Summary of B & O Railroad v. Goodman, U.S. Supreme Court, 1927
Facts: -P killed by train at railroad corssing.
-P had no practical view beyond section house 243 ft N or crossing til 20 ft away
-Thought to be emergency in which P did all that he could.
-P was familiar with crossing and it was daylight.
Procedure: -Widow and administrator of P’s account brought suit against D for his death.
-At trial D asked Ct to direct a verdict for it, but it was refused.
-Trial jury awarded verdict to P, Circuit Ct of Appeals affirmed verdict for P.
Issue: If a driver is not sure of whether train is dangerously near, what is his or her standard of care?
Holding: If a driver is not sure of whether train is dangerously near, his or her standard of care is to stop, get out of his or her vehicle, and look .
Ruling: Judgment reversed.
Rationale: -P knows that he must stop for the train, not the train stop for him or her.
-If P only relies on hearing train or signal and takes no further precaution, P crosses the tracks at his or her own risk.
Evaluation: Justice Holmes’ wrote this opinion; he wants a very clear standard of care stated.