Holmesv.Terminal Railroad Assn. of St. Louis

Supreme Court of Missouri, Division TwoMay 11, 1953
363 Mo. 1178 (Mo. 1953)

Cases citing this document

How cited

32 Citing cases

No. 42997.

May 11, 1953.

SUMMARY OF DECISION

Plaintiff twice fell upon a station platform while pulling a heavy truck, once because of ice upon the platform and the other time because insufficient men were furnished to pull a heavily loaded truck. Conjunctive submissions were supported by evidence. Injuries from these two accidents were not properly segregated from other accidents. Repeated objections to similar incompetent evidence were not required. Medical testimony based on plaintiff's statement as to how the accident occurred was reversible error. Cross-examination of a physician who treated plaintiff but made a report to defendant was proper. Plaintiff's instructions were not erroneous. Jury argument outside the record was improper. The judgment for plaintiff is reversed and remanded.

HEADNOTES

1. NEGLIGENCE: Trial: Submission in Conjunctive. If there is evidence supporting one of several charges of negligence submitted in the conjunctive, a defendant may not successfully complain of the submission of plaintiff's case.

2. NEGLIGENCE: Railroads: Federal Employers' Liability Act: Two Falls on Platform: Submissible Case. Plaintiff made a submissible case as to two falls upon a station platform, one caused by failure to furnish sufficient men to pull a heavily loaded hand truck, and the other caused by ice on the platform.

3. DAMAGES: Other Accidents Improperly Intermingled. In a series of seven accidents incurred by plaintiff, the injuries caused by the third and sixth accidents, for which defendant would be responsible, were not sufficiently segregated from other accidents.

4. EVIDENCE: Physicians and Surgeons: Basis of Opinion. A physician may base his expert opinion upon what he personally observed and also what the patient said concerning his existing symptoms and complaints, but not upon statements of the patient with respect to past physical conditions or circumstances surrounding the injury, or the manner in which the injury was received.

5. EVIDENCE: Repeated Objections Not Required. When an objection has been overruled a party is not required to repeat his objection when testimony of the same character by another witness is offered.

6. EVIDENCE: Physicians and Surgeons: Erroneous Expert Testimony. Expert medical testimony based upon plaintiff's description of his fall was reversible error.

7. EVIDENCE: Physicians and Surgeons: Cross-Examination Proper. Cross-examination of a physician who treated plaintiff and made a report to defendant was proper.

8. NEGLIGENCE: Railroads: Federal Employers' Liability Act: Fall Upon Icy Platform: Instruction Upheld. Plaintiff's instruction as to removing the ice or placing salt upon it did not improperly restrict defendant in its methods of exercising ordinary care to furnish a safe place to work.

9. NEGLIGENCE: Railroads: Federal Employers' Liability Act: Contributory Negligence: Cautionary Instructions Not Erroneous. Cautionary instructions relating to contributory negligence were not erroneous.

10. TRIAL: Erroneous Jury Argument. Objections should have been sustained to a jury argument as to a disc injury and another matter outside the record.

Appeal from Circuit Court of City of St. Louis; Hon. James E. McLaughlin, Judge.

REVERSED AND REMANDED.

Warner Fuller and Arnot L. Sheppard for appellant.

