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Hansbury v. Hudson and Manhattan Railway Co.

Decided: May 13, 1940.

MARGARET HANSBURY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
HUDSON AND MANHATTAN RAILWAY COMPANY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE



On appeal from the First District Court of Jersey City.

For the plaintiff-appellant, DeGraw & Murray (Norbury C. Murray, of counsel).

For the defendant-appellee, Collins & Corbin (Edward A. Markley and Patrick F. McDevitt, of counsel).

Before Justices Trenchard, Case and Heher.

Trenchard

The opinion of the court was delivered by

TRENCHARD, J. This is the appeal by the plaintiff below from a judgment of nonsuit entered in behalf of the defendant-appellee in the District Court. The complaint charged that on December 23d, 1938, the plaintiff was a passenger on one of defendant's trains operated between the city of New York and the city of Hoboken, New Jersey. It further charged the plaintiff was injured while alighting from the train to the platform of the defendant's station. The specific negligence alleged was: "On or about said date, while such

passenger, plaintiff was injured by the negligence of the defendant in that the defendant stopped the train whereon plaintiff was a passenger and caused plaintiff to alight therefrom in the city of Hoboken, at a place which was unsafe for alighting passengers, in that there was a dangerously wide space between the door of the passenger car from which plaintiff was alighting and the platform whereon the defendant caused the plaintiff to alight, and in that the defendant failed to warn the plaintiff of the existence of such space."

At the close of the plaintiff's case the court below granted a nonsuit because of the plaintiff's failure to prove any negligence on the part of the defendant. The defendant here argues that the court below did not err in entering judgment of nonsuit against the plaintiff and did not err in refusing to permit the plaintiff to answer a question propounded by her counsel.

We believe that the court below did not err in entering a judgment of nonsuit against the plaintiff.

The facts were not in dispute. The plaintiff boarded one of the defendant's trains at New York City. She was a passenger in the last car. This train stopped at Hoboken about six-forty P.M., after the rush was over. When the train arrived at Hoboken, it came to a full stop and she started to alight. The car in which she was riding was not crowded and only two or three people were ahead of her as she started to walk to the door. A woman who was walking immediately ahead of her stumbled when she was at the doorway. The plaintiff then attempted to walk out. The train had stopped at the platform almost opposite the dispatcher's office and at that place there was a space possibly thirteen inches wide between the platform and the car. She started to step from the car to the platform and her left leg went down in this space and was injured. At that point the platform was not straight but curved.

As stated supra the defendant was charged with negligence in failing to provide the plaintiff with a safe place in order that she might alight from the car on which she was a passenger. The record is barren of any testimony which would ...


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