Alderman v. Baltimore & Ohio R. Co.
United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
113 F.Supp. 881 (S.D. W.Va. 1953)
Alderman (plaintiff) was injured when a train owned by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company (B&O) (defendant) derailed. It is undisputed that the derailment was caused by a break in the rail that was not visible upon inspection and that can occur in both old and new rails. A B&O employee had in fact inspected the rail the day before and did not find the defect. Alderman was aboard the B&O train using a “trip pass,” meaning that she was riding for free. The pass contained a disclaimer, waiving B&O of all liability for injuries sustained by pass users. The disclaimer protected B&O from a negligence claim, but Alderman also brought suit for willful and wanton misconduct. B&O moved for summary judgment.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Moore, C.J.)