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Before SIMONTON, Circuit Judge, and JACKSON and PURNELL, District Judges.

PURNELL, District Judge. Plaintiff in error, a minor 12 years of age, by his next friend, seeks to recover $30,000 damages for personal injuries received at a turntable maintained by the defendant railway company at Old Fort, N. C., and alleges the injury was caused by the negligence of the defendant. The issues arising on the pleadings were three: First, was the plaintiff injured by the negligence of the defendant, as alleged in the complaint? Second, did the plaintiff contribute to his injury by his negligence? Third, what damages, if any, is the plaintiff entitled to recover?

After both parties announced they had closed, the trial judge reviewed the testimony, and, upon an intimation of an intention to instruct the jury that the plaintiff was not entitled to recover, the plaintiff took a nonsuit and appealed. This is the practice in North Carolina, and no question is raised in regard to such practice.

Plaintiff excepted to an intimation of the court of an intention to sustain the motion of defendant to direct the jury to return a verdict in favor of the defendant on the first issue, and that the evidence introduced by the plaintiff would not sustain an answer in the affirmative to the issue, was the plaintiff injured by the negligence of the defendant company as alleged? Much of the brief and argument on the hearing is directed to an effort to convince this court that there was error in the intimation of the trial judge that a verdict would be directed. Such course on the part of the court is in accord with the established practice in the courts of the United States. Whatever the rule may be elsewhere, in the courts of the United States, as said by the chief justice in delivering the opinion in C. A. Treat Mfg. Co. v. Standard Steel & Iron Co., 157 U. S. 675, 15 Sup. Ct. 718, 39 L. Ed. 854, "when the trial judge is satisfied upon the evidence that the plaintiff is not entitled to recover, and a verdict, if rendered for plaintiff, must be set aside, the court may instruct the jury to find for the defendant.” To the same effect is the rule laid down in numerous other decisions.

In Pleasants v. Fant, 22 Wall. 116,22 L. Ed. 780, quoting Improvement Co. v. Munson, 14 Wall. 448, 20 L. Ed. 867, it was held the true principle was: “If the court is satisfied that, conceding all the inferences which the jury can justifiably draw from the testimony, the evidence is insufficient to warrant a verdict for the plaintiff, the court should say so to the jury.” This rule has been followed in Montclair Tp. v. Dana, 107 U. S. 162, 2 Sup. Ct. 403, 27 L. Ed. 436; Railroad Co. v. Woodson, 134 U. S. 621, 10 Sup. Ct. 628, 33 L. Ed. 1033; Peoples' Bank of Greenville v. Ætna Ins. Co., 20 C. C. A. 630, 74 Fed. 507; Sloss Iron & Steel Co. v. South Carolina & G. R. Co., 85 Fed. 138, 29 C. C. A. 50; Patton v. Railroad Co., 49 C. C. A. 569, 111 Fed. 712, at last term; Supreme Lodge v. Beck, 181 U. S. 52, 21 Sup. Ct. 532, 45 L. Ed. 741, and many decisions.

In the case last above cited, the supreme court, quoting from Railroad Co. v. Powers, 149 U. S. 43, 13 Sup. Ct. 748, 37 L. Ed. 642, says:

"It is undoubtedly true cases are not to be lightly taken from the jury: at the same time the judge is primarily responsible for the just outcome of

the trial. He is not a mere moderator of a town meeting, submitting questions to the jury for determination, nor simply ruling on the admissibility of testimony, but one who in our jurisprudence stands charged with full responsibility. He has the same opportunities as jurors have for seeing the witnesses, for noting all those matters in a trial not capable of record, and when in his deliberate opinion there is no excuse for a verdict save in favor of one party, and he so rules by instructions to that effect, an appellate court will pay large respect to his judgment.”

If, therefore, in the opinion of the trial judge, the evidence was insufficient to sustain a verdict for the plaintiff, there would have been no error if he had directed a verdict. He intimated an intention to do so when plaintiff took a nonsuit. Was this error ?

