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any. In Croaker v. The Same Company (36 Wis. 657), it is held that it is unlawful for a railroad corporation to kiss a female passenger against her will. [The conductor of a train kissed the passenger, and the company were found liable in damages to the extent of a thousand dollars.] The Court quote “ the beautiful and comprehensive language" of Judge Story in an early case upon the duty of delicate behaviour on the part of common carriers toward female passengers, and judiciously observe: “These things were şaid indeed of passage by water, but they apply equally to passage by railroad." This judicial declaration will prevent any possible misunderstanding on this distinction.
Another school marn in the same State did not come off so well. The case of Morrow v. Wood (35 Wis. 59) was an action by a female school-teacher for malicious prosecution. The prosecution complained of was a criminal complaint of assault and battery upon the defendant's infant son, which was discontinued on the lady's motion. The plaintiff wished the scholar to study geography, but the defendant forbade it, and notified the teacher of his wishes; but the teacher, claiming that she had a right to direct the child's studies, even in opposition to his father's wishes, whipped him for not complying with her directions. This was held to be unauthorized and unlawful, and consequently the teacher's action for damages was defeated.
In Flynn v. The Canton Co. (40 Md. 312), it is held that an action for damages will not lie against the owner of a lot abutting a sidewalk in a city, for an injury occasioned by an accumulation of ice and snow thereon, although he has neglected to comply with a city ordinance requiring the removal of the ice and snow, Busby v. North American Life Insurance Co. (40 Md. 472) is a hard case. The action was on a life policy, which provided that it should be void unless the premium was paid at a specified time. The insured paid the premium eight days after it became due, and the agent delivered him the proper receipt of the company, and transmitted the money to his principals. The insured dying soon after, the company declined to pay the loss, and it was held that the action would not lie, because the agent had no power to revive the lapsed policy, and there was no proof that the company knew the facts when it received the premium. We have no hesitation in saying that this is not law. It was the business of the company, on receiving the premium, to ascertain, if it cared to know, whether it had been duly paid, and by accepting and retaining it without objection, it is estopped from repudiating its policy. Quite different was the ruling in Baldwin v. Chouteau Insurance Company (56 Mo. 151). There the plaintiff applied for a fire-policy, which was made out, but as he had not the money to pay premium, it was retained by the company.
Subsequently the plaintiff paid the premium and took the policy. Meantime the insured premises had been destroyed by fire, which fact the plain
tiff did not communicate to the company. Held, that on receipt of the premium and delivery of the policy, the contract related back to the date of the policy, and the company was liable. We think this is just as clearly wrong as the other case. It was a clear case of fraudulent concealment.
In Ohio and Miss. Railway Co. v. Selby (47 Ind. 471) the vexed question of drovers' passes again came up. It was held that the carrier could not by a provision in the pass exernpt himself from liability for injury by his own negligence, and that the drover was really a passenger for hire.
THE PUNCTUALITY OF RAILWAY COMPANIES. It is of importance at once to examine and appreciate the effect of the considered and written judgments of the Court of Appeal in Le Blanche v. London and North-Western Railway Company (24 W. R. 808). The case falls into two branches. First, it is now ruled that where there is a statement 'in railway time-tables that “every attention will be paid to insure punctuality,” and also a negative condition that “the company will not be responsible for loss or injury arising from unpunctuality,” the Court will imply an affirmative contract to insure punctuality, so far as preventible causes are concerned, and will limit the negative condition to cases of inevitable accident. As to this the Court of Appeal, by three voices to two, affirmed the unanimous judgment of the Common Pleas Division (24 W. R. 396). Secondly, when the contract" that every attention will be paid to insure punctuality” has been broken, and a passenger has in consequence missed a train in correspondence with the contracting company, the passenger is not entitled as of right to take a special train and charge the contracting company with the loss of it. As to this the Court of Appeal unanimously reversed the decision of the Divisional Court of Appeal from Inferior Courts, which had given “ leave to appeal" under the 45th section of the Judicature Act of 1873.
