The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918. Page: 990
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250 FEDERAL REPORTER
Before WALKER and BATTS, Circuit Judges, and FOSTER,
WALKER, Circuit Judge.  This was a suit brought by the de-
fendant in error in the District Court of the Canal Zone to recover
damages for personal injuries alleged to have been caused by the
negligent operation, on a public street or thoroughfare in the republic
of Panama, by employs of the plaintiff in error of a railroad locomo-
tive of the latter. The amended complaint alleged that the following
were laws in force in the republic of Panama:
Article 2341, Civil Code of Panama:
"He who shall have been guilty of an offense or fault, which has caused
another damage, is obliged to repair it, without prejudice to the principal
penalty which the law imposes for the fault or offense committed."
Article 5, Law 62, 1887:
"Railroad companies are responsible for the wrongs and injuries which are
caused to persons or properties by reason of the service of said railroads and
which are imputable to want of care, neglect, or violation of the respective
police regulations which shall be issued by the government as soon as the
law is promulgated."
Articles 488, 489, Police Code:
"When a tramway crosses a town. as well as when it passes by a gate or
viaduct, it shall not travel at a greater speed than that of a wagon drawn
by horses at a moderate trot; in case of an infraction the conductor or the
administrator of the company subsidiarily shall pay a fine of 10 to 100 pesos,
without prejudice to the responsibility, civil or penal, to which he may be
subjected by reason of the damage, fault or tort.
"The tramway, when passing places where there are or may be a gathering
of persons, shall call their attention from afar, and continue to call the at-
tention of the transient persons, by means of a whistle, bell, horn, or other
adequate instrument. Every infraction of this provision shall be punished
with a fine of from 5 to 100 pesos; but if the omission should occasion dam-
age or prejudice to a third person, the procedure provided for in the preced-
ing article shall be followed.
"This article and the previous article shall be applied to railroads when
they enter cities or towns."
There was evidence tending to prove that the plaintiff was injured
as alleged. The existence of the quoted laws of Panama was not de-
nied by the defendant, but it was contended in its behalf that a re-
quest for a directed verdict in its favor should have been given, on
the ground that neither of those laws, as it was authoritatively inter-
preted and enforced in Panama, had the effect of making a railroad
company answerable for the negligence or misconduct of its em-
ployes while acting within the scope of their employment, and that
the doctrine of respondeat superior is not a part of the law of Panama.
We are not of opinion that the evidence which was adduced as to the
laws of Panama supports this contention. On the contrary, we think
the evidence is such that it well supports a finding that the quoted
statute of 1887, as it has been authoritatively interpreted in Colombia
while Panama was a part of that country, has the effect of making
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The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918., legislative document, 1918; Saint Paul, Minnesota. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38821/m1/1005/: accessed May 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.