The allegations in the complaint are that George, a brother of the plaintiff, five years of age, was playing on the turntable, and had set the same in motion; that said George was about to be crushed by the track of the turntable coming in close proximity to the stationary track; that plaintiff saw the great peril of his brother, and was not near enough to take him off the turntable before he would be crushed or killed; that he attempted to save his brother George, and did save him, by attempting to lessen the motion of the turntable, and in such attempt was caught between the track of the turntable and stationary track, and was thus crushed and mangled and seriously injured. Having made the allegation, the burden was on the plaintiff to furnish proof thereof. Allegation alone will not warrant a verdict. It was incumbent on him to show he was injured by the negligence of the defendant while he was engaged in rescuing his brother from imminent danger, in which he was placed by reason of the negligence of defendant, and he incurred or received such injury while on the dangerous machine for that purpose only.

Plaintiff was over 12 years of age, and, it seems, capable of distinguishing between places of safety and places of danger. The testimony is he was a bright boy, accustomed to being about the trains selling fruit and for other purposes. In North Carolina it seems to have been the rule, recognized by the supreme court, that even infants, capable of so distinguishing between places of danger and those of safety, could not recover damages when they wantonly placed themselves in places of danger, and their acts were the proximate cause of the injury. In Manly v. Railroad Co., 74 N. C. 655, a child 10 years of age fell asleep on a railroad truck, and it was held there could be no recovery; and to the same effect is the decision in the case of Murray v. Railroad Co., 93 N. C. 92, where a boy 8 years of age was injured while riding on the plow of a yard engine. But it is unnecessary to pursue this line of decisions in the case at bar. The rule is conceded to turn on the question of intelligence, and applicable more to the second issue, which is not under con

Having made the allegation, the burden was on the plaintiff. There is no allegation of any special negligence on the part of the defendant towards the plaintiff. Turntables are necessary to the operation of railroads. Their maintenance is not per se negligence, though the manner of maintaining them may be. The plaintiff was not introduced as a witness, and the only witness who testified as to


how he was injured or why he was on the turntable was a witness named Stepp, who took him out of the turntable. Stepp's testimony was, “Plaintiff said he tried to catch the turntable or tried to hold it off his little brother, and got fast in there himself.” “He said he caught the turntable, and tried to stop it off his little halfbrother.” This was all the testimony as to how he came there and what he was doing there. There is no evidence to show that when he saw his brother in a dangerous position he was away from danger himself. In short, this is all the testimony. Is this sufficient evidence to sustain plaintiff's allegations? to justify a verdict in the affirmative on the issue, was plaintiff injured by the negligence of defendant? The trial judge thought not. This court concurs in that opinion. An affirmative answer to the issue could not be justified on this testimony, but would, of necessity, have been based on conjecture.

Many of the decisions cited in the brief and by plaintiff's counsel assert sound propositions of law, but they are not applicable to this case, because of a difference in the facts. Having taken a nonsuit, the judgment rendered against plaintiff for costs is the only judgment it was proper to enter. Hence there is no force in the exception to the judgment. A careful examination of the record does not disclose any error.

There is no error. Affirmed.

(113 Fed. 81.)


(Circuit Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit. February 4, 1902.)



The institution of a suit against a foreign corporation in North Carolina is an admission on plaintiff's part that it is doing business and is

to be found within that state at the time. 2. SAME-PERSONAL INJURIES-- What Law GOVERNS.

In an action for injuries to the person, brought against a foreign railroad corporation, at plaintiff's election, in North Carolina, where the injury occurred, plaintiff's rights must be determined by the laws of that


Code N. C. $ 162, provides that, where a person is out of the state when an action accrues against him, it may be commenced within the time prescribed after his return, and if after such accrual he departs from and resides out of the state, or remains continuously absent therefrom, for one year, the time of his absence shall not be computed. Held, that where a foreign railroad corporation was operating its road and doing business in North Carolina at the time of plaintiff's injury, and continued to do so during the entire period limited for commencing suit therefor, an action commenced thereafter was barred; the statute

recited not being applicable to such case. In Error to the Circuit Court of the United States for the Western District of North Carolina, at Charlotte.

Charles Price, for plaintiff in error.
Charles W. Tillett (of Jones & Tillett), for defendant in error.

Before SIMONTON, Circuit Judge, and JACKSON and PURNELL, District Judges.

JACKSON, District Judge. This is an action brought by the defendant in error against the plaintiff in error to recover damages growing out of a collision which occurred on the 11th day of April

, 1897, between the trains of the defendant company, near Harrisburg, N. C., whereby it is claimed that the plaintiff, who was a passenger on one of the trains, was greatly injured and damaged. It is not denied that the collision took place at the time and place alleged in the plaintiff's complaint, in the state of North Carolina; that the plaintiff in the action was greatly injured thereby; and that by reason of that fact he instituted his suit in the state of North Carolina to recover damages because of the alleged injuries.

