HAILE'S 'CURATOR V. TEXAS & P. RY. CO.
in the case of Railroad Co. v. Baugh, 149 U. S. 368, 13 Sup. Ct. 914, and of the case of Railway Co. v. Rogers (decided by this court at the last term) 57 Fed. 378,1 and that there is no error in the charge of the court, and therefore none in its refusal to charge as requested by the plaintiff. Judgment affirmed.
HAILE'S CURATOR v. TEXAS & P. RY. CO. (Circuit Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. January 23, 1894.)
CoHMON CARRIERS OF
P ASSENGERS-NEGLIGENCE-!NsANITY. Where a passenger on a railroad train receives no bodily injury trom an accident caused by the company's negligence, but is made insane by the excitement, hardship, and suffering resulting therefrom, the company is not liable in damages therefor, since insanity is not a probable or ordi· nary result of exposure to a railroad accident.
In Error to the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of ,Louisiana. Action by the curator of James T. Haile, a lunatic, against the Texas & Pacific Railway Company, for injuries to plaintiff's ward. Defendant obtained judgment on exceptions to the petition. Plaintiff brings error.
In his petition the plaintiff in error (also plaintiff in the lower court) avers: That on or about January 29, 1892, in company with James T. Haile, his ward, he took passage on the passenger train of the defendant company, at Dallas, Tex., and paid fare, and provided tickets, for himself and his brother, to Baton Rouge, La., in consideration of which fare the said company contracted and bound itself to convey them safely, and without delay and harm, to such destination. '''l'hat this trip was lmdertaken under directions of a physician, who advised that rest, quiet, and change of scene would restol'e to full vigor of mind and body the said James T. Haile, who had for some time previous been suffering from an attack (}f grippe, and was at this time, and in consequence thereof, greatly depressed, mentally and physically, and in an intense nervous condition. That the greater part of said journey had been accomplished in safety, and without any bad effect upon the said James T. Haile, until on the next day, January 30,1892, about 8 a. m., when near the town of Robeline,La., the said train was suddenly, and without warning, precipitated through a burning bridge, and was completely wrecked, and immediately after caught fire and was destroyed. 'l'hat the shock from the accident was so great that it hurled said James T. Haile from his seat to the floor, where he lay utterly helpless and prostrated by the ·shock, and unable to move. The train having in the mean time caught fire. petitioner was forced to carry his brother out of the car, and, on account of the mal'Shy condition of the surrounding country, and his nervous and prostrated condition, to place him on the roadbed, where he was in full view of the burning wreck, and in the midst of the wounded and dying, whose cries and lamentations, added to his already intense nervous state, caused by the .accident itself, threw him into a state of excitement, so that petitioner, and those around him, were unable to control or quiet him. That his nervous state became greatly worse during the sevex-al hours they were forced to wait on the scene of the wreck for conveyance to the town of Robeline, where they were to wait for the relief train to be sent out by the railroad company. After a further delay of some hours, the relief train aITived, consisting, as petitioner afterwards found, of what is known as an 'emigrant
