103 U. S. 11. This was a case instituted in New York to recover damages for injuries received and resulting in death in New Jersey, and it was decided that a right arising under or a liability imposed by either the common law or the statute of a State may, where the action is transitory, be asserted and enforced in any court having jurisdiction of such matters and of the parties.

Opinion of the Court.

And notwithstanding some contrariety of decision upon the point, the rule thus stated is generally recognized and applied where the statute of the State in which the cause of action arose is not in substance inconsistent with the statutes or public policy of the State in which the right of action is sought to be enforced.

The statutes of these two States on this subject are not essentially dissimilar, and it cannot be successfully asserted that the maintenance of jurisdiction is opposed to a settled public policy of the State of Texas.

In Willis v. Railroad Company, 61 Texas, 432, it was held by the Supreme Court of Texas that suit could not be brought in that State for injuries resulting in death inflicted in the Indian Territory, where no law existed creating such a right of action. The opinion goes somewhat further than this in expression, but in that regard has not been subsequently adopted.

In Texas & Pacific Railway v. Richards, 68 Texas, 375, it was said that while there was some conflict of decision, it seemed to be generally held that a right given by the statutes of one State would be recognized and enforced in the courts of another State, whose laws gave a like right under the same facts. In St. Louis, Iron Mountain &c. Railroad v. McCormick, 71 Texas, 660, the Supreme Court declined to sustain a suit in Texas by a widow for damages for the negligent killing of her husband in Arkansas, for the reason that the statutes of Arkansas were so different from those of Texas in that regard that jurisdiction ought not to be taken, but the court indicated that it would be a duty to do so in transitory actions where the laws of both jurisdictions were similar. The qnestion, however, is one of general law, and we regard it as settled in Dennick v. Railroad Company, supra.

But it is insisted that the general rule ought not to be followed in this case because the statute of Texas, giving a right of action for the infliction through negligence of injuries resulting in death, does not apply to persons engaged as receivers in the operation of railroads, and reference is made to Turner v. Cross, decided February 5, 1892, and reported in

Opinion of the Court.

advance of the official series in 18 S. W. Rep. 578, (followed by Railway Company v. Collins, decided March 22, 1892, and furnished to us in manuscript,) in which the Supreme Court of Texas so held upon the ground that a receiver is not a "proprietor, owner, charterer or hirer” of the railroad he has in charge, and so not within the terms of the Texas statute. Without questioning the correctness of this view, still it would be going much too far to attribute to these decisions the effect of a determination that an action could not be maintained against receivers in the enforcement of a cause of action arising in Louisiana, whose statute is not open to such a construction.

We are brought then to consider whether reversible error intervened in the conduct of the trial. The contention on this branch of the case is chiefly that the court should have directed a verdict for the defendants because there was no evidence of negligence on their part while there was evidence of contributory negligence on the part of Cox.

The case should not have been withdrawn from the jury unless the conclusion followed, as matter of law, that no recovery could be had upon any view which could be properly taken of the facts the evidence tended to establish. Dunlap v. Northeastern Railroad, 130 U. S. 649, 652; Kane v. Northern Central Railway, 128 U. S. 91; Jones v. East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad, 128 U. S. 443.

We think the evidence given in the record tended to establish that the coupling apparatus and the track were in an unsafe and dangerous condition; that the injury happened in consequence; and that these defects were such as must have been known to the defendants under proper inspection, and unless they were negligently ignorant. No conflict appears as to the condition of the road-bed in the railroad yard, but there was testimony on defendants' behalf indicating that the coupling apparatus' was not substantially defective.

The bill of exceptions does not purport to contain all the evidence, and it would be improper to hold that the court should have directed a verdict for defendants for want of that which may have existed.

Opinion of the Court.

No exception was taken to the admission or exclusion of evidence, and none to any part of the charge of the court which is given in full. Among other things, the court instructed the jury: “If you

shall find either that the road-bed was not unsafe or dangerous, although not of the best character, or that the coupling-pin used was not unsafe or dangerous, although not as well adapted for use as a round pin, then you will find for defendant.

“ And, again, if you shall find from the evidence that both the road-bed and coupling-pin were unsafe and dangerous, yet if you shall find from the evidence that neither of these causes resulted in the death of Chas. Cox nor were the proximate causes producing the injuries whereof he died, then you will find for the defendant.

“ It is incumbent on the plaintiff before she can recover not only to prove that the defects complained of existed, but also that they or one of them were the cause of death.

“If the death was the result of accident, misadventure, or the want of care or prudence on the part of deceased or other cause not complained of, plaintiff cannot recover.

“You must ascertain the true nature of the case and the actual cause of death from the evidence as adduced before you and render your verdict in accordance therewith.”

Twelve specific instructions were asked on behalf of defendants and refused and exceptions taken, but, except as stated, they are not insisted upon in argument, and we think they were substantially covered by the charge as given.

Some emphasis is put upon the fact that the car which inflicted the injury was from another road, but that circumstance. does not call for special mention in the view we take of the case, and does not seem to have been relied on in the court below. The Circuit Court correctly applied well settled principles in the disposition of the questions of law arising upon the trial, and it would subserve 'no useful purpose to retraverse, in exposition of those principles, ground so often covered. Washington & Georgetown Railroad v. McDade, 135 U. S. 554; Northern Pacific Railroad v. Herbert, 116 U. S. 642;

[ocr errors]

Opinion of the Court.

Inland &c. Coasting Co. v. Tolson, 139 U. S. 551; Kane v. Northern Central Railway, 128 U. S. 91; Hough v. Railway Co., 100 U. S. 213; Indianapolis &c. Railroad v. Horst, 93 U. S. 291.

Judgment affirmed.

MEAGHER v. MINNESOTA THRESHER MANUFAC

TURING COMPANY.

ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA.

[blocks in formation]

A judgment of the Supreme Court of the State of Minnesota overruling s

demurrer interposed by one of many defendants, and remanding the case to the trial court for further proceedings, is not a final judgment which can be reviewed by this court.

MOTION TO DISMISS.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Mr. Cushman K. Davis and Mr. Frank W. M. Cutcheon for the motion.

Mr. IIorace G. Stone opposing.

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER delivered the opinion of the court.

One McKusick recovered judgment in the District Court of Washington County, Minnesota, against the corporation of Seymour, Sabin & Co., and in aid of execution brought an action praying for a sequestration of the stock, property, things in action and effects of the corporation, and the appointment of a receiver to take charge thereof and carry on its business until sale or other disposition. A receiver was accordingly appointed, qualified and entered upon the administration of the •company's affairs and effects. An order was entered by the court requiring the creditors of the corporation to exhibit their claims in the action, which was done, among others, by the Minnesota Thresher Manufacturing Company to a very large

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »