Brief Fact Summary. Beems (Plaintiff) was killed when his foot was stuck while trying to uncouple Chicago, Rock Island & Peoria R.R. Co.’s (Defendant’s) speeding railroad cars. The trial judge instructed the jury that if Plaintiff’s foot was caught and run over without any negligence by Defendant, then they could not find for Plaintiff.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. There is no contributory negligence in this case when Plaintiff has his foot stuck and is run over by a train because of Defendant’s negligence.
Issue. Is Defendant liable to Plaintiff in an action for negligence if Plaintiff’s foot was caught?
Held. Yes. Judgment affirmed.
* If Plaintiff was run over by reason of Defendant’s negligence, than it does not make sense to hold that Defendant is not liable because Plaintiff’s foot was caught.
* Whatever the Plaintiff’s condition was at the time of the accident, whether free to move or fastened in place, Defendant is liable if its cars were negligently driven over Plaintiff.
Discussion. In this case, the court determined that Plaintiff’s foot being caught did not amount to contributory negligence. Defendant was liable to Plaintiff. Plaintiff’s foot being caught would not prevent him from recovering.