O'Leary v. Illinois Terminal Railroad
Supreme Court of Missouri
299 S.W.2d 873 (1957)
In Illinois, a railway train owned by Illinois Terminal Railroad (the railroad) (defendant) struck a vehicle driven by Margaret O’Leary (plaintiff). Margaret’s minor daughter, Judith (plaintiff), was injured in the collision. The O’Learys were residents of Missouri. The O’Learys filed a negligence suit in Missouri state court against the railroad. The railroad raised the affirmative defense of contributory negligence. The O’Learys requested the trial court to instruct the jury according to Missouri’s law on contributory negligence, which required the railroad to prove that Margaret was contributorily negligent in causing the collision. The trial court applied Missouri law and awarded the O’Learys $7,000 in damages. The railroad appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in instructing the jury according to Missouri law. Instead, the railroad claimed that the trial court should have applied Illinois law, which would require the O’Learys to show that Margaret acted with ordinary care. The court of appeals disagreed and affirmed the judgment of the trial court. On its own motion, the court of appeals transferred the matter to the Supreme Court of Missouri for review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Hollingsworth, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.