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U.S. Supreme Court

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. Scarlett, 300 U.S. 471 (1937)

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. Scarlett

No. 505

Argued March 3, 1937

Decided March 29, 1937

300 U.S. 471


1. A regulation prescribed by the Interstate Commerce Commission in pursuance of constitutional statutory authority has the same force as though prescribed in terms by the statute. P. 300 U. S. 474.

2. In an action under the Federal Safety Appliance Act against a railroad company to recover damages for personal injuries resulting from an alleged violation of the Act, the judgment of the trial court and jury cannot be substituted for that of the Interstate Commerce Commission on the question as to what constitutes compliance with its regulations. P. 300 U. S. 474.

3. The Federal Safety Appliance Act provides that cars requiring "secure" ladders shall be so equipped. An order of the Interstate Commerce Commission, issued pursuant to the Act, requires such ladders to have a minimum clearance of treads of "two, preferably two and one-half inches."


(1) A side ladder of a freight car complied with the Act though between it and the side of the car was a diagonal brace rod which the ladder cleared by two and three-quarter inches. P. 300 U. S. 474.

(2) The brace rod was not a part of the ladder. P. 300 U. S. 474.

(3) Long-continued use of brace rods of the type here involved, in the same relation to the ladder, without change of its order by the Interstate Commerce Commission, is persuasive that the Act and the order were not violated. P. 300 U. S. 474.

(4) The right of recovery, if any, in this case must be governed not by the Safety Appliance Act, but by the common law rule of negligence. P. 300 U. S. 475.

7 Cal. 2d 181; 60 P.2d 462, reversed.

Certiorari, 299 U.S. 537, to review a judgment affirming a judgment against the railroad company in an action under the Federal Safety Appliance Act.

Page 300 U. S. 472

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