6 C. 0. A. 400.
col;tch,'dra,Wll ])1.. a freight engioo. The qoach was overerowde4 with passenger, from, the wrecked f;raln. The and other accommodations were of the ,crudest kind, entailing great discomfort and inconvenience upon the passengers, alld upon ward, who, In his exhausted, excited, and ove.fflNught state of mind and body, was forced to use same. That the hardsliips, together with the constant and sudden jerkings and stoppings of the traIn, caused by the engine used not being constructed for such purposes, or because it was improperly handled, kept petitioner's ward and the passengers In constant fear and excitement; and finally, on entering the company's yard in Algiers, La., the train on which was petitioner and his ward was suddenlY and violently run into from the rear by a switch engine, through the negligence of defendant's employes. The shock! was so Violent as to knock petitioner's ward off the seat, to the car floor, and ca'used great eXcitement among the passengers, who feared another accident had befallen them. Now, petitioner alleges that since this time his ward has become rapidly worse, as a result of the shock, excitelDe!).t, and hardship he suffered from the said accident, and he is now insane, lipd confined in a bettering house, with Uttlll or no hope of recovery; and he llas, therefore intel'dicted, and petitioner dUly appointed his curator. :petitioD,er thel'efore alleges iuldcharges tbl;tt the present state of his ward's mind was Causd and brougl;l.t about by the, Injuries and sufferings he underwent on of the accidents and hardships aforesaid; and he alleges that the; saId acci<ients Rnj! injul'ies by the negligence of the defendant company, its employes and agents, for the reason that, by the exercise of due care and caution in the management of its road and the selection of allents, the said accidents could have been avoided. That the said r<>ad employed no track :walkers to guard against such accidents, and to see that the road was,in proper condition, nnll safe fortrave,iers on the company's trains, as it was in duty bound to do. And by reason of the fact that this section of the road was made up of wooden trestlework, which needed constant vigilance and (Jare to keep it ineafe condition, the burning of this bridge for hours before the accident was'evidence of gross negligence on the part of the company. That the traIn to which the accident happened was running' at a rate of speed that was dangerous and neglig'ent, considering the character of the roadbed, and the factthllt a dense fog obscured the view of the trammen; For these reasons, and for the conduct of the company and itsagent:sln the careless transportation of petitioner and his ward, the said 'company is chargeable with gross negligence. Petitioner alleges and avers that for the pain, anxiety, and- loss of his mind, the expense he has· Incurred, and in the futlU'e must incur, petitioner's ward has been damaged in the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars by the said company." The defendant company, also defendant in error, excepted or demurred to the petition on the following grounds: "Because said petition, on its face, shows no cause of action against defendant. Because, under the. law, no right of action can arise for damages, for the insanity of a human being. Because sa1dpetition does not show any right to recover da.mages for insanity. WhE>.refore, defendant prays that these exceptions may be maintained. and plaintiff's suit dismissed, with costs." The exceptions were sustained by the lower court, and judgment was rendered dismissing the suit. This ruling i8 assigned as error. .
B. Spencer and Oharles Payne Fenner, for plaintiff in error. W. W. Howe and S. S. Prentiss, for defendant in error. Before McOORMICK, Circuit Judge, and LOOKE· and TOULMIN, District Judges.
T()ULMIN, District Judge (after stating the case as above). The first and third grounds of e:k:ception' to the petition are, in effect, the same, and if they are .taken the judgment of the court below must be affirmed. The plaintift claims damages for the pain, anxiety, and loss of mind. alleged to have been suffered ·by his ward,
HAILE'S CURATOR tI. TEXAS & P. RY. CO.
James T. Raile, and avers that this state of said Haile's mind, which is now one of insanity, "was caused and brought about by the injuries and sufferings he underwent on account of the accidents and hardships" complained of. Heavers that the shock of the accident was so great as to hurl Haile from his seat to the floor of the car, where he lay prootrated by the shock. A shock is a .sudden agitation of body or mind. It may affect the body or mind. The petition avers that Haile lay helpless and prostrated, but whether from a bodil;r or mental shock is left somewhat uncertain by the averments of the petition. The shock averred may reasonably be construed to mean the one or the other. But there is no. charge that any bodily injury was sustained by the shock, and no claim for damages for any such Injury. The charge is that Haile's insanity was caused and brought about by the injuries and suffer· ings he underwent on account of the accidents and hardships complained of; and the claim for damages is for the pain, anxiety, and loss of his mind, and the expenses