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MISSOURI PACIFIC RY. CO. V. CASTLE, 224 U. S. 541 (1912)

U.S. Supreme Court

Missouri Pacific Ry. Co. v. Castle, 224 U.S. 541 (1912)

Missouri Pacific Railway Company v. Castle

No. 344

Submitted April 22, 1912

Decided May 13, 1912

224 U.S. 541


This Court has repeatedly held that a state may impose upon a railway company liability to an employee engaged in train service for an injury inflicted through the negligence of another employee in the same service.

A state also has power to modify or abolish the common law rule of contributory negligence, and provide by statute that damage to an employee of a railroad company shall only be diminished by reason of his contributory negligence in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to him.

Prior to the enactment by Congress of the Employers' Liability Act, the state were not debarred from legislating for the protection of railway employee engaged in interstate commerce.

Page 224 U. S. 542

The fact that a state statute imposing liability on railway companies for injuries to employees covers acts of negligence in respect to subjects dealt with by the Federal Safety Appliance Act does not amount to an interference with interstate commerce.

The Railway Liability Act of Nebraska of 1907 is not unconstitutional as depriving a railway company of its property without due process of law, or denying it equal protection of the law, or as interfering with interstate commerce.

A corporation of one state, which only becomes a corporation of another by compulsion of the latter so as to do business therein, is not a corporation thereof, but remains, so far as jurisdiction of federal courts is concerned, a citizen of the state in which it was originally incorporated. Southern Railway Co. v. Allison, 190 U. S. 326.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality of the statute of Nebraska of 1907 imposing liability on railway corporations for injury to employees, are stated in the opinion.

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