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ATLANTIC COAST LINE R. CO. V. FORD, 287 U. S. 502 (1933)

U.S. Supreme Court

Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Ford, 287 U.S. 502 (1933)

Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Ford

No. 194

Argued December 14, 1932

Decided January , 1933

287 U.S. 502


1. If due process is afforded by provisions of a state statute as construed and applied by the state supreme court in the case under review, the appellant cannot complain that, in earlier cases, they

Page 287 U. S. 503

were so construed and applied as to deny due process to other litigants. P. 287 U. S. 505.

2. A state statute that raises a presumption of negligence against the railroad in a grade crossing accident upon proof of failure to give prescribed warning signals, is not contrary to due process if the presumption amounts merely to a temporary inference which may be rebutted by evidence, and is thereafter to be excluded in determining proximate cause. Mobile, J. & K.C. R. Co. v. Turnipseed, 219 U. S. 35, and Western & Atl. R. Co. v. Henderson, 279 U. S. 639, contrasted. P. 287 U. S. 506.

3. Limiting such presumption of negligence to railway companies does not deprive them of equal protection of the laws. P. 287 U. S. 509.

4. The presumption does not violate the commerce clause. Id.

5. Instructions to a jury are to be reasonably interpreted; if they are not sufficiently definite, the omissions complained of should be pointed out when exceptions are taken. P. 287 U. S. 507.


Appeal from a judgment sustaining a recovery against the railroad company in an action for personal injuries.

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