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Jennings v. Pa. R. Co. - 93 Pa. 337 (1879)

Rule:

Evidence to prove defects in other engines of the company is irrelevant and should have been excluded. As in the other cases, there was no evidence to show that the locomotive from which the plaintiff's fences, hay and grass caught fire, was improperly constructed, and had not an approved spark-arrester.

Facts:

Plaintiff Jennings filed an action against defendant Pennsylvania Railroad Company to recover damages for the loss of hay in the meadows of plaintiff, alleged to have been set on fire by sparks from one of the locomotives of defendant. The jury reached a verdict in favor of the defendant. Plaintiff appealed.

Issue:

Can the plaintiff recover damages for the loss of hay that was allegedly caused by sparks from a locomotive of the defendant?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The court affirmed. Aside from the fact that the grass and hay were burned by the sparks there is no sufficient evidence that the spark-arresters were inadequate or in bad condition. Plaintiff would have been entitled to recover compensation of there was sufficient evidence of the fact stated in point.

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