TEXAS & PACIFIC RY. CO. V. BLOOM, 164 U. S. 636 (1897)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Texas & Pacific Ry. Co. v. Bloom, 164 U.S. 636 (1897)

Texas & Pacific Railway Company v. Bloom

No. 88

Argued and submitted October 29, 1896

Decided January 4, 1897

164 U.S. 636


A passenger on the road of the Texas and Pacific Railway Company sued that company and its receiver in a Texas court in an action at law, to recover for injuries received when traveling on its road while it was in the hands of the receiver. The case was removed to the circuit court of the United States, where a trial was had. The receivership had been terminated before the commencement of the action, and the property had, by order of court, been transferred to the company under the circumstances and on the conditions described in Texas & Pacific Railway v. Johnson, 151 U. S. 81, and in this case. The company contended that it was not liable, or, if liable, that the claim could only be enforced in equity. The trial resulted in a verdict and judgment for the plaintiff.

Held that, under the circumstances, the company was liable to the plaintiff in an action at law for the damages found by the jury; that the conduct of the railway company in procuring, or at least, in acquiescing in the withdrawal of the receivership and the discharge of the receiver and the cancellation of his bond, and in accepting the restoration of its road, largely increased in value by the betterments, affords ground to charge an assumption of such valid claims against the receiver as were not satisfied by him, or by the court which discharged him.

In January, 1889, one Bloom, describing herself as a resident of Lamar County, Texas, brought an action in the district court of that county against the Texas and Pacific Railroad Company and John C. Brown, receiver of said company, claiming damages for personal injuries received while traveling as a passenger on said railroad. The railroad company and Brown, the receiver, respectively filed petitions for the removal of the suit into the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Texas. The district court refused to grant the removal, to which ruling the defendants duly excepted. Pending the making up of the issue, John C. Brown, the receiver, died. The trial resulted in a verdict and judgment in favor of the plaintiff for the sum of $6,000. The cause was then

Page 164 U. S. 637

taken to the Supreme Court of Texas, where, for error of the district court in refusing the petition for removal, the judgment was reversed and the cause was remanded.

In June, 1893, the case came for trial in the circuit court of the United States, and the plaintiff recovered a verdict and judgment for the sum of $8,000, and on a writ of error that judgment was, on January 30, 1894, affirmed by the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. 60 F.9d 9. The case was then brought on error to this Court. The plaintiff Bloom having died, Charles Manton entered an appearance as her administrator.

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