Alderman v. Baltimore & Ohio R. Co. Case Brief

Summary of Alderman v. Baltimore & Ohio R. Co. , Casebook Pgs.36-38

Facts: (P) was injured while riding on (D) train when the railroad cars derailed. (P) was traveling on a free transportation pass, on which was printed that the passenger assumed the risk of all personal injury and relieved the railroad of all liability. (P) sued (D) for negligence in the maintenance of its tracks, later amending the complaint to charge the (D) with willful and wanton conduct. (D) moved for summary judgment, contending that (P) could not prove that (D’s) conduct was willful or wanton.

Issue: Is there a sufficient basis for (D’s) summary judgment to be granted?

Rule: Summary judgment is appropriate when the P fails to demonstrate sufficient factual support of her claims.

Application: Alderman’s complaint failed to state facts sufficient to demonstrate that the railroad acted willfully. Therefore, Alderman will be unable to prove that the railroad acted willfully and wantonly.

Conclusion: (D’s) motion for summary judgment will be sustained.

Motion to Dismiss (Demurrer)—may be granted following the initial pleading, where a claim fails to state sufficient grounds for relief even if all of the factual allegations are presumed to be true.

Motion for Summary Judgment—typically granted following the discovery process. If discovery fails to reveal any genuine issues of material fact in dispute, then rule 56allows the court to enter judgment as a matter of law in favor of the moving party.

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