106 N.Y. 512, Cahill v. Hilton

Citation:106 N.Y. 512
Party Name:THOMAS CAHILL, Respondent, v. HENRY HILTON, et al., Appellants.
Case Date:October 04, 1887
Court:New York Court of Appeals

Page 512

106 N.Y. 512

THOMAS CAHILL, Respondent,

v.

HENRY HILTON, et al., Appellants.

New York Court of Appeal

October 4, 1887

Argued June 10, 1887.

Page 513

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 514

COUNSEL

Frank B. Lown for appellants. It is no answer to plaintiff's negligent or careless act to say that he was ordered to do it by Broderick, the foreman, who was a fellow-servant of the plaintiff, and for his negligence the defendants are not liable. ( Crispin v. Babbitt, 81 N.Y. 516; Slater v. Jewett, 85 id. 61; McCosker v. L. I. C. R. R. Co., 84 id. 77; Olson v. Clyde, 32 Hun, 425; White v. Sharp, 27 id. 96.) The judgment cannot be supported on the ground that the defective ladder caused the accident. ( Marsh v. Chickering, 101 N.Y. 396; Davies v. Detroit & Mich. R. R. Co., 20 Mich. 185; Baker v. Alleghany R. R. Co., 23 Alb. L. J. 96; Ballou v. Chic. & N.W. R. R. Co., 26 id. 137.) A master does not engage that his appliances will continue in good and safe condition. ( Baker v. A. V. R. R. Co., 23 Alb. L. J. 96; White v. Sharp, 27 Hun, 97.) The cause of the injury to plaintiff was left in such doubt that a verdict in his favor could not be sustained. ( Searles v. Manhattan R. Co., 101 N.Y. 661.) Hart v. H. R. Bridge Co., 84 id. 56.) A servant is chargeable with knowledge of a dangerous structure or machine if he could have known of it by the exercise of reasonable care and observation. ( Hickey v. Taffe, 105 N.Y. 26; Gibson v. E. R. Co., 63 id. 449; De Forest v. Jewett, 88 id. 268; Kelly v. Silver Springs Co., 18 Alb. L. J. 354; Jones v. Roach, 9 J. & S. 248; Brossman v. L. V. R. R. Co., 10 East. Rep. 262; Wonder v. B. & O. R. R. Co., 5 Alb. L. J. 187; 3 Am. Rep. 143; Ballou v. Chic. & N.W. R. R. Co., 26 Alb. L. J. 137; Baker v. Alleghany R. R. Co., 23 id. 96.)

Austen G. Fox for respondent. There was sufficient evidence to support the finding by the jury that the defendants were guilty of negligence. ( Ellis v. N.Y. L. E. & W. R. R. Co., 95 N.Y. 546; Kain v. Smith, 89 id. 375; Painton v. N. C. R. R. Co., 83 id. 7; Spicer v. S. Bost. Ice Co., 138 Mass. 426; Murphy v. Phillips, 35 L. Times, 477; Covey v. H. & St. Jo. R. Co., 86 Mo. 635; Ryan v. Miller, 17 Week. Dig. 112;

Page 515

Baker v. A. V. R. R. Co., 95 Penn. St. 211; Ryan v. Fowler, 24 N.Y. 410; Hough v. R. Co., 100 U.S. 213; Jones v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 92 N.Y. 628; 28 Hun, 364; Rooney v. Com. Gen. Transp., 10 Daly, 241; Heaven v. Pender, 11 Q. B. D. 503; Heske v. Samuelson, 12 id. 30; Bartonshill v. Reed, 3 Macq. H. L. Cas. 266; Roberts v. Smith, 2 H. & N. 213; Laning v. N.Y. C. R. R. Co., 49 N.Y. 521, 533; Buzzell v. Laconia Man. Co., 48 Me. 113-117; Ballou v. C. & N.W. R. R. Co., 54 Wis. 257; Behm v. Armour, 58 id. 1; Marsh v. Chickering, 101 N.Y. 369.) There was sufficient evidence to support the finding by the jury that the plaintiff was not guilty of contributory negligence. ( Hawley v. N. C. R. R. Co., 82 N.Y. 370; Kain v. Smith, 89 id. 375; Connolly v. Poillon, 41 Barb. 366; Ford v. Fitchburg R. R. Co., 110 Mass. 240; McMahon v. Pt. H. I. O. Co., 24 Hun, 48; Plank v. N.Y. C. R. R. Co., 60 id. 607; Baker v. A. V. R. R. Co., 95 Penn. St. 211; Lawless v. Conn. R. R. Co., 136 Mass. 136; Wood on Mast. and Serv. 749, § 376.) The question whether the breaking of the defective ladder caused the injury, was not raised on the record, but even if it had been raised, the evidence was sufficient to support the finding of the jury that the cause of the accident was the breaking of the defective ladder. ( Stringham v. Stewart, 100 N.Y. 516; Rollins v. Farley, id. 620; Hart v. H. R. B. Co., 80 id. 622; Durkin v. Sharp, 88 id. 225; Jones v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 92 id. 628; 28 Hun, 364; 10 Abb. [ N. C.] 200; Kain v. Smith, 89 N.Y. 375; Ford v. Lyons, 25 Week. Dig. 39.) The court did not err in refusing to charge either the first or the sixth request submitted by the defendants having already substantially charged them. ( Holbrook v. Utica & S. R. R. Co., 12 N.Y. 236; Moett v. People, 85 id. 373, 380; Masterson v. N.Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., 84 id. 258; R. Co. v. McCarthy, 96 U.S. 258; Wabash R. Co. v. McDaniels, 107 id. 462.) The knowledge on the part of a servant that shows negligence, as matter of law, is not the mere knowledge of defects, but of the risks or dangers arising therefrom, for,

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'a servant knowing the facts may be utterly ignorant of the risks.' ( Kain v. Smith, 89 N.Y. 375; McMahon v. Port Henry I. O. Co., 24 Hun, 48; Ford v. Fitchburgh R. R. Co., 110 Mass. 240; Hawley v. N. C. R. R. Co., 82 N.Y. 372; Plank v. N.Y. C. R. R. Co., 60 id. 607; Baker v. A. V. R....

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