MR. JUSTICE BLACK delivered the opinion of the Court.
The petitioner brought this suit for damages under the Jones Act,
The jury trial "is part and parcel of the remedy afforded railroad workers under the Employers Liability Act," which the Jones Act makes applicable to those working as petitioner's husband was here.
While some facts were in dispute there was evidence from which a jury could have found: On Christmas Day 1949, at about 5:15 p. m., the deceased, Schulz, reported for work on his job at Pier H, Jersey City, New Jersey, and was assigned to work on four tugboats docked side by side there. He went immediately to check the boats without waiting to change from his street to his working clothes. Returning to the pier alongside the tugs about seven o'clock, Schulz reported that he had finished his checking and was now going back to the boats to change to his work clothes and proceed with his other duties there. He was last seen alive walking in the direction of the nearest tug. At 1:25 a. m., a supervisor found Schulz was not on the boats. His street clothes were hanging in the upper engine room where the tug attendants usually changed clothes. His lunch package was also there. Three of the tugs were at all times wholly unlighted and dark; one was partially illuminated by
In considering the scope of the issues entrusted to juries in cases like this, it must be borne in mind that negligence cannot be established by direct, precise evidence such as can be used to show that a piece of ground is or is not an acre. Surveyors can measure an acre. But measuring negligence is different. The definitions of negligence are not definitions at all, strictly speaking. Usually one discussing the subject will say that negligence consists of doing that which a person of reasonable prudence would not have done, or of failing to do that which a person of reasonable prudence would have done under like circumstances. Issues of negligence, therefore, call for the exercise of common sense and sound judgment under the circumstances of particular cases. "[W]e think these are questions for the jury to determine. We see no reason, so long as the jury system is the law of the land, and the jury is made the tribunal to decide disputed questions of fact, why it should not decide such questions
In this case petitioner is entitled to recover if her husband's death resulted "in whole or in part"
MR. JUSTICE REED, MR. JUSTICE BURTON and MR. JUSTICE MINTON dissent.
MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER.
Considerations that I have heretofore spelled out govern me in the conviction that the writ in this case should be dismissed as improvidently granted. McAllister v. United States, 348 U.S. 19, 23; Carter v. Atlanta & St. A. B. R. Co., 338 U.S. 430, 437; Cahill v. New York, N. H. & H. R. Co., 350 U.S. 898; Anderson v. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co., 350 U.S. 807; Swafford v. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co., 350 U.S. 807; Moore v. Chesapeake & O. R. Co., 340 U.S. 573, 578; Affolder v. New York, C. & St. L. R. Co., 339 U.S. 96, 101; see Frankfurter and Landis, The Business of the Supreme Court, 206 et seq.