(1) Plaintiff had no right to limit defendant to the putting of salt on the ice upon pain of being held negligent. Sprankle v. Mo. Pac. R. Co., 243 S.W.2d 510; Blackwell v. Union Pacific R. Co., 331 Mo. 34, 52 S.W.2d 814. (2) Before plaintiff may prevail, he must show to a reasonable certainty that his physical condition for which he seeks to recover compensatory damages directly resulted from the occurrence of January, 1950, or of February 1, 1951, or of both. Berry v. K.C.P.S. Co., 341 Mo. 658, 108 S.W.2d 98; Weiner v. K.C.P.S. Co., 87 S.W.2d 191; Plank v. R.J. Brown Petroleum Co., 332 Mo. 1150, 61 S.W.2d 328; Garrison v. U.S. Cartridge Co., 197 S.W.2d 675; Bante v. Wells, 34 S.W.2d 980. (3) Unless the evidence shows proximal causation by defendant's negligence as a reasonable certainty, the question is left to speculation and conjecture which are legally insufficient bases for collecting damages. Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Ivy (8), 177 F. 63; Calkins v. F.W. Woolworth Co., 27 F.2d 314, 319; O'Neill v. The Pullman Company, 214 Mo. App. 283, 260 S.W. 798; 25 C.J.S., p. 493. (4) Instruction No. 2 is erroneous because it is broader than the evidence. It is based upon, and submits to the jury, the hypotheses that the truck involved in the January, 1950, episode was not lubricated, and that defendant refused to furnish plaintiff "with additional help" for moving the truck. There is no evidence to support either hypothesis. Therefore, because the instruction is not limited to both the petition and the evidence, it is of necessity erroneous. State ex rel. v. Ellison, 270 Mo. 645, 195 S.W. 722; Hogan v. K.C.P.S. Co., 322 Mo. 1103, 19 S.W.2d 707; State ex rel. v. Hostetter, 348 Mo. 841, 156 S.W.2d 673. (5) Instruction No. 3, given at plaintiff's request, is erroneous for the same reason as is Instruction No. 2, supra, viz., it is based upon hypotheses not supported by evidence. This instruction tells the jury that if it finds that defendant negligently failed to remove the ice therein mentioned or negligently failed to place salt on the ice, the verdict shall be for plaintiff. There is no proof that defendant was negligent in either respect. The evidence goes no further than to show that the ice was not removed and that salt was not placed upon it until after plaintiff had been injured. The evidence wholly fails to establish the practicability or effectiveness of removing the ice. State ex rel. v. Ellison, 270 Mo. 645, 195 S.W. 722; Hogan v. K.C.P.S. Co., 322 Mo. 1103, 19 S.W.2d 707; State ex rel. v. Hostetter, 348 Mo. 841, 156 S.W.2d 673. (6) There is another error in this instruction: In legal effect, it tells the jury that there are but two ways of reducing the hazard, if any, created by the presence of the ice on the floor, viz., remove it or put salt on it. This is not the law. It is the duty of defendant to exercise ordinary care in the premises, and the exercise of such care did not demand as a matter of law the doing of either of the alternatives. Sprankle v. Mo. Pac. R. Co., 243 S.W.2d 510; Blackwell v. Union Pacific R. Co., 331 Mo. 34, 52 S.W.2d 814. (7) There was no plea of contributory negligence or assumption of risk. Therefore, there were no such issues before the jury, and any instruction upon either could only confuse and mislead the jury. Silliman v. Munger Laundry Co., 329 Mo. 235, 44 S.W.2d 159; Gray v. Columbia Terminals Co., 331 Mo. 73, 52 S.W.2d 809. (8) In making this contention we do not overlook: Higgins v. T.R.R.A., 241 S.W.2d 380; Kleinlein v. Foskin, 321 Mo. 887, 13 S.W.2d 648. (9) Over defendant's objections Drs. Wilcox (R. 34, 35) and Pernoud were permitted to express their opinions based upon the history of his case as related to them by plaintiff. That this is error no longer remains in doubt. Corbett v. T.R.R.A., 336 Mo. 972, 82 S.W.2d 97; Evans v. Mo. Pac. R. Co., 342 Mo. 420, 116 S.W.2d 8; Zarisky v. K.C.P.S. Co., 186 S.W.2d 854; Nagal v. Thompson, 17 S.W.2d 416; Phares v. Century Electric Co., 131 S.W.2d 879. (10) Objection was made to the giving of evidence by Dr. Wilcox, based upon or partially upon the history of the plaintiff's injuries. This objection was overruled. No such objection was specifically made to the same character of evidence given by Dr. Pernoud; but the point is, nevertheless, here with respect to both of the witnesses. It is not necessary to repeat the objection each time the same line of evidence is offered. It is sufficient if the point is made once. State ex rel. K.C.P.S. Co. v. Shain, 345 Mo. 543, 134 S.W.2d 58. (11) Defendant objected to the argument on the ground that it was unfair, and asked that counsel be rebuked. The trial judge did not rule on it. He just ignored the objection. That this remark was not supported by any evidence is too obvious for comment. Its impropriety is manifest Fathman v. Tumilty, 34 Mo. App. 236; Smith v. Western Union Tel. Co., 55 Mo. App. 626; Kirkpatrick v. Wells, 6 S.W.2d 591. (12) The fact that plaintiff's counsel asked Drs. Lembeck and Hawkins if plaintiff had a ruptured intervertebral disc, and that he received negative answers, does not permit him to take the position that their negative answers establish the affirmative of the question. Moore v. Chesapeake Ohio R. Co., 340 U.S. 573, 95 L.Ed. 547; Kennard v. McCrory, 234 Mo. App. 626, 136 S.W.2d 710; Eckenrode v. R.R. Co., 164 F.2d 996; Boatmen's Savings Bank v. Overall, 16 Mo. App. 510; Pariso v. Towse, 45 F.2d 962. (13) The court erred in permitting plaintiff's counsel over defendant's objections to pursue a line of cross-examination by which it was sought to show that Doctor Lembeck had violated his profession's ethics by informing defendant or its representative of plaintiff's physical condition. 58 Am. Jur., Witnesses, Sec. 664, p. 365; Hungate v. Hudson, 353 Mo. 944, 185 S.W.2d 646; Wiener v. Mutual Life Ins. Co. of N.Y., 179 S.W.2d 39; Better Roofing Materials Co. v. Sztukouski, 183 S.W.2d 400; Hancock v. Blackwell, 139 Mo. 440, 41 S.W. 205.

Hullverson Richardson for respondent.

