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J. M. Smart, Administrator
of Clarence Smart, Deceased
vs
Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company
1915

Source:  TSL&A Microfilm
Loose Record #4764
Transcribed by Jan J. Barnes

© 2002

In the Circuit Court of Sumner County, Tenn.
May Term, 1915

The plaintiff, J. M. Smart, administrator of the estate of Clarence Smart, deceased, sues the defendant, Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company for Ten Thousand ($10,000) dollars damages and for his cause of action alleges the following facts:

That he is the duly appointed and qualified administrator of his son, Clarence Smart deceased, who died intestate on the 14th of July 1914 and profert of said letters of administration is here made, and same are herewith filed as a part of this declaration marked exhibit "No. 1.

The defendant, Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company is a corporation organized and chartered under the laws of the State of Kentucky and owns and operates a line of steam railroad extending through the states of Tennessee and Kentucky and other states, and in the conduct of said business, owns and operates engines, cars, rolling stock, road bed, rights of way and other necessary equipment, transporting both freight and passengers for hire as a common carrier, and business being conducted by and through its authorized officers, agents and servants and defendant was so engaged in said business on the 14th of July, 1914.

Plaintiff avers that on said date his intestate, Clarence Smart, was an employee of the defendant and was employed as a section hand under the immediate direction and control of Austin Crafton, one of defendant's authorized section foremen and vice principals; that on said date his intestate was employed in working upon, improving, and repairing defendant's tracks on what is known as the Mallory Station section about three miles north of Franklin, Tennessee, and at or near Mallory Station, a station on defendant's line.

He avers that while his intestate was thus engaged and employed in said work of repairing said track, which was within the scope of his duty and employment, and while in the exercise of due and property care and caution, one of the defendant's south bound passenger trains suddenly approached the point of which he was at work, and said train was running at a very high, unlawful, reckless and excessive rate of speed.

He avers that said train approached said place at said excessive rate of speed without sounding the whistle or ringing the bell or giving the deceased any notice, signal or warning whatever of its approach, and failed to sound the whistle or ring the bell for said Mallory Station and the public road crossing at said Station at or near which the deceased was working, and when his intestate discovered that said train was coming, he made a hurried effort to cross the defendant's track for the purpose of reaching a place of safety while said train was passing.

He avers that while his intestate was crossing said track he was run over by said train and instantly killed; the engine thereon struck his body throwing the same a considerable distance, breaking and crushing his bones and mangling his flesh, as a result of which he died instantly.

He avers that the death of his intestate was caused by the gross and wanton carelessness, recklessness and negligence on the part of the defendant, and its agents, servants and employees in charge of and operating said train in running said train by the point at which he was working at a high and unlawful and reckless rate of speed and without giving him any warning of its approach, and also by failing to stop or check the speed of said train after they discovered his peril.

He avers that there was nothing to prevent the defendant's agents, servants, employees in charge of said train from seeing his intestate while he was on the track, in ample time to have stopped said train or checked the speed thereof and prevented his death.

He avers that the defendant's servants and employees in charge of said train failed to exercise ordinary care and caution to prevent said injury aforesaid after they discovered that he was on said track and failed to stop said train or check the speed thereof in any way until after they had run over and killed his intestate and then said train was stopped.

He avers that the defendant's servants and employees operating said train saw his intestate on said track, or could by the exercise of ordinary care and caution, have seen him in ample time to have stopped said train or so reduced the speed thereof as to have prevented said accident, but they recklessly and negligently, after discovering his position on the track, continued to run said train at said high and excessive rate of speed and made no effort to stop said train and prevent said accident.

He avers that the deceased was a young man and inexperienced in railroad work, and had only a few weeks experience on the same and could not therefore appreciate the dangers incident to such work, and the defendant failed to warn him of such danger.

He avers that all of defendant's said failures, wrongs, acts and omissions directly and approximately caused deceased's death and the deceased was without fault or contributory negligence therein and none of said dangers were assumed by said deceased, the same being unusual and unnecessary to his services of employment and were caused by the defendant's gross negligence and recklessness, and in violation of defendant's absolute duty toward the deceased and deceased's death being of such natural and probably result for defendant's said negligence as should have been reasonably foreseen by the defendant and avoided by the exercise of proper care and caution.

The deceased was twenty-three years of age, in robust health and a young man of good habits and good prospects in life.  He was at that time earning good wages, and out of said earnngs contributed to the support of his father, the plaintiff, who is his next of kin and sole beneficiary, for whose use and benefit this action is brought, deceased having left no wife or children, and plaintiff has been deprived of his earnings and his society and companionship and his estate has thus been deprived of the value of his life.

Wherefore plaintiff sues the defendant for the sum of $10,000 damages, and respectfully demands a jury to try said cause and assess his damages.
Baskerville, Collier & McGlothlin
J. T. Durham
Attorneys for Plaintiff

J. M. Smart, Admr.
vs.
L & N RR Co.             Circuit Court
                                      Sumner County
Comes defendant and for plea says it is not guilty of the things plaintiff has alleged in his declaration.
Seay & Seay
Attys 


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