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Gallick v. Baltimore & Ohio R.R. Co.

United States Supreme Court
372 U.S. 108 (1963)


Gallick (plaintiff) was an employee of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company (B & O) (defendant). Gallick worked along B & O’s right of way in the Cuyahoga River flats, where there was a pool of standing water filled with dead and decomposing rats and pigeons. B & O was aware of this pool of stagnant water. While at the work site, Gallick was bitten by an insect that was attracted by the standing water and decomposing animals. The bite became infected and eventually resulted in the amputation of both of Gallick’s legs. He brought suit against B & O under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act. At trial, the jury rendered a special verdict, under which it answered two dozen interrogatories. While the jury answered the interrogatories to find that B & O was aware of the stagnant water, that Gallick’s injuries resulted from the existence of the stagnant water, and that Gallick’s injuries resulted from an act or omission on the part of B &O, they also found that Gallick’s injury was not reasonably foreseeable to B & O. The trial court therefore found for Gallick, and the court of appeals reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

Dissent (Harlan, J.)

Dissent (Stewart, J.)

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