(1) Instruction No. 2 submitting plaintiff's fall in January, 1950, was not erroneous. This instruction conjunctively submitted two grounds of negligence and if there was substantial evidence to support either alternative the instruction was proper. Rindernecht v. Thompson, 359 Mo. 21, 220 S.W.2d 69; Corley v. Kroger Grocery Baking Co., 355 Mo. 4, 193 S.W.2d 897. (2) There was substantial evidence that defendant negligently failed to grease the truck which plaintiff was attempting to pull. Longree v. Jackes-Evans Mfg. Co., 120 Mo. App. 478, 97 S.W. 272; Plummer v. Ford, 208 S.W. 489; Compton v. Louis Rich Construction Co., 315 Mo. 1068, 287 S.W. 474. (3) There was substantial evidence that the defendant negligently failed to furnish plaintiff with sufficient help to move the truck. Hulsey v. Tower Grove Quarry Const. Co., 326 Mo. 194, 30 S.W.2d 1019; Macklin v. Fogel Const. Co., 326 Mo. 38, 31 S.W.2d 14, 17 [1, 2]; Blair v. Baltimore O.R. Co., 323 U.S. 600, 65 S.Ct. 545, 89 L.Ed. 490; Robak v. Penn. R. Co., 81 F. Supp. 841, affirmed in 178 F.2d 485. (4) Plaintiff did know what caused him to fall. The fact that he did not know whether frost contributed to cause his fall would not bar him from recovery even if such an act of God did contribute to that fall. Ford v. Wabash Ry. Co., 318 Mo. 723, 300 S.W. 769; Whitaker v. Pitcairn, 351 Mo. 848, 174 S.W.2d 163; Kennedy v. Union Electric Co. of Mo., 358 Mo. 504, 216 S.W.2d 756. (5) Instruction No. 3 submitting plaintiff's fall on February 1, 1951, was not erroneous. There was an abundance of evidence that the defendant negligently failed either to remove ice on the station floor or that it failed to place salt thereon. Malone v. Gardner, 242 S.W.2d 516, 520 [1-6], and cases cited; Schonlau v. Terminal R. Assn. of St. Louis, 357 Mo. 1108, 212 S.W.2d 420, 422 [1, 2]; Higgins v. Terminal R. Assn. of St. Louis, 241 S.W.2d 380; Aeby v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., 313 Mo. 492, 285 S.W. 965; Longreen v. Jackes-Evans Mfg. Co., 120 Mo. App. 478, 97 S.W. 272; Clifford v. F.W. Woolworth Co., 201 S.W.2d 416, affirmed in 357 Mo. 339, 208 S.W.2d 263. (6) Instruction No. 3 did not broaden the issues made by the pleadings in submitting the failure to use salt on the ice in February, 1951. It did not direct a verdict irrespective of negligence. Clifford v. F.W. Woolworth Co., 201 S.W.2d 416, affirmed in 357 Mo. 339, 208 S.W.2d 263. (7) There was substantial evidence connecting plaintiff's injuries with the defendant's negligence. Kiefer v. City of St. Joseph, 229 S.W. 1089, 1092 [1], second appeal, 243 S.W. 104, 107, 109 [2, 5, 6]; Widener v. St. Louis P.S. Co., 360 Mo. 761, 230 S.W.2d 698, 701 [4, 5]; Walker v. St. Louis P.S. Co., 243 S.W.2d 92; Bush v. Kansas City P.S. Co., 350 Mo. 876, 169 S.W.2d 331; Stewart v. St. Louis P.S. Co., 233 S.W.2d 759; Bumgardner v. St. Louis P.S. Co., 340 Mo. 521, 102 S.W.2d 594. (8) Evidence that plaintiff's injury immediately followed his fall was alone sufficient to justify an inference of causal connection. Meyers v. Wells, 273 S.W. 110; Edmonson v. Hotel Statler Co., 306 Mo. 216, 267 S.W. 612; Pettyjohn v. Interstate Heating Plumbing Co., 161 S.W.2d 248; Nick v. International Shoe Co., 200 1183 S.W.2d 590. (9) Proof of other possible causes did not destroy the causal connection. Bumgardner v. St. Louis P.S. Co., 340 Mo. 521, 102 S.W.2d 594; Waterous v. Columbian Nat. Life Ins. Co., 353 Mo. 1093, 186 S.W.2d 456. (10) Since there was substantial evidence relating plaintiff's condition to defendant's negligence, the true cause of plaintiff's condition would not be conjectural, even if there was substantial evidence that his condition was caused in part by other accidents. Sparks v. Auslander, 353 Mo. 177, 182 S.W.2d 167, 172 [6-9]. (11) The court did not err in giving Instructions Nos. 4 and 5 advising the jury that if defendant was negligent then plaintiff would not be held to have assumed the risk of being so injured and could recover even if he was contributorily negligent. Higgins v. Terminal R.R. Assn of St. Louis, 241 S.W.2d 380; Abernathy v. St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. Co., 237 S.W.2d 161; Ford v. Louisville N.R. Co., 355 Mo. 362, 196 S.W.2d 163; Meierotto v. Thompson, 201 S.W.2d 161. (12) The court did not erroneously permit Drs. Wilcox and Pernoud to express opinions based upon history obtained from the patient. Although objection was made to a statement by Dr. Wilcox that plaintiff "came down on his tail bone," the doctor never went into the subject further. There was no motion to strike. There was no error and certainly no prejudice. Rockenstein v. Rogers, 326 Mo. 468, 31 S.W.2d 792. (13) When Dr. Pernoud was asked if it was necessary to obtain a history the only objection made was that this called for a conclusion. A new ground for objection cannot be added on appeal. Luechtefeld v. Marglous, 151 S.W.2d 710. (14) After objection was overruled Dr. Pernoud merely stated that plaintiff had told him about his accident of January, 1950. No prejudicial evidence was admitted. Pulse v. Jones, 218 S.W.2d 553, 555 [2]; Johnston v. City of St. Louis, 133 S.W.2d 666. (15) This simple fact was admissible and not hearsay and had been previously testified to without objection any way so that no error resulted. Morris v. Union Bridge Terminal R. Co., 8 S.W.2d 11. (16) When Dr. Pernoud at another point in the record mentioned history there was no objection and no point has been preserved for review. Louis Steinbaum Real Estate Co. v. Maltz, 247 S.W.2d 652. (17) No prejudice resulted from the argument by Mr. Hullverson that he didn't have to try lawsuits for crooks or dumb people. Moreover, although defendant objected there was no ruling on the objection and nothing has been preserved for review. Godsy v. Thompson, 352 Mo. 681, 179 S.W.2d 44. (18) There was no error in the review by Mr. Hullverson of the testimony concerning ruptured discs. Vitale v. Biando, 52 S.W.2d 24, cert. quashed, Mo. Sup., 60 S.W.2d 38. (19) Wide latitude is allowed in cross-examination of expert witnesses. The extent of such cross-examination is largely within the discretion of the trial court, with which appellate courts will not interfere unless that discretion has been grossly abused. An entirely different situation is presented here than in those instances where the trial court either sustains the objection or grants a new trial on the ground that prejudice was committed. Missouri Digest, Appeal Error, key nos. 971 (3), 977 (3) (5), 1048 (2), New Trial, key no. 6, Evidence, key no. 558(2), and Witnesses, key no. 267 ff; DeMaire v. Thompson, 359 Mo. 457, 222 S.W.2d 93. (20) It was proper to inquire into the relationship of Dr. Lembeck to the defendant and his feeling toward the defendant as evidenced by his dealing with the claim agent by giving the defendant information concerning plaintiff without plaintiff's knowledge or consent. Kelso v. W.A. Ross Const. Co., 337 Mo. 202, 85 S.W.2d 527; Wild v. Pitcairn, 347 Mo. 915, 149 S.W.2d 800, 804 [6, 7], certiorari denied in 314 U.S. 638, 62 S.Ct. 72, 86 L.Ed. 512; Mauck v. Atchison, T. S.F. Ry. Co., 154 S.W.2d 73; Carlson v. Kansas City, Clay County St. Joseph Auto T. Co., 221 Mo. App. 537, 282 S.W. 1037; Bigos v. United Rayon Mill Co., 301 Mass. 76, 16 N.E.2d 44; Gallagher v. S.Z. Schutte Lumber Co., 273 S.W. 213, 218-220. (21) Plaintiff had a right to show that this witness by giving information to the defendant without plaintiff's knowledge or consent was no longer a "logical" or "natural" witness for plaintiff, and was "equally available," to say the least, to the defendant. Deaver v. St. Louis Pub. Ser. Co., 199 S.W.2d 83; Baumhoer v. McLaughlin, 205 S.W.2d 274; Schubert v. St. Louis Pub. Ser. Co., 206 S.W.2d 708; Brungs v. St. Louis Pub. Ser. Co., 230 S.W.2d 181; State v. Brannum, 95 Mo. 19, 8 S.W. 219; Curtis Co. v. Pribyl, 380 Okla. 511, 134 P. 71; 22 C.J. 118.


