Patrick Gormley, died March 9, 1882
GORMLEY, FRENCH, WATERMAN, THOMPSON, LOVE
Posted By: Pat Ryan White (email)
Date: 11/16/2017 at 10:35:17
George H. French, Administrator of the Estate of Patrick Gormley, filed his petition with Clerk Andrew on Friday in a suit against the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R.R. Co. The sum claimed is $15,000, and for cause stated as follows. The defendant undertook and agreed to carry Patrick Gormley from Burlington to Council Bluffs, the former being engaged in caring for his horses at the time. Gormley was sitting in the caboose when the train was sidetracked at Mt. Pleasant. The plaintiff charges that the track was in a dangerous condition, the rails being badly worn. The defendant left his seat in the caboose and went to the car containing his horses. While he was thus at work caring for his stock, the train was started, and the car was thrown from the track. It was dragged along for a distance of 200 feet, when the car fell down a steep bank and turned almost over on its side. Gormley was thrown down and one or more horses fell upon him, crushing him so that death occurred there. Therefore, the administrator brings suit to recover $15,000. The plaintiff's counsel are C.M. Waterman and Thompson & French. The case will come up at the next term of the District Court.
["Davenport Weekly Gazette", March 29, 1882, Page 7]
.....It didn't take the plaintiff more than half an hour to introduce his testimony - the proof that Gormley was transporting live stock, was with the train, was caring for his horses in a proper and legitimate manner, as his contract with the company compelled him to do, and that he was killed in the manner above stated. Indeed the facts were admitted, but the defence was that the accident was not due to the carelessness of the company, and that there was contributory negligence on the part of the deceased. The company won the case, Judge Love deciding that it was negligence per se for a driver to enter a car with his stock and continue therein when the car was moving; that it was a danger for him which he could and ought to avoid, a danger so plain that any man of sense should recognize it. Then he should find for the defense on the ground of contributory negligence.
["Burlington Daily Hawk Eye Gazette", July 17, 1883, Page 8]
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