MR. JUSTICE BLACK delivered the opinion of the Court.
Petitioner's husband was killed while in the performance of his duties as an employee of respondent railroad. She filed suit under the Federal Employers Liability Act, 45 U.S.C. § 51 et seq., alleging that her husband's death was caused by the negligent operation of a railroad car which struck and killed him, and because of respondent's failure to provide him a reasonably safe place to work. The District Court directed a verdict in favor of the railroad and the Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. 128 F.2d 420. We reversed, holding that there was sufficient evidence of the railroad's negligence to require submission of the case to the jury. Tiller v. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co., 318 U.S. 54, 68, 73. On remand, petitioner amended her complaint in the District Court, over respondent's objection, by charging that, in addition to the negligence previously alleged, the decedent's death was caused by the railroad's violation of the Federal Boiler Inspection Act, 45 U.S.C. § 22 et seq., and Rules and Regulations prescribed by the Interstate Commerce Commission pursuant to the provisions
Here, as in the Circuit Court of Appeals, respondent has again argued that the evidence of negligence charged in the original complaint was insufficient to justify submission of the case to the jury. Slight variations in the evidence presented at the two trials are said to require a different conclusion than that which we reached on the first review of this case.
As to this contention of respondent, the Circuit Court of Appeals said on the second appeal that
"Since the evidence at the second trial in respect to the movement of the cars was substantially the same as at the first, this decision [i.e. our decision in 318 U.S. 54] required the District Judge notwithstanding the opposition of the defendant to submit the case to the jury. Our duty upon this appeal to affirm the judgment . . . would have been equally clear if the plaintiff had been content at the second trial to rest upon the legal theory outlined in the opinion of the Supreme Court; but the plaintiff amended the complaint by specifying a new item of negligence which was submitted to the jury as an alternative ground for recovery. Since the verdict for the plaintiff was general and did not specify the ground on which it rested, it becomes necessary for us to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to justify the submission of this new theory to the jury over the defendant's objection."
We reaffirm our previous holding that the evidence justified submission to the jury of the issues raised by the original allegations of negligence.
"Locomotives used in yard service. — Each locomotive used in yard service between sunset and sunrise shall have two lights, one located on the front of the locomotive and one on the rear, each of which shall enable a person in the cab of the locomotive under the conditions, including visual capacity, set forth in rule 129, to see a dark object such as there described for a distance of at least 300 feet ahead and in front of such headlight; and such headlights must be maintained in good condition."
The locomotive which pushed backwards the string of cars one of which struck and killed the deceased was operated in violation of the literal words of this Regulation. It was being used in "yard service" at respondent's Clopton Yards "between sunset and sunrise." There was no light on the rear of the locomotive, which was moving in reverse towards the deceased.
Assuming, without deciding, that the railroad could consistently with Rule 131 obscure the required light on the rear of the engine, it does not follow that, as a matter of law, failure to have the light did not contribute to Tiller's death. The deceased met his death on a dark night, and the diffused rays of a strong headlight even though directly obscured from the front, might easily have spread
An additional ground of the reversal of this cause by the Circuit Court of Appeals was that part of the District Court's charge to the jury set out in the margin.
Respondent seeks to support the Circuit Court's reversal of the cause on the ground that the District Court erroneously permitted petitioner to amend her original complaint. The injury occurred March 21, 1940. Suit was filed under the Federal Employers Liability Act on January 17, 1941. The amendment alleging violation of the Boiler Inspection Act was filed June 1, 1943, which was more than three years after the death. Federal Employers Liability Act, § 6, provides that a suit under that Act must be commenced within three years after injury. The contention is that the three-year limitation statute provided in the Federal Employers Liability Act barred the amendment which rested on the Boiler Inspection Act.
We are of the opinion that the amendment was properly permitted. Section 15 (c) of the Federal Rules of
We find no error in the District Court's disposition of the case. The judgment of the Circuit Court of Appeals is reversed and that of the District Court is affirmed.
The CHIEF JUSTICE and MR. JUSTICE ROBERTS are of the opinion that the judgment of the Circuit Court of Appeals should be affirmed.
We think the court's charge to the jury on this point was consistent with a proper interpretation of the rule. That charge was:
"If the jury believes from the evidence that the road engine, on the night Mr. Tiller was injured, in making the movements it made in said yard was being used by the defendant to classify its cars and make up its train, then the said engine was then being used in yard service. On the other hand, if the jury believes from the evidence that the said road engine was backing into slow siding for the purpose of getting out of the way of the yard engine so that said yard engine could classify cars and make up trains, then said locomotive in making said movement was not being used in yard service."