It will be necessary to state the facts at some little length, both with a view to a proper examination of the case itself, and to show that the case is absolutely one of the first impression," if we except the ruling of Crompton, J., at Nisi Prius, in Prevost v. Great Eastern Railway Company (13 L, T. N. S. 21), in which that learned Judge held that the words “every exertion will be used to insure punctuality, but the departure or arrival of trains at the time stated will not be guaranteed,” meant that "the company will use proper care and not be negligent.” Of the other cases cited in argument none have any bearing on either of the points raised. Phillips v. Clark (5 W. Ř. 582), and Peninsular and Oriental Company v. Shand (13 W. R. 1049), had nothing to do with punctuality ; and in Hamlin v. Great Northern Railway Company (5 W. R. 76), the only case referred to in the judgments, the defendants had not run an unpunctual train, but a company in correspondence with the defendants' company had “changed their arrangements," and had run no train (as advertised by the defendants) at all. That this constitutes a clear breach of contract had already been decided by the leading case of Denton v. Great Northern Railway Company (4 W. R. 240).
The facts then were as follows:—The plaintiff took a through ticket from Liverpool to Scarborough. This route lay over lines owned, worked, or otherwise liable to be interfered with, by seven different companies, but from Liverpool to Leeds the line was worked by the defendants. The time-tables of the defendants represented that the plaintiff's train would leave Liverpool at 2 p.m., and reach Leeds at 5 p.m., and that a train in correspondence therewith would leave Leeds at 5.20, and reach Scarborough at 7.30. The defendants' train, in fact, reached Leeds at 5.27 instead of 5, the corresponding train having left Leeds seven minutes before. The plaintiff proceeded by the next train to York, and finding that the next train for Scarborough would arrive at 10 o'clock, he took a special train, by which he arrived at Scarborough between 8.30 and 9 o'clock. The delay between Liverpool and Leeds was found as a fact by the County Court Judge to have been caused by the negligence of the defendants. The total actual delay of the defendants on their own line was twenty-seven minutes. The total possible delay to the plaintiff in arriving at Scarborough would have been two hours and a half—the time between 7.30 p.m. and 10 p.m. This delay was reduced by the special train to three quarters of an hour, so that the time saved by the special train was about an hour and a quarter. The special train cost £11, 10s., and the County Court Judge at Bloomsbury, sitting without a jury, had held that the plaintiff might recover this amount from the defendants.
As to the effect of the condition, which we believe follows a common form adopted with scarcely any variation by all the companies in England, we should be inclined to agree with the majority of the Court without hesitation, if it were not for the fact, dwelt upon with much force by Baggallay, J.A., that the railway between Liverpool and Scarborough was subject to the control of so many different companies. As the learned Judge observes : “ It is obvious to how many possible causes of accidental delay a through train was subject, and it is not immaterial to observe that in so complicated a system a delay of very trifling duration in its origin inight, in the result, occasion one of very considerable importance." Moreover, the negative part of the contract is plain and decisive, whereas the affirmative part of the contract is not inaptly described by Cleasby, B., as a “vagne assurance.” But unless the “vague assurance was intended to mean something, why did the company put it in? By construing it as it was construed by the majority of
the Court, we give effect to the whole contract, and avoid the difficulty of holding a contract good which absolves the company from liability for their own negligence. If the delay were caused by the necessities of a complicated traffic, the company would not be liable. Whether it was or not seems to be a question of evidence, and there appears to have been some evidence upon which the County Court Judge was justified in finding that the “servants of the company had been guilty of reckless loitering.” Upon this particular contract, therefore, we think the company were properly held liable. But it is well to inquire what would have been the result if the “vague assurance” had been omitted, and the company had been able to rely unchecked upon a strong negative disavowal of liability. The question of the reasonableness of the contract would not arise, for the carriage of passengers is not within the 7th section of the Railway and Canal Traffic Act 1854, although the carriage of passengers’ luggage is (Cohen v. South-Eastern Railway Company, 24 W. R. 522, L. R. 1 Ex. D. 217), for that section applies only to “animals, articles, goods, and things.” Mellish, L.J., put this point in argument when he asked (p. 809), “Can the company say they will be liable for no negligence, as, for instance, that if a passenger's leg is broken by their negligence they will not pay for it. ?” This appears to have been answered in Macaulay v. Furness Railway Company (21 W. R. 140, L. R. 8 Q. B. 57), where a drover was carried “at his own risk,” and injured by the negligence of the company, but (on demurrer) was held not entitled to recover. “Negligence, even gross negligence," said Quain, J., in that case, “is the very thing which the contract stipulates that the defendants would not be liable for.” A fortiori, therefore, would a railway company be able to contract themselves out of a liability for unpunctuality. If nothing is said about punctuality at all, the contract would merely be to deliver the passenger in a reasonable time; and looking to the changes and chances of every railway journey, it is hard to see how a belated passenger could make out his case.
