GALLICK V. BALTIMORE & OHIO R. CO., 372 U. S. 108 (1963)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Gallick v. Baltimore & Ohio R. Co., 372 U.S. 108 (1963)

Gallick v. Baltimore & Ohio R. Co.

No. 76

Argued December 10, 1962

Decided February 18, 1963

372 U.S. 108


While working on a railroad near a stagnant, vermin-infested pool of water, petitioner suffered an insect bite which became infected and ultimately resulted in the loss of both of his legs. He sued the railroad in a state court under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, alleging that the railroad was negligent in maintaining a stagnant pool that attracted vermin and insects. Upon a special verdict of the jury, the trial court entered judgment awarding damages to petitioner. The state appellate court reversed on the ground that proof of a causal connection between the negligence and damage fell short of that required for the consideration of a jury.

Held: the state appellate court improperly invaded the function and province of the jury, and its judgment is reversed. Pp. 372 U. S. 109-122.

(a) The record contains sufficient evidence to warrant the jury's conclusion that petitioner's injuries were caused by the acts or omissions of the railroad, and the state appellate court erred in refusing to accept the jury's verdict. Pp. 372 U. S. 113-117.

(b) Reasonable foreseeability of harm is an essential ingredient of Federal Employers' Liability Act negligence, but this requirement was satisfied in the present case by the jury's findings of negligence in maintaining the filthy pool of water. Pp. 372 U. S. 117-119.

(c) There was no fatal inconsistency in the jury's findings. Pp. 372 U. S. 119-122.

173 N.E.2d 382, reversed.

Page 372 U. S. 109

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