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Eckert v. Long Island R.R.

Court of Appeals of New York
43 N.Y. 502 (1871)


Eckert’s (plaintiff) decedent was killed after being struck by a train operated by Long Island R.R. (R.R.) (defendant). Eckert brought suit against R.R. At trial, Eckert produced witnesses who testified that the train which struck Eckert’s decedent was traveling between twelve and twenty miles per hour. Eckert argued this speed amounted to negligence given the highly populated, surrounding residential areas. Additionally, Eckert alleged that before the accident, a young child was sitting on the tracks, and that Eckert’s decedent saw the child and ran to push it out of the way. In doing so, Eckert was struck and killed by the train. R.R. argued that it was operating the train at only seven or eight miles per hour, and that it gave all required warning signs. Additionally, R.R. stated that the young child in question was not on the main train track but on a side track. R.R. maintained that the contributory negligence of Eckert’s decedent caused the accident. The jury returned a verdict for Eckert, and R.R. appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Grover, J.)

Dissent (Allen, J.)

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