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MYERS V. PITTSBURGH COAL CO., 233 U. S. 184 (1914)

U.S. Supreme Court

Myers v. Pittsburgh Coal Co., 233 U.S. 184 (1914)

Myers v. Pittsburgh Coal Company

No. 816

Argued February 27, 1914

Decided April 6, 1914

233 U.S. 184


The duty of the master to use reasonable diligence to provide a safe place for the employees to work is a continuing one which is discharged only when he provides and maintains a place of that character.

Where workmen are engaged in a hazardous occupation, such as underground mining, it is the duty of the master to exercise reasonable care for their safety, and not to expose them to injury by use of dangerous appliances or unsafe places to work when such appliances and places can, by the exercise of due care, be made reasonably safe.

Where, on the evidence, reasonable men might well find that a man, found in a mangled and dying condition in a mine on a track beneath an overhead wire was killed by negligence, and it cannot be said that no such conclusion could be reached on the testimony, it is not error to submit the question to the jury, and where, as in this case, the testimony can fairly support the verdict, it should not be set aside.

Where the court clearly instructed the jury that the defendant mine owner was not liable in case the haulage system alleged to have caused the accident was in charge of a person for whose conduct the owner was not responsible under the law, and that the owner was only liable in case that system was under charge of a person for whose conduct the owner was responsible, the charge in this respect is not unfavorable to the owner, and affords no ground for reversal.

It is not error for the court to refuse to affirm a particular and immaterial point in regard to the alleged negligence of the defendant when it would only serve to possibly confuse the jury and the point has already been covered by the charge.

Where the court was not requested to charge that the employee had assumed the risk of want of proper appliances, and no exception was taken to the failure to charge as to assumption of risk, the appellate court is not called on to consider that question.

The trial court having entered judgment on a verdict for plaintiff, and the circuit court of appeals having reversed, and, without remanding or directing a new trial, ordered judgment for defendant,

Page 233 U. S. 185

this Court, finding there was no reversible error in the conduct of the trial, reverses the judgment of the Circuit Court of Appeal and affirms the judgment of the trial court and remands the case to the district court which has succeeded to the jurisdiction of the circuit court which tried the case.

203 F. 221 reversed.

The facts, which involve the validity of a verdict for death of an employee claimed to have been occasioned by the negligence of the master, are stated in the opinion.

Page 233 U. S. 189

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