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Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. v. Goodman

Citation. Supreme Court of the United States, 1927. 275 U.S. 66,48 S.Ct. 24,72 L.Ed. 167.

Brief Fact Summary.

Nathan Goodman was hit by a train and killed on Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co.’s tracks and his wife brought a negligence suit and won. Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. brought suit on the grounds of contributory negligence.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

If a driver does not stop and look to see if a train is coming at a crossing, he does so at his own risk.


Mr. Nathan Goodman was driving a truck in an eastern direction at about 10 mph and was struck by a train going 60 mph coming the south. Mr. Goodman had no practical view of the train. Mr. Goodman died, and his wife brought a negligence suit against Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. Goodwin’s widow won in the trial and appellate court and Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. appeal for contributory negligence on the part of Nathan Goodwin.


Whether a person who could not see a train coming but also did not stop to look for it was contributory negligent?


Yes, a person who does not stop and see if a train is coming is contributorily negligent.


Nothing is shown in the evidence to relieve Goodman from the responsibility of his own death. A man knows that he will be killed if he does not use extreme caution at a train track. The court states that the man must get out of his vehicle and look to see if a train is coming and is not required to do more. If he relies on hearing and nothing more than he does so at his own risk.

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