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Bernardine v. Erie Railroad Co.

Decided: January 31, 1933.

RALPH BERNARDINE, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
ERIE RAILROAD COMPANY, SAMUEL COX, GEORGE MAYER AND NEW YORK, SUSQUEHANNA AND WESTERN RAILROAD COMPANY, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS



On appeal from the Supreme Court.

For the plaintiff-appellant, Richard J. Mackey.

For the defendants-respondents, Collins & Corbin.

Wells

The opinion of the court was delivered by

WELLS, J. This is an appeal from a judgment of nonsuit entered after a trial in the Supreme Court at the Hudson Circuit. The plaintiff brought suit to recover damages for personal injuries sustained at the Homestead station of the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad Company, in or near Jersey City.

At the beginning of the trial the plaintiff discontinued as to the Erie Railroad Company.

The complaint alleged that on December 29th, 1929, a train of defendant made a stop at the Homestead station; that when the plaintiff attempted to board and was in the act of boarding the train, it started with an unusual jerk, through the defendant's negligence, and threw the plaintiff to the ground causing his injuries.

The basis of the action is that the plaintiff was a passenger and as such was entitled to a high degree of care from defendant to protect him from danger that foresight could anticipate, and that defendant failed in the performance of that duty.

The Homestead station building is located in the midst of six tracks.

The tracks run north and south. There are four tracks to the east and two tracks to the west of the building. On each side of the station building there is a cinder platform from which trains are boarded northbound toward Paterson and southbound toward Jersey City. To the north of the station building a public highway known as the Paterson Plank road crosses the railroad tracks, and crossing gates are located on the east and west side of this public highway. The cinder platform of the station extends north from the station building almost to the Paterson Plank road. The northbound trains (those going to Paterson) come into the station on the east side of and adjacent to the station building. The southbound trains come into the station on the west side of and adjacent to the station building.

There is no platform or place to board northbound trains on the east side of the trains.

On the morning of the accident the plaintiff boarded a trolley car for the Homestead station where he intended to take the six forty-five train for Paterson, where he was employed. The trolley car traveled westerly over the Paterson Plank road and stopped on the east side of the railroad tracks. As ...


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