The bringing of the suit by the plaintiff in the state of North Carolina is an admission upon the part of the plaintiff that the defendant corporation was doing business in, and was to be found in, that state; otherwise there would be no jurisdiction over the defendant corporation, either in the federal or state courts. In this action it is to be noticed that upon the trial of this case the court below took judicial notice of the fact that the defendant corporation, as such, was a citizen of the state of North Carolina, and was operating within the boundaries of that state about 1,200 miles of railroad.

This action was brought on the 18th day of September, 1900, as appears from the date of the summons, which, by the provisions of section 161 of the Code of North Carolina, is the date when an action is commenced. To this action the defendant railroad company interposed a plea of the statute of limitations, which is the only question presented in the record of this case for the consideration of the court; and the assignment of error is that the court below erred in holding that the cause of action of the defendant in error was not barred by the statute of limitations of the state of North Carolina, to which ruling of the court below the plaintiff in error filed an exception.

The Southern Railway Company, though a foreign corporation, was nevertheless a citizen of the state of North Carolina at the time of the collision,—at least, so far as the rights of any citizen interested in a claim or demand against it. It was a legal entity, and as such represented the rights of the corporators, and had the same legal power as a natural person either to assert or defend its rights. This principle of law is so well established at this date that we deem it unnecessary to cite authorities to support it.

The claim of the plaintiff below is that the defendant corporation was not to be found in the state of North Carolina, so that process could be served upon it, and, under section 162 of the Code of North Carolina, the statute of limitations does not bar a recovery on this action. The facts in this case show that the defendant company was at the time of the accident doing business in the state of North Carolina, and that it has so continued to do up to the date of the said summons, and in fact ever since, and up to the trial of the case. The plaintiff concedes by his action that the defendant company was at the time of the institution of this suit doing business in the state of North Carolina, otherwise he could not have maintained his action in this form. It clearly appears that the status of the defendant company in the state of North Carolina at the time of the accident was the same as at the commencement of the action. If this is true, then the defendant company, although a foreign corporation, was engaged in running its trains over its railroad, and was to be found within the limits of the state, for more than three years after the collision, and prior to the institution of this action. This is an action for damages to the person of the plaintiff, and it is well settled that an action of this character can be maintained wherever the wrongdoer is found. In this case the wrongdoer, as it is claimed by the plaintiff, is the defendant company, which was operating a railroad in the state of North Carolina; and the accident by which the plaintiff was damaged occurring in that state, and he having elected to bring his action in North Carolina, his rights must be determined by the laws of that state.

It is claimed by the plaintiff that, by section 162 of the Code of North Carolina, the defendant company cannot rely upon the plea of the statute of limitations (which is three years) to defeat the action, for the reason that the limitation had not begun to run before the commencement of the action. Section 162 of the Code of North Carolina provides that:

If when the cause of action accrue, or judgment be rendered, or docketed against any person, he shall be out of the state, such action may be commenced, or judgment enforced, within the time, herein respectively limited. after the return of such person, into this state, and if, after such cause of action shall bave accrued, or judgment rendered or docketed, such person shall depart from, and reside out of the state, or remain continuously absent therefrom, for the space of one year or more, the time of his absence shall not be deemed or taken as any part of the time limited for the commencement of such action, or the enforcement of such judgment."

It will be observed that the statute relied upon has no application to the facts in this case. In the first place, the defendant below was not at any time within the three years after the accident and before the commencement of this suit out of the state; and, in the second place, it did not depart or reside out of the state, or remain continuously absent, for the space of one year or Neither provision of the statute has any application to the facts of this case; for said facts show conclusively that the defendant corporation ever since it commenced doing business in the state of North Carolina has had a local abode and habitation in that state, for more than three years prior to the institution of this action. The defendant company is, within the provisions of the fourteenth amendment of the constitution of the United States, a person, having all the rights that a natural person may have in actions for or against it. Assuming this position to be true, we reach the conclusion that the defendant corporation is entitled to rely upon the statute as a defense to this action, and that more than three years had elapsed before the suit was commenced.

For the reasons assigned, we are of the opinion that the court below erred in overruling the plea of the statute of limitations, and that the case should be reversed. Reversed.


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