With regard to the second point, the right to take a special train, it seems clear that no such right existed. It was supposed to follow from Hamlin v. The Great Northern Railway Company (5 W. R. 76). There the plaintiff took a ticket from London to Hull, and on arriving at Grimsby found no train (as advertised) to Hull. He did not post on to Hull, but slept at Grimsby, and the delay caused him considerable expense. Alderson, B., said that he might have posted and charged the expense upon the company, and added that the “principle is that if the party does not perform his contract the other may do it for him as near as may be, and charge the expense for so doing." But the dictum of Alderson, B., as to the post-chaise is clearly extra-judicial, and it is said in the considered judgment of the Court that “cases of this kind are to be decided with reference to the peculiar circumstances which belong to each.” Now in Hamlin's case the plaintiff was a tailor, he was journeying on business, and he was delayed in his business three or four days. In the case recently decided by the Court of Appeal the plaintiff was a private gentleman, he was travelling for pleasure, and he was delayed in his pleasure one hour and a quarter. To state the two cases is to show the evident distinction between them. Is then a belated tourist entitled to nominal damages only for the breach of contract to “pay every attention to ensure punctuality?” This point is still technically left open by the late decision, as the plaintiff consented to a verdict for a shilling in preference to taking the new trial which the Court of Appeal offered bim. But it is thus practically solved by Mellish, L.J. “ The question,” says that learned Judge, “in my opinion, which the County Court Judge ought to have considered is whether, according to the ordinary habits of society, a gentleman in the position of the plaintiff, who was going to Scarborough for the purposes of amusement, and who missed his train at York, would take a special train from York to Scarborough at his own cost, in order that he might arrive at Scarborough an hour or an hour and a balf sooner than he would do if he waited at York for the next ordinary train ?" Only an extravagant person would have taken a special train. But “any expenditure which, according to the ordinary habits of society, a person who is delayed in his journey would naturally incur at his own cost if he had no company to look to, he ought to be allowed to incur at the cost of the company.”—The Solicitors' Journal.
EXTRA-TERRITORIALITY OF SHIPS OF WAR.
The report of the Fugitive Slaves Commission, an abstract of which we printed a fortnight ago, has since been published, and contains, in addition to the evidence taken before the Commissioners (of which we understand more is to follow), several appendices, containing the opinions of certain individuals and groups of members of the Commission on the legal aspect of the ques. tion. Though the whole Commissioners, with the exception of Sir George Campbell, united in the practical recommendation of the report, this appendix records a wide difference in their views of the legal theory applicable to the case. The Commissioners are here divided into two groups, the one consisting of Sir R. Phillimore, Mr. M. Bernard, and Sir Henry Maine; the other of the Lord Chief-Justice, Mr. Justice Archibald, Mr. Thesiger, Q.C., Sir H. T. Holland, Mr. FitzJames Stephen, and Mr. Rothery. Each group has drawn up a memorandum of its views, and, in addition, the Lord Chief Justice, Mr. Stephen, and Mr. Rothery have each contributed separate papers of considerable length.