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United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
October 7, 1949
[*221] Defendants appeal from a judgment rendered upon the verdict of a jury awarding plaintiff damages for personal injuries incurred while servicing a railroad locomotive. The complaint averred that defendants had violated the Boiler Inspection Act, 45 U.S.C.A. § 23, in that they had permitted oil, grease and foreign substances to remain on the steps of a ladder on the tender of the locomotive in violation of the statute. At the trial plaintiff relied and sought recovery only upon the basis of defendants' violation of this Act.
Plaintiff was employed by defendant Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad Company as a 'hostler's helper,' whose duty it was to service locomotives with sand, water, fuel oil, lubricating oil and waste for the journals and to clean the locomotives of any foreign substance such as oil and grease on the tender or elsewhere, in short, to service locomotives [**2] and put them in readiness for use on the railroad.
On January 10, 1946, the engine, owned by defendant Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe but being used on the line of defendant Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe, was brought into Gainesville, Texas, about eight o'clock in the evening. The night was misty, the ground damp and the surface of the locomotive and tender wet. The engineer and [*222] fireman left the locomotive and a hostler then took charge and drove the locomotive first to the sand chute, where plaintiff filled the sand dome, then to a spot near the water spout, where plaintiff filled the tank with water and then to another place where plaintiff filled the fuel tank. From the latter point the hostler moved the engine to the inspection pit near the roundhouse where it came to rest, the hostler then leaving the locomotive to plaintiff for further service, plaintiff being the only person thereafter on it.
Plaintiff proceeded with his duties, procured lubricating oil from a supply house for the lubricators and waste for the journals and finished his work. He testified that after he had completed his task, he remembered a pail on top of the tender which should have been stored away; [**3] that he then climbed upon top of the tender, got the bucket and a lid-hook, put them in their proper places and started down the steps running from the top of the tender to the deck of the locomotive cab, a distance of some four or five feet. This so-called ladder consisted of two fan-shaped iron steps and, on either side, a hand rail to use in climbing up or down the steps. While descending plaintiff either missed his footing or slipped on the top step and fell to the deck of the locomotive cab some four or five feet, receiving the injuries complained of.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
177 F.2d 221 *; 1949 U.S. App. LEXIS 3167 **
LYLE v. ATCHISON, T. & S.F. RY. CO. et al.
locomotive, engine, Inspection, oil, hostler, Boiler
Business & Corporate Compliance, Transportation Law, Rail Transportation, Boiler Inspection Act, Maintenance & Safety, Transportation Law, Personnel, Engineers, Safety Appliance Act, Liability