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The Jury Is Still Balloting

The Jury Is Still Balloting image
Parent Issue
Day
8
Month
December
Year
1899
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

The case of Williara Finnegan vs the M. O. R. K. Co. has been tried in the circuit court. William Finnegan, the father, is suing the company for damages for the death of Don, his 15-year-oid son. He is represented by Lehman & Stivers. The plaintiff case was flnished yesterday. The details of the tragic deaths of Don Finnegan and David Greenman are well remembered. The sorrowful accident occurred at '"Death 's Curve," on the Michigan Central, last spring. A heavy train passing over the Ann Arbor trestle bridge had distracted their attention and a Michigan Central passenger train, in swinging around the curve, struck them and killed them. ïhe theory of the plaintiff was to show that the men had a right to cross the Michigan Central track at the point where they did. They showed that Don Finnegan had been over to the boat houses ; that between the mili pond and the company's right of way there is a strip of land occupied by boat houses located on the land of the Michigan Central; that there is a beaten path leading frora the Whitmore Lake road to these boat houses and that hundreds of people pass along it ; that the number of people who traverse it must havejjbeen within the knowledge of the company. There was some evidence aucea to show that the engmeer did not ring the bell or blow the whistle as he approached the curve. Ike Davis swore that after the train stopped he went up to the flreman to talk about the accident and the lat ter told him that the reason they did not stop the train before it struck the men was because they thought they would get off the track. The railroad company swore but two witnesss, the engmeer and fireinan. They both testifled that the bell was ringing all the time. The engineer swore that he did not see the men at all nntil after they had been stuck. The flreman said he did not see them nntil the engine was within 25 f eet of them. Lawrence & Butterfield, for the railroad company, made an objection to the plaiiitiff's right to recovery, becanse the case made out was not within the declaration. The plaintiff elected a certain statute under which he chose to recover, and the court overruled the objectiou made by the attorneys for the railroad company. Both Mr. Stivers and Mr. Lehman made arguments to the jury, but the attorneys for the defense announced that they would not address the jury. Judge Kinne charged the jury that Don Finnegan, at the time he was killed, was a trespasser on the property of the railroad company and was guilty of negligence in walking upon the track. Consequently the plaintiff could not recover unless the employés of the company and who were in charge of the train were guilty of wanton and wilful negligence. He said it was incumbent on the engineer and flreman to keep a look-out so that they could give the danger signal to persons who were even trespassiag on the track. It was a question to be taken into consideration wkether at the place of the accident it was customary for people to walk -across and whether or not this was permitted by the railroad company. He said that whatever verdict the plaintiff might receive is for the benefit of the 1 parents. It is for their pecuniary loss. The question of sentiment or sorrow does not enter into it. The ineasure of damages,theref ore, must be ; conflned to the prospective earnings I of the lad from the time of his death until he should become 2 1 years of age, less the expenses of his case and support. The jury were to judge the amount he was likely to earn.