Civil Procedure Keyed to Friedenthal
Rogers v. Missouri Pacific R. Co
Petitioner was employed by Respondent as a laborer. On the day of the accident, Petitioner was assigned for the first time to burn off the weeds and vegetation that were on slopes adjacent to the railroad tracks. His foreman testified that customarily the vegetation was burned off with a flame thrower, but other witnesses testified that the Respondent stopped using that method a year prior because the fires would burn past Respondent’s property. The Petitioner was instead given a crude hand torch with instructions that when a train was coming near, to step off the tracks and observe the journals of the passing train for hotboxes. Petitioner was warned of safety precautions as to where to stand when a train was approaching. He heard a train coming and stepped off the track and stopped firing his torch. He stood a few feet from where he was, to observe the passing train for hotboxes. The train fanned the flames of the burning vegetation and enveloped the Petitioner. As he tried to make his way to the safe area, he slipped and suffered serious injuries. The Circuit Court of St. Louis jury found for Petitioner and the Supreme Court of Missouri overruled, stating that Petitioner’s evidence did not support the finding of Respondent’s liability.
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