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Southern Railway Co. v. Crockett, 234 U.S. 725 (1914)

Southern Railway Company v. Crockett

No. 826

Submitted April 16, 1914

Decided June 22, 1914

234 U.S. 725


Motion to dismiss a writ of error to the state court to review a judgment in an action under the Employers' Liability Act in which the construction of the Safety Appliance Acts was involved, denied.

By the Employers' Liability Act, the defense of assumption of risk remains as at common law, save in those cases mentioned in § 4 where the violation by the carrier of any statute enacted for the safety of employees contributed to the accident.

This Court has heretofore construed the letter of the Safety Appliance Act in the light of its spirit and purpose as indicated by the title no less than by the enacting clauses, and that guiding principle should be adhered to.

Although the original Safety Appliance Act may not have applied to vehicles other than freight cars, the amendment of 1903 so broadened its scope as to make its provisions, including those respecting

Page 234 U. S. 726

height of draw-bars, applicable to locomotive other than those that are excepted in terms.

By the amendment of 1903 to the Safety Appliance Act, the standard height of draw-bar was made applicable to all railroad vehicles used upon any railroad engaged in interstate commerce, and to all other vehicles, including locomotives, used in connection with them so far as the respective safety devices and standards are capable of being installed upon the respective vehicles. Chicago &c. Ry. Co. v. United States, 196 F. 882, approved.

The facts, which involve the construction and application of the provisions of the Safety Appliance Acts and of the Employers' Liability Act, are stated in the opinion.

Page 234 U. S. 727

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