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TEXAS AND PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY v. DASHIELL

May 29, 1905

TEXAS AND PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY
v.
DASHIELL



ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT

Fuller, Harlan, Brewer, Brown, White, Peckham, McKenna, Holmes, Day

Author: Mckenna

[ 198 U.S. Page 523]

 MR. JUSTICE McKENNA delivered the opinion of the court.

This action was originally brought in the District Court of Tarrant County, in the State of Texas, and removed by the railway company to the United States Circuit Court for the Northern District of Texas on the ground that the railway company is a corporation under the law of the United States. The trial resulted in a verdict for the defendant in error for the sum of $7,500, upon which judgment was entered. It was affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals.

The action was for personal injuries sustained by defendant in error through the negligence of the railway company. The defendant in error was a conductor on one of the company's freight trains, with which another train collided, "whereby," it is alleged, "plaintiff was seriously, painfully and permanently injured in many parts of his body and especially was he so injured in and about the head, eyes, back, sides, arms and shoulders, and in the organs and functions of his brain and in his entire mental and nervous system, and that as a result of said injuries plaintiff has, since the reception thereof, now is, and in the future will permanently be, helpless, injured and unsound of mind and body, and wholly incapable of transacting any kind of business or of doing any kind of mental or manual work, and that he now is and for the remainder of his life will be cared for and protected, if at all, by his friends and relatives."

[ 198 U.S. Page 524]

     And it is also alleged:

"That as a result of said negligence and collision plaintiff further says he was badly burned about the legs, sides, back, arms, hands and head, and that his left eye has become seriously affected by reason of said injury thereto, and by reason of said injury to his head and nervous system affecting said eye, in so much that the value, use and sight of said eye is now greatly impaired and almost entirely lost, and that the sight of his right eye is also now considerably weakened and impaired by reason of its sympathy for his said left eye. That as a result of said negligence and injury plaintiff now suffers, has suffered and for all his life will continue to suffer great physical pain and much mental anguish and pain."

Among other defenses plaintiff in error pleaded a release executed by defendant in error on the second of February, 1901, which is as follows:

"Whereas on and prior to the 24th day of December, 1900, I, G. H. Dashiell, was employed by the Texas and Pacific Railway Co. as brakeman and extra freight conductor at or near Eastland, Texas, on the said 24th day of December, 1900, about 3.15 o'clock A.M. I sustained certain personal injuries in the manner and of the character described, to the best of my knowledge and ability, to wit:

"Extra east eng. 189 struck caboose of extra east eng. 255, 2 1/2 miles east of Eastland, bruising my body, right leg, right arm, and giving me a scalp wound.

"And, whereas, it is by said railway company and myself mutually desirable to maintain amicable and pleasant relations and avoid all controversy in respect to said matter:

"Now, therefore, to that end, and in consideration of thirty and no /100 dollars, to me now here paid in cash by said Texas and Pacific Railway Company, I hereby release and acquit, and by these presents bind myself to indemnify and forever hold harmless said Texas and Pacific Railway Company from and against all claims, demands, ...


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