J.V. Holmes obtained a judgment of $14,000 against the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, a corporation, under the Federal Employers' Liability Act. Upon this appeal defendant contends plaintiff failed to make a submissible case; that certain instructions given on behalf of plaintiff were erroneous; that improper evidence was admitted, and that plaintiff's counsel was permitted to make prejudicial argument and conduct improper cross-examination of witnesses over defendant's objections.

Plaintiff, who was 26 years of age, was a mail and baggage handler and employed in interstate commerce within the Federal Employers' Liability Act for defendant at Union Station, St. Louis, Missouri.

He sued for injuries sustained in two falls, one occurring in January, 1950, and the other on February 1, 1951.

We understand there are forty-two tracks on defendant's passenger platform at the station. Part of plaintiff's work was performed in the "basement," underneath the passenger platform. Elevators are used in transferring the mail to and from trains at the passenger platform level and the basement, one elevator serving two tracks. There was testimony that steam escaping from pipes maintained on the passenger platform to keep hot water in the passenger cars and water discharged from engines "dripped" or "seeped" down into the basement; and that the basement floor, described as "black top," was generally wet and moist at all times and ice formed thereon in cold weather.

Defendant used 4-wheel trucks, equipped with tongues, to move mail and baggage at the station. At times forty to fifty mail sacks are loaded on a truck, the load weighing as much as 3,000 pounds. The trucks are moved by tractor or by hand.

