Negligence – Causation – Liability Under Statute for Injury Resulting from Fire Started by Railroad Locomotive

Sparks from defendant’s train started a fire on defendant’s right of way which spread toward plaintiff’s farm. Plaintiff, in an attempt to contain the fire, plowed a fire guard along the edge of his property. While driving his tractor to a safe place after completing the last furrow, he ran over a root or limb which flew up and struck him in the eye, causing blindness. In the trial court plaintiff recovered from the railroad under an Oklahoma statute which specified that “Any railroad company operating any line in this state shall be liable for all damages sustained by fire originating from operating its road.” On appeal, held, affirmed, three judges dissenting. The fire was the proximate cause of the injury. St. Louis-San Francisco R. Co. v. Ginn, (Okla. 1953) 264 P. (2d) 351.