City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

Louisiana. Civil District Court (Orleans Parish)
Suit #138342
John A. Wogan vs New Orleans Railway and Light Company et al.
1 folder

This suit was filed on September 21, 1921, entered on Docket $, and assigned to Division D of the Court. Wogan, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and __ sued the Company for damages resulting from an injury to his hand suffered when a streetcar on the Esplanade Belt line rocked into a tree adjacent to the Company's track in the vicinity of North Rampart Street and Esplanade Avenue on July 1, 1921.

In addition to the pleadings in the matter, the suit record also includes transcriptions of detailed testimony of Wogan and sixteen witnesses to the accident and other individuals such as the doctor who treated Wogan at Charity Hospital. Also included are nineteen (a note in the suit record says there are twenty) exhibits comprising three blueprints and sixteen 8" x 10" black and white photographs (by Charles Franck). The blueprints show: the location of trees and profile of rails on Esplanade between St. Claude and Liberty, the location of trees and profile of rails on Esplanade between North Rampart and St. Claude, and one-half section and plan of Esplanade Belt Car #605. The photographs show car #605 adjacent to each of the trees along Esplanade Avenue in the vicinity of North Rampart Street (a typewritten document filed in the record identifies each photograph and gives measurements at each tree of the clearance at the car's window sill and the clearance at the top bar of the screen). The Court, following a jury verdict, ruled in favor of Wogan. The record also includes documents relating to the Company's appeal of the Civil District Court judgment, filed under docket #8872 in the Court of Appeal, Parish of Orleans (1922). That appeal was not fully prosecuted by the Company's receiver and, in 1958, was finally dismissed by the Court.

The testimony in the suit offers very detailed descriptions of the accident, the operation of the streetcar, and conditions on board the the car, including comments on the separate seating areas for white and colored passengers.

The City Archives staff has removed the original photographs from the suit record to the Louisiana Photograph Collection in the "Recent Additions to the Louisiana Division Photograph Collection" series. Digital versions of the photographs are available starting HERE. Staff has also removed the blueprints to the Louisiana Map Collection, 921/19 (B62), 921/20 (B63), and 921/22 (B64) respectively.


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