Plaintiff worked at night, being on duty from 11 p.m. to 9:30 a.m. One night in January, 1950, plaintiff did not recall the exact date, he was using a tractor and was instructed to move a truck load of post office material. Plaintiff, following instructions, moved the truck to track No. 41, but was not able to put it in line with the tractor. After placing it the best he could by pulling with the tractor, he uncoupled the truck, moved the tractor out of the way, [924] and attempted to place the truck in line by hand. He first tried to pull the truck but could not. He then turned facing the truck, thinking he might have more power, and when he put all his weight on the pull, both feet slipped out from under him. Plaintiff testified he went down on his tail bone, was jarred, made sick and stunned. After a few minutes, he got up and, using the tractor, pushed the truck, lining it up as good as he could. This was a loaded truck, "stacked high, a foot and a half above the top of the wagon," as heavily loaded as the truck he and two others were handling on February 1, 1951, when he suffered his second injury.

Plaintiff made no report of this accident, stating he wanted to continue working as he needed the money. He treated himself the best he could and tried to stay off his feet as much as possible. About May 30th, after the foreman "got on" him, he reported to the Missouri Pacific hospital and remained there eleven days. Thereafter, he received treatment as an "out-patient" until October 4, 1950. He returned to work October 12, 1950, after being off for about four and a half months.

Plaintiff had not completely recovered when he returned to work but was able to perform his tasks. After his two week days off, Ben Cullen, Glen Roberts and plaintiff, on February 1, 1951, were moving a truck with a "pretty good load" of mail on it, but no heavier than the one plaintiff was handling at the time of his fall in January, 1950. Cullen was at the tongue and Roberts and plaintiff were pushing the truck, taking it to No. 35 elevator for subsequent handling. The temperature was near zero, and most of the space between the elevators at the place in question was covered with ice. There was testimony that this ice was of substantial thickness; that ice had formed in the basement off and on all winter; that this particular ice had been there three or four days; that sawdust was used to keep the mail and parcels placed on the platform from becoming damaged by water; and that sawdust did not prevent one from slipping on the ice. Defendant had day and night clean-up men, who were supposed to, among other things, remove the ice or place salt upon it to prevent slipping. The ice involved was covered with sawdust, which had become dirty, and plaintiff testified he did not know the ice was there, "just didn't see it." They were in the act of backing the truck into place, Cullen guiding with the tongue and the other two pulling back, when plaintiff hit the ice, slipped and fell hard, all of a sudden, underneath the truck. The fall seemed to daze plaintiff, and he remained down two or three minutes, until his companions helped him up. The following day Cullen placed salt on the ice, which melted it and took care of the situation.

The testimony was that the fall of February 1, 1951, reactivated and aggravated plaintiff's prior condition; that he was severely injured; that he was in the hospital for several days and also received treatment as an "out-patient"; and that he had not been in a condition to work up to the time of trial.

There was testimony that two men were needed to move a truck with any kind of a load on it and that usually there were two men at the rear of a loaded truck, pushing or pulling as the case might be, with one man guiding the truck and assisting, if he can, in moving it.

Plaintiff predicated a recovery for his injuries in January, 1950, on findings of negligence on the part of defendant in failing to lubricate a heavily loaded truck which was being moved by plaintiff and, if the truck were too heavily loaded to be handled by one employee alone, negligence in failing to furnish plaintiff with additional help to move the truck.

He predicated a recovery for his injuries of February 1, 1951, on the presence of ice where he was required to work and a finding that defendant had not furnished a reasonably safe place to work in failing to remove the ice or placing salt upon it, if such failure constituted negligence.

Plaintiff's instruction predicating a verdict for the fall in January, 1950, was, as stated, in the conjunctive. If there be substantial evidence of record supporting one of several charges of negligence submitted in the conjunctive, a defendant may [925] not successfully complain of the submission of plaintiff's case. Corley v. Kroger Gro. Bak. Co., 355 Mo. 4, 193 S.W.2d 897, 900[10, 11]; Rinderknecht v. Thompson, 359 Mo. 21, 220 S.W.2d 69, 74[11]. Consult Guthrie v. City of St. Charles, 347 Mo. 1175, 152 S.W.2d 91, 93[1-5]; Bean v. St. Louis Pub. Serv. Co., Mo. App., 233 S.W.2d 782, 785[3, 4].

We think plaintiff made a submissible case as to each accident when viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff. Take for instance, the charge of negligence with reference to not furnishing sufficient help for moving the truck involved in his fall of January, 1950. Three men were moving the truck at the time plaintiff was injured on February 1, 1951. It was not as heavily loaded as the truck plaintiff was endeavoring to put in place in January, 1950. When an employee could not secure the help he should have to move a truck, it was the practice to do the best he could with the situation. Two men were needed on a truck "with any kind of a load." Plaintiff had asked for help although he did not ask for it immediately prior to his injury. The jury could infer that the foreman who directed plaintiff to move the truck should have anticipated that plaintiff would need additional help in carrying out the order and failed to exercise ordinary care and was negligent, as plaintiff's instruction required the jury to find, in not furnishing plaintiff with additional help. Neither assumption of the risk nor mere contributory negligence on the part of a plaintiff defeats a recovery under the Federal Employers' Liability Act. Hulsey v. Tower Grove Quarry Const. Co., 326 Mo. 194, 30 S.W.2d 1018, 1029[8-11]; Macklin v. Fogel Const. Co., 326 Mo. 38, 31 S.W.2d 14, 16[1, 2]; Blair v. Baltimore O.R. Co., 323 U.S. 600, 65 S.Ct. 545, 89 L.Ed. 490; Robak v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 81 F. Supp. 841, affirmed, 178 F.2d 485; 45 U.S.C.A. §§ 53, 54.

