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vent employees from injury by coming in contact with it. In Streeter v. Western Scraper Co. 254 Ill. 244, the act to provide for the health, safety and comfort of employees in factories was relied upon to sustain the right of an employee to recover for an injury received to his hand by accidentally coming in contact with a jointer at which he worked and which was unprotected. In discussing the intent and purpose of the law we said, in substance, the act was passed to protect those who had been unable to protect themselves; that the master could no longer exercise his judgment as to the reasonableness of enclosing or protecting dangerous machinery but it was made his duty to protect his workmen against injury from machinery, and injuries resulting from a failure to perform the duty required of him by the statute created a liability. It was further said the doctrine of assumed risk had no application; that if it did have, the act would be a delusion so far as protection of the employee is concerned. We think in this case with equal pertinence it may be said that if the act is limited to the protection of employees from injury caused by coming in contact with machinery but affords no protection against the greater dangers from using machinery where it is practicable to provide protection, the act would to a great extent be a delusion. The language used by the legislature is broad enough to embrace the requirement that workmen be protected where practicable,—not only from injury from coming in contact with the machinery, but also, where practicable, from injury in the use of the machinery,—and it seems to us to hold otherwise would be in a large measure to nullify the statute. This is the construction recognized in several instructions given at the request of defendant which are inconsistent with any other view of the statute. The intent is the vital part or essence of the law, and in the construction of statutes the intent is to be ascertained and effect given to it; and this is true even though it may not be entirely consistent with the strict letter of the statute. “In construing statutes the proper course is to start out and follow the true intent of the legislature and to adopt that sense which harmonizes best with the context and promotes in the fullest manner the apparent policy and objects of the legislature.” (Lewis' Sutherland on Stat. Const. secs. 363-368.)
Considerable space in defendant's brief and argument is devoted to a discussion of the sufficiency of the case made by the proof of plaintiff. There was a conflict in the evidence upon some questions, but it is undeniable that the testimony on the part of plaintiff tended to establish every element necessary to a recovery, and the affirmance of the judgment of the circuit court by the Appellate Court precludes this court from weighing the evidence for the purpose of determining on which side it preponderated.
The construction we have given the statute renders it unnecessary to discuss in detail the objections made to the rulings of the circuit court in giving, modifying and refusing instructions. The instructions given on behalf of plaintiff are in harmony with our view of the law, and those given on behalf of defendant were much more favorable to it than it was entitled to under the decision in Streeter v. Western Scraper Co. supra.
It is further complained that counsel for plaintiff, by his examination of witnesses, endeavored to disclose to the jury that the defendant was insured by a casualty company. The questions asked and answered of which complaint is made do not appear to have been asked for the purpose of eliciting the information that defendant was insured against liability by a casualty company, but, at all events, they were not objected to, and that alleged error is not preserved for review. The judgment of the Appellate Court is affirmed.
THE RAILROAD AND WAREHOUSE COMMISSION, Appellee,
vs. THE LITCHFIELD AND Madison RAILWAY Com
PANY, Appellant. Opinion filed February 17, 1915—Rehearing denied April 8, 1915.
1. Practice—circuit court determines reasonableness of railroad commission's order from evidence heard in court. The circuit court, in determining whether an order made by the Railroad and Warehouse Commission is lawful and reasonable, acts upon the evidence produced in that court, notwithstanding the statute provides that the order is prima facie reasonable and prima facie evidence of matters therein stated.
2. SAME-proceeding in circuit court is not, in a legal sense, an appeal. The proceeding in the circuit court to determine the reasonableness and lawfulness of an order made by the Railroad and Warehouse Commission is not, in a legal sense, an appeal, as there cannot be an appeal from the order of an administrative body, but the proceeding is merely a method for bringing into the court questions of property rights of which it has jurisdiction.
3. RAILROADS—when contract between railroads should not be ignored in making order as to interlocking system. While a contract between a railroad company and an interurban railroad company, under which the latter has installed, maintained and operated the simple derail device called for in the contract, does not preclude the Railroad and Warehouse Commission from making an order for a more perfect and complete system in the interests of public safety, yet the contract should not be entirely ignored.
4. SAME—when order as to interlocking system is : unreasonable. Where a contract between a railroad company and an interurban railroad company requires the latter to install, maintain and operate, at its own expense, the simple derail device therein called for, it is unreasonable for the Railroad and Warehouse Commission, in making an order for a more complete and perfect interlocking system, to require the interurban company merely to install the system and the railroad company to thereafter maintain and operate it, where the evidence shows that the cost of maintenance and operation will be many times the cost of installation.
APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Sangamon county; the Hon. James A. CREIGHTON, Judge, presiding.
WARNOCK, WILLIAMSON & BURROUGHS, and Wilson, WARREN & CHILD, for appellant.
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EVERETT JENNINGS, (GEORGE M. Morgan, of counsel,) for appellee.
: GRAHAM & GRAHAM, (GEORGE W. BURTON, of counsel,) for the St. Louis, Springfield and Peoria Railroad Company
Mr. Chief Justice CARTWRIGHT delivered the opinion of the court:
In 1889 the appellant, the Litchfield and Madison Railway Company, constructed, and has since maintained and operated, a steam railroad from a point one mile south of Litchfield to Madison. It has done, and still does, a freight business only, eighty-five per cent being transportation of coal from six coal mines along its line. In 1905 the St. Louis, Springfield and Peoria Railroad Company (which is also known as the Traction System) proposed the construction of an electric trolley line and laid out its road, crossing appellant's road about a mile south of Worden. On December 28, 1905, the appellant and the Traction System entered into a written agreement, by which the appellant granted to the Traction System permission to cross its right of way and tracks, and the Traction System agreed at its sole expense to construct, maintain and from time to time renew a derailing device at the crossing on each side of the track, subject to the approval of appellant, which would prevent its cars from going upon or over the right of way or track until the conductor should go entirely across the track and throw a lever located there, and that before attempting to cross the track it would bring its cars to a full stop at a safe distance therefrom and would not depend on any safety or clearance signals or want of danger signals from appellant, and before throwing the lever or attempting to cross the conductor should ascertain positively that the right of way and track of appellant were clear and could be safely crossed. The Traction System
constructed its railroad in 1906 and constricted the derailing device as agreed and operated the same in accordance with the contract from that time. On February 10, 1913, the appellee, the Railroad and Warehouse Commission, issued a citation directed to the two corporations, requiring them to appear and show cause why they should not unite in providing a crossing with such safety appliances, devices and machinery as might in the judgment of the commission be thought requisite for the proper protection thereof. The appellant filed its answer, offering no objection to the proper safeguarding of the crossing, but setting up the contract and insisting that the plan and device adopted should be free of expense to it. The answer also alleged that the appellant operated not to exceed four trains each day over the crossing while the Traction System used the crossing with forty trains each day. There was a supplemental answer that during the previous month of December appellant used the crossing ten times each day, and in the month of May, 1913, it was used by appellant four times each day. The Railroad and Warehouse Commission adopted a plan proposed by the Traction System for the construction of a small tower or cabin, in which should be located levers for the operation of derails on both tracks and the installation of signals on both tracks. A majority of the commission, one member dissenting, made an order that the Traction System should install the device, and that when the same was so installed and approved by the commission it should be operated by appellant and at its expense. The tower-man or lever-man was to be a trainman connected with the train of appellant using the crossing, and it was ordered that the derails and signals of the Traction System should be normally clear, allowing its trains to pass over the crossing without stopping, and those of appellant should be normally at danger, requiring its trains to stop. The commission found as a fact and recited in the order that during the greater portion of the day there was a train over