July 12, 1883 (The Commonwealth, a newspaper of Scotland Neck, NC, 2nd page)
[in the “Here and There” section]
Newberne Journal: Prof. Gruber, of Iredell county, well known to the lovers of good music in this State, was last week awarded by the jury of Martin county $2,500 damages for the scalding of his little daughter by steam from one of the steamers of the Jamesville and Washington Railroad Company. He entered suit for $5,000. We learn that the Railroad Company has taken an appeal……
More information is learned from the appeal before the North Carolina Supreme Court in February Term of 1885, which the Grubers won. Camilla was traveling on the steamboat Juniata, run by the railroad, from Elizabeth City to Edenton with her parents in October 1881. When they arrived in Edenton, the gangplank was “announced clear for passengers.” Camilla was “struck by a jet of steam or hot water issuing with great force from the condenser in the engine-room through an undisclosed door.”*
According to her death certificate, Camilla Isabelle Gruber Halliburton was born June 15, 1875, so she would have been approximately 5 1/2 years old at the time of the incident.
Of note to North Carolina lawyers, there was no contributory negligence found on her part as to the assessment of damages.
*Camilla Gruber v. The Washington and Jamesville Railroad Company, 92 N.C. 1, 2 (1885).