Plaintiff testified on cross-examination: "Q. You don't know whether you slipped that night because there was frost on the floor or not? A. I couldn't say." We do not read this as a concession that frost caused his fall. Taking his testimony as a whole it is to the effect that if frost were on the floor, it might have contributed to his fall, but his fall was also brought about by his inability to move the truck by pulling it in the ordinary manner and thereupon facing the truck and putting all his weight in the pull when both feet slipped out from under him. See Maxie v. Gulf, M. O.R. Co., 358 Mo. 1100, 219 S.W.2d 322, 325; Kennedy v. Union El. Co., 358 Mo. 504, 216 S.W.2d 756, 763; Ford v. Wabash R. Co., 318 Mo. 723, 300 S.W. 769, 773.

Plaintiff's fall of February 1, 1951, was caused by ice on the floor. Defendant's "clean-up" men were supposed to look after situations of this nature. Salt placed on the ice the following day took care of the situation. Defendant here argues that if the ice came from seepage, it is a serious question whether its presence could have been avoided as it would have been forming constantly in freezing weather, and defendant's failure to place salt on the ice was not ipso facto negligence, as defendant's obligation was to exercise due care and defendant was not limited to the use of salt upon pain of being held negligent. We think it was for the jury to say under the facts of record whether defendant was in the exercise of ordinary care in not removing the ice or placing salt upon it that a reasonably safe place to work be available for its employees. Plaintiff made a prima facie case for the jury. Malone v. Gardner, 362 Mo. 569, 242 S.W.2d 517, 520[1-6]; Higgins v. Terminal R. Ass'n., 362 Mo. 264, 241 S.W.2d 380, 385[8-10]; Schonlau v. Terminal R. Ass'n., 357 Mo. 1108, 212 1188 S.W.2d 420, 422[1, 2]; State ex rel. F.W. Woolworth Co. v. Bland, 357 Mo. 339, 208 S.W.2d 263, affirming, Mo. App., 201 S.W.2d 416.

Defendant also states there is no substantial evidence connecting the injuries sued for with the negligence of defendant. Defendant's complaint is that, as the evidence disclosed plaintiff had sustained injuries on other occasions, he failed to establish [926] with reasonable certainty that the injuries sued for were attributable to the alleged negligence of defendant.

The record discloses that between an undisclosed date in 1949 and the trial in October, 1951, plaintiff had experienced seven accidents. Plaintiff's third and sixth accidents are involved in the instant case. Evidence that plaintiff sustained injuries in some of the other accidents came in during the direct examination of witnesses by plaintiff's counsel. The record is sufficiently clear that the injuries sustained by plaintiff in certain of the other accidents were not within the scope of the damages sought in the instant suit; but this is not so with respect to one or two of the accidents involving, according to the record, injuries similar to the ones in suit. In the circumstances, without detailing the facts, the record should be clarified with respect to the injuries sustained by plaintiff in the other accidents as defendant is liable only for the injuries attributable to its negligence.

Defendant says error was committed in permitting Drs. Wilcox and Pernoud, plaintiff's medical witnesses, to base their opinions as to plaintiff's condition, at least in part, upon the history related to them by plaintiff. Plaintiff concedes such would be error, but contends that with respect to the testimony of Dr. Wilcox, although defendant's objection was overruled, the witness did not give inadmissible testimony of this nature, and that there was no objection of this nature interposed to the testimony of Dr. Pernoud.

A physician, in stating his expert opinion on a patient's condition, may testify to what he personally observed and also to what the patient said (an exception to the hearsay rule) concerning his present, existing symptoms and complaints. However, he may not base his opinion upon or testify to statements of the patient with respect to past physical conditions, circumstances surrounding the injury, or the manner in which the injury was received. Evans v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., 342 Mo. 420, 116 S.W.2d 8, 11[6]; Corbett v. Terminal R. Ass'n., 336 Mo. 972, 82 S.W.2d 97, 102[7-10]; Nagel v. Thompson, 237 Mo. App. 1061, 170 S.W.2d 416, 423[10, 11]: Zarisky v. Kansas City Pub. Serv. Co., 239 Mo. App. 396, 186 S.W.2d 854, 856[3]; Phares v. Century El. Co., Mo. App., 131 S.W.2d 879, 883[4].

