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Tiller v. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co., 318 U.S. 54 (1943)

Tiller v. Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Co.

No. 296

Argued January 4, 1943

Decided February 1, 1943

318 U.S. 54


1. The 1939 amendment of the Federal Employers' Liability Act, which provides that, in an action against a common carrier under the Act to recover damages for injury or death of an employee,

"such employee shall not be held to have assumed the risks of his employment in any case where such injury or death resulted in whole or in part from the negligence of any of the officers, agents, or employees of such carrier,"

obliterated from that law every vestige of the doctrine of assumption of risk. P. 318 U. S. 68.

2. The rule of decision in cases under the Act as amended is the doctrine of comparative negligence, which permits the jury to weigh the fault of the injured employee and to compare it with the negligence of the employer, and thereupon to do justice to both. P. 318 U. S. 65.

3. The question of the negligence of the employer is to be determined by the general rule which defines negligence as the lack of due care under the circumstances, or the failure to do what a reasonable and prudent man would ordinarily have done under the circumstances, or doing what such a person under the circumstances would not have

Page 318 U. S. 55

done. The standard of care must be commensurate to the dangers of the employment. P. 318 U. S. 67.

4. Under the Act as amended, no case is to be withheld from a jury on any theory of assumption of risk, and questions of negligence should be submitted to the jury with appropriate instructions. P. 318 U. S. 67.

5. Upon the evidence in this case under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, the question of negligence on the part of the railroad and on the part of the employee should have been submitted to the jury. P. 318 U. S. 68.

123 F.2d 420 reversed.

Certiorari, 317 U.S. 610, to review the affirmance of a judgment on a directed verdict for the defendant in a suit under the Federal Employers' Liability Act.

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