U.S. Supreme Court Pollard v. Railroad Company, 101 U.S. 223 (1879)
Pollard v. Railroad Company
101 U.S. 223
ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
1. A judgment in assumpsit, brought by a husband and wife on a contract by a carrier of passengers to carry her safely, for injuries to her while being carried, is a bar to another action of assumpsit on the same contract, by the husband alone, to recover for the same injuries.
2. A different rule prevails when the action is in tort against the carrier for a breach of his public duty, except perhaps in states where, as in New Jersey, the husband in such an action may by statute add claims in his own right to those of his wife.
This was an action of assumpsit by Jerome B. Pollard, a citizen of Illinois, against the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Company, a general carrier of passengers, for damages sustained by him in consequence of an injury to his wife, Sarah H. Pollard, caused by the negligence of the defendant while she was a passenger on its road, having a ticket from New York to Chicago, purchased for her by her husband.
The defendant, among other defenses, pleaded a former recovery, setting out the record of a judgment in assumpsit in a former action in the same court in which said Pollard and wife were plaintiffs and said company was defendant. The plea then sets out the contract for the transportation of said Sarah, the breach thereof and the judgment thereon, and avers that, before this writ was signed, said judgment was recovered by the said plaintiffs; that the promises and undertakings for the nonperformance of which said judgment was recovered are the same promises and undertakings mentioned in the declaration in this action and none other; that said judgment still remains in full force, not having been reversed.
To this plea the plaintiff demurred. The demurrer having been overruled
and judgment rendered for the defendant, Pollard sued out this writ of error.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE delivered the opinion of the Court.
A judgment in an action of assumpsit, brought by a husband and wife, on a contract by a carrier of passengers to carry the wife safely, for injuries to the wife while being carried, is a bar to another action of assumpsit on the same contract by the husband alone to recover for the same injuries. A different rule
prevails when the action is in tort against the carrier for a breach of his public duty, except perhaps in states like New Jersey, where by statute the husband may, in such an action, add claims in his own right to those of his wife. Rev.Laws N.J. 851, sec. 22.