incurred and to be incurred incidental thereto. The learned. counsel for the plaintiff concedes "thlllt pain and anxiety of mind the law cannot value, and does not pretend to redress, when the unlawful act complained of causes that alone." They say that the plaintiff, in this case, is not seeking to recover for the mental pain or anxiety of his ward, but for his insanitY,-the loss of his mind,-and they present to the court an able argument to show that "the two are entirely separate and distinct phenomena." They contend that insanity is not to be "placed in the same category with such trivial mental phenomena as mere anxiety and worry." They say, "It is a disease of the mind, and the law could as well weigh and determine the damage a man has suffered by the loss of his mind as it could the loss of his leg, or of the power of sight," etc. It is not necessary for us to decide the question ra.ised by this contention, which is whether, under the law, any right of action can arise for damages for the insanity of a human being. The question we are called on now to decide is whether the facts set forth in the petition show any right to recover damages for insanity, as is therein claimed. 'fhat question we will proceed to consider. The negligence of defendant, as charged, being admitted by the -exceptions, the question cis, was that negligence the proximate cause of the injury complained of? It is well settled that the damages sustained by a wrongful act must be the nartural result of the act,such a consequence as, in the ordinary course of things, would flow from it. As expressed by some of the authorities, "Proximate damages are those that are the ordinary and natural results of the negligence, such as are usual, and might therefore have been expected." "Remote damages are such as are the result of an accillental or unusual combination of circumstances, which would not be reasonably anticipated. and over which the negligent party had no control." Ewing v. Railroad 00. (Fa. Sup.) 23 Atl. 340; Oommissioners v. Ooultas, L. R. 13 App. Oas. 222; Cooley, Torts, 69; 2 Thomp. Neg. 1083. The c()ntention is that the insanity for which damages -are claimed was caused by the excitement, hardship, and suffer·
ing which resulted from the accident According to the great current of modern medicaIauihorli:ties, insanity is a disease,-adisease of the mind,-the existence of whichds a question of fact, to be proved, just as much as the possible' existence of any mher disem;e. As said: by, Dillon, O. J;, ill Felter's Case, 25 Iowa, 68, "That insanity is thee.x1stence of mental disease,both medicine and law now reeWhile the defendant, as a. comm..on carrier, had reason to anticipate that an accident would cause physical injury, and would produce fright and excitement, it had no reason to antici· pate that the latter would result in permanent injury, as a dis· ease of the mind, or any other disease that might be caused by . excitement, exposure, and hardship sometimes incident to travel. If· the disease was not likely to result from the accident, and was not one which the defendant could have reasonably foreseen, .in the light of tbe attending circumstances, then ihe accident was not the cause. The defendant had no reason to anticipate that tbe result of an accident on its· road would so' operate on Haile,'s mind as to pIJoouce disease,,-the disease of insanity,any more than that the exposure and hardships he suffered would peodUce grippe,pneumonia, or .any other disease. He sustainedno bodily injury' by tbe accident, so far as the petition shows; but it caused a shock and an excitement, which, under his peculiar mental and ,pbysical condition at the time, resulted in his insanity. The defendant owed hiwthe duty toearry him safely,-not to in· jure his pel'$on by force or violence. It owed him no duty to protect bhn:L:fI,fotn fright, excitement, or from any bardship that he might subsequently suffer because of the unfortunate accident. The case of Scbeffer v. Railroad 00., 105· U. S. 249, was where, by reason of a 'collision of railway trains, a passenger was injured; and, becoming. thereby disordered in mind and body, he, some eight months thereafter, comtnitted suicide. The court held, in a suit by his personal representative against the railroad company, that, as bis own act was the proximate cause of his death, there could be no recovery. In the opinion the court said:
"The suicide ot Schaffer was not the result naturallY and reasonably to be expected from the injury received on the train., * * · His insanity, as a cause of his final destruction, was as little the natural or probable result ot the negligen,ce ot the railwa.y officials as his suicide, and each ot these are casual or unexpected causes .intervening between the act which injured him -and his death."
There was no errol' in the ruling of the circuit court, and the judgment is affirmed.
GREENWOOD et aI. v. TOWN OF WESTPORT. (District Court, D. Connecticut. No. 915.
March 8, 1894.)
Defendant town assumed, the obligations of a private corporation chartered to construct and maintain a drawbridge across a naVigable stream. Neither the corporation" -nor the town was required by law to operate the draw in such bridge, but after a time the town undertook such operation