We have said that where a party has seasonably objected to evidence of a certain character by one witness and his objection is overruled, he is not required or expected to repeat his objection when testimony of the same character by another witness is offered. Schierbaum v. Schemme, 157 Mo. 1, 22, 57 S.W. 526, 532, 80 Am. St. Rep. 604; Knaup v. Western Coal M. Co., 342 Mo. 210, 114 S.W.2d 969, 975[10, 11]; State ex rel. Kansas City Pub. Serv. Co. v. Shain, 345 Mo. 543, 134 S.W.2d 58, 61[8].

While Dr. Roland J. Wilcox, a chiropractor on the staff of the Missouri Pacific hospital who treated plaintiff, was on the stand the following occurred: "Q. And if a fellow like that falls straight down on his buttock, or his tail bone, what happens to his tail bone? What, in your opinion, happened in this case? A. Well, from what I can gather of the description of his fall, he came down on his tail bone —

By Mr. Sheppard: I object to that, the diagnosis he made is made partially from the history he received.

By Mr. Hullverson: That is the only way the treating physician can treat him.

By the Court: He may testify."

Later the court overruled defendant's renewal of the objection.

Dr. Wilcox, speaking of the accident of January, 1950, testified, in part: "Well, the tail bone was tender due to a fall" and after stating the results and that great pain would follow, added: "It seemed to be true to me as far as I could ascertain." With respect to the fall on February 1, 1951, the witness stated: "* * he had fallen on his hip * *."

Dr. F.G. Pernoud, a surgeon, was plaintiff's next witness. He first saw plaintiff on May 4, 1951. The doctor testified on [927] direct examination, among other things, that plaintiff had told him about and the witness had a history of the accident in January, 1950, when plaintiff fell pulling a truck, and: "Q. Doctor, from your examination of him, from the history and your examination of him, can you tell us, in your opinion, what he suffered from? A. My opinion is he suffered from a sprain of his lower back and from a contusion of the coccyx, or tail bone."

On cross-examination it was developed that the witness' testimony on direct examination about the injury of January, 1950, was based on plaintiff's statements to him "about what happened;" that the witness was unable to ascribe how much of plaintiff's trouble was attributable to the accidents of 1950 and 1951 except by the history, which the witness stated he had a right to take into consideration; that he relied on the history to reach a conclusion; that by history he meant what plaintiff had told him; that plaintiff had told him about two automobile accidents he had been in, and that he went by what plaintiff told him with respect to being hurt in the accidents.

In the instant case, defendant's objection was timely. The question asked Dr. Wilcox did not call for what plaintiff had said, but when the witness' answer indicated he was basing his testimony on what plaintiff told him occasioned his injury, defendant timely interposed the objection, which was overruled, and thereafter renewed it to have it again overruled. Dr. Pernoud's testimony discloses that it is based in part on hearsay statements made by plaintiff to him. Incompetent evidence on a material issue is presumed to be prejudicial. State ex rel. Berberich v. Haid, 333 Mo. 1224, 64 S.W.2d 667, 669[1-5]. We cannot say from the record that the statements by plaintiff to his physicians with respect to how he received his injuries in the accidents here involved and the other accidents in which he sustained injuries did not influence their opinions and testimony with respect to the accidents involved in the litigation, and that said testimony did not influence the jury. Nagel v. Thompson and Zarisky v. Kansas City Pub. Serv. Co., supra.

In connection with the foregoing we note that excerpts from hospital records reciting, among other things, plaintiff's statements as to how he received his injuries were read, over defendant's objection that they were hearsay, during the direct examination of Dr. Pernoud, and the witness testified that the excerpts substantiated his conclusions. See Gray v. St. Louis-S.F.R. Co., Mo., 254 S.W.2d 577, 579[1, 2].

Dr. J.A. Lembeck treated plaintiff while in the Missouri Pacific hospital. He reported the diagnosis and plaintiff's condition to the defendant. Plaintiff's counsel, on cross-examination, questioned the propriety of this action. Defendant objected, mainly, because no question of ethics was connected with the lawsuit and the questioning was for the purpose of unfairly influencing the jury. The incompetency of the physician as a witness may be waived by the patient. The witness explained his actions, stating the Board of Managers of the Missouri Pacific hospital, which controls the policies of that institution, had issued a written directive that the doctors should notify the employer of the extent of an employee's injuries when sustained in the performance of his duties. No objection was interposed to the comment made in argument by counsel for plaintiff on the matter. Defendant cites Hungate v. Hudson, 353 Mo. 944, 185 S.W.2d 646, 650[14, 15]; Wiener v. Mutual Life Ins. Co., 352 Mo. 673, 179 S.W.2d 39, 41[2, 3]; Better Roofing Materials Co. v. Sztukouski, Mo. App., 183 S.W.2d 400, 403[6-8]; Hancock v. Blackwell, 139 Mo. 440, 455(4), 41 S.W. 205, 208(4). These cases do not establish prejudicial error under the instant record. The scope of the cross-examination is largely within the discretion of the trial court. See Warner v. Terminal R. Ass'n., 363 Mo. 1082, 257 S.W.2d 80; Kelso v. W.A. Ross Const. Co., 337 Mo. 202, 85 S.W.2d 527, 539[25, 26]; Wild v. Pitcairn, 347 Mo. 915, 149 S.W.2d 800, 804[6, 7]; Gallagher v. S.Z. Schutte Lumber Co., Mo. App., 273 S.W. 213, 220, 221; De Maire v. Thompson, 359 Mo. 457, 222 S.W.2d 93; Schide v. Gottschick, 329 Mo. 64, 43 S.W.2d [928] 777, 782[10]; Bigos v. United Rayon Mill, 301 Mass. 76, 16 N.E.2d 44, 45[1].

Our rulings hereinbefore that plaintiff made a case as to each of the submitted accidents disposes of attacks against the respective instruction on the ground there was no evidence to support the submission.

Defendant makes additional attacks against instruction No. 3, submitting the accident of February 1, 1951. The instruction required the jury to find the submitted facts and, in addition, that the facts so found constituted a failure to exercise ordinary care and was negligence. It was not a peremptory instruction to find for plaintiff.

Plaintiff's petition charged defendant with a duty "to remove said ice or cover the same." The instruction proceeded on the theory negligence could be found in a failure to exercise ordinary care "either to have removed such ice or to have placed salt upon it." Defendant's performance of either of the two submitted alternatives would have defeated a recovery under the instruction. Defendant complains that the instruction restricted defendant to the two stated methods of exercising ordinary care, whereas the evidence established that the ice was covered with sawdust, and also that the instruction is broader than the pleading. The evidence was that covering the ice with sawdust did not prevent slipping; that covering it with salt took care of the situation, and that the purpose of using sawdust was to prevent packages and mail from becoming wet and damaged. We find no evidence that covering the ice with sawdust constituted adequate protection. In this state of the record we would hesitate to hold that the instruction improperly restricted the defendant in its methods of exercising ordinary care to furnish a reasonably safe place to work, although we are also of the opinion that it would be better to have had the instruction in full harmony with the petition. The facts established of record and the requirements of the instruction distinguish the instant case from defendant's cases, viz.: Sprankle v. Thompson, Mo., 243 S.W.2d 510, 519[9, 10], and Blackwell v. Union P.R. Co., 331 Mo. 34, 52 S.W.2d 814, 816[3, 4].

Defendant says the court erred in giving instructions Nos. 4 and 5 to the effect, respectively, that (if plaintiff's injuries were the result of defendant's negligence) plaintiff's contributory negligence, if any, would not defeat a recovery and plaintiff could not be held to have assumed the risk. Defendant cites cases holding instructions on contributory negligence under humanitarian submissions inject a false issue and are erroneous. Silliman v. Munger Laundry Co., 329 Mo. 235, 44 S.W.2d 159, 163[3-5]; Gray v. Columbia Terminals Co., 331 Mo. 73, 52 S.W.2d 809, 813[5, 6]. Defendant concedes its contention was ruled adversely in Higgins v. Terminal R. Ass'n., 362 Mo. 264, 241 S.W.2d 380, 387[22]; Kleinlein v. Foskin, 321 Mo. 887, 13 S.W.2d 648, 655. See also Abernathy v. St. Louis S.F.R. Co., Mo., 237 S.W.2d 161, 163[2]; Ford v. Louisville N.R. Co., 355 Mo. 362, 196 S.W.2d 163, 168[7, 8]; Meierotto v. Thompson, 356 Mo. 32, 201 S.W.2d 161, 166[5]. The instructions did not treat of controverted issues raised by the pleadings for the determination of the jury and, as we read the cases, may be considered to be of a cautionary nature, to be given or refused in the sound discretion of the trial court.

During the argument, plaintiff's counsel mentioned that no spinal myelogram had been taken of plaintiff, and that it would show whether he had a disc injury, stating: "There is something wrong there, something is wrong with the man's back * *. If he has a disc injury to his back it is a serious thing, and if that little nerve is pinched in there it will cause suffering —." Defendant's objection on the ground there was no evidence that plaintiff sustained a disc injury was overruled. There was no substantial evidence of a disc injury. Plaintiff's doctors did not establish such an injury, and the testimony of defendant's doctors was that there was no disc injury. Boatmen's Sav. Bk. v. Overall, 16 Mo. App. 510, 515, 516; Pariso v. Towse, 45 F.2d 962, 964[6]; Eckenrode v. Pennsylvania R. Co., [929] 164 F.2d 996, 999[6]; Moore v. Chesapeake O.R. Co., 340 U.S. 573, 576, 71 S.Ct. 428, 95 L.Ed. 547. The objection should have been sustained.

Defendant's objection to the following was also overruled: "It is good judgment, ladies and gentlemen, he [plaintiff] is either an awful crook or he is awful dumb, and I don't have to try lawsuits for crooks or dumb people —." The argument was outside of the record and the objection well taken. Kirkpatrick v. Wells, 319 Mo. 1040, 6 S.W.2d 591, 594[10]; Fathman v. Tumilty, 34 Mo. App. 236, 241, 242; Smith v. Western U. Tel. Co., 55 Mo. App. 626, 631, 632.

The judgment should be reversed and the cause remanded. It is so ordered. Westhues and Barrett, CC., concur.


The foregoing opinion by BOHLING, C., is adopted as the opinion of the court. All the judges concur.