133 So. 25 (Ala. 1931), 8 Div. 282, City of Decatur v. Gilliam

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Writing for the CourtFOSTER, J.
JudgeANDERSON, C.J., and GARDNER and BOULDIN, JJ., concur.
Citation133 So. 25,222 Ala. 377
Date05 March 1931
Docket Number8 Div. 282.
PartiesCITY OF DECATUR v. GILLIAM.

Page 25

133 So. 25 (Ala. 1931)

222 Ala. 377

CITY OF DECATUR

v.

GILLIAM.

8 Div. 282.

Supreme Court of Alabama

March 5, 1931

Appeal from Circuit Court, Morgan County; James E. Horton, Judge.

Action for damages for personal injuries by Mrs. R. V. Gilliam against the City of Decatur. From a judgment for plaintiff, defendant appeals. Transferred from Court of Appeals.

Reversed and remanded.

Tennis Tidwell, of Decatur, for appellant.

Chenault, Downing & Chenault, of Decatur, for appellee.

FOSTER, J.

There is no apt ground of demurrer to the complaint whereby its sufficiency is tested for the failure to allege that the defect referred to in it constituted a dangerous or unsafe condition. If we assume that the complaint should either allege or show by the facts alleged that the defect was dangerous or unsafe (43 Corpus Juris, 1226), a ground of the demurrer should be directed to that contention. The court instructed the jury that the defect must be such a condition as that it was not reasonably safe for travel; so that defendant did not sustain injury in this respect had the demurrer been duly directed to this want of averment in the complaint. Best Park v. Rollins, 192 Ala. 534, 68 So. 417, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 929; Southern Ry. Co. v. Dickson, 211 Ala. 481, 100 So. 665; City of Mobile v. McClure, 221 Ala. 51, 127 So. 832.

Plaintiff was injured while walking at night, going south on the west side of Fourth Avenue East. A portion of the sidewalk was paved with brick, and then began a cement

Page 26

pavement. Where the two joined, the cement portion was higher than the brick. The evidence as to its height ranged from 1 3/4 inches to 4 inches. Plaintiff stumbled at this point and fell, breaking her arm and suffering other injuries. She testified that she had been living in that locality, five or six blocks away, about thirty-five years; that she had traveled that street but very little before that time-only occasionally. The evidence showed that the sidewalk had been in that condition about four years, that the street light was at the next corner, and that she could see dimly. Two other ladies were with her. They did not stumble at the place so far as the evidence shows.

At the instance of the plaintiff, in writing, the court charged the jury "that if you believe the evidence in this case, you must find the plaintiff free from negligence which contributed to her injury." The rule is well settled that, if plaintiff had notice of the presence of the obstruction or knowledge of such facts as were calculated a person of ordinary and reasonable capacity on the lookout, and then he failed to exercise ordinary care which contributed to the injury, he would be guilty of contributory negligence. Mayor, etc., of Birmingham v. Tayloe, 105 Ala. 170, 16 So. 576; Montgomery v. Ross, 195 Ala. 362, 70 So. 634; Walker County v. Davis, 221 Ala. 195, 128 So. 144. But without such notice he is not required to watch out for defects on that portion of the street appropriated to that nature of travel.

On account of the long time the sidewalk had remained in the same condition, during all of which time plaintiff lived within a few blocks of the place, on...

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13 practice notes
  • 142 So. 80 (Ala. 1932), 5 Div. 99, Houston v. Town of Waverly
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • May 26, 1932
    ...City of Birmingham v. Edwards, 201 Ala. 251, 77 So. 841; City of Mobile v. Ryser, 217 Ala. 92, 114 So. 903; City of Decatur v. Gilliam, 222 Ala. 377, 133 So. Pleas 5 and 8 each aver that "at the time of plaintiff's fall mentioned in the complaint, the plaintiff knew or had reason to be......
  • 105 So.2d 121 (Ala. 1958), 6 Div. 209, Jacks v. City of Birmingham
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • June 5, 1958
    ...City of Montgomery v. Ferguson, 207 Ala. 430, 93 So. 4; City of Montgomery v. Ross, 195 Ala. 362, 70 So. 634; City of Decatur v. Gilliam, 222 Ala. 377, 133 So. 25. But such assumption only protects those who are in the exercise of such ordinary care at the time as the situation on the whole......
  • 167 So. 276 (Ala. 1936), 6 Div. 793, City of Tuscaloosa v. Fair
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • February 13, 1936
    ...raise a presumption of knowledge of such defect." Section 2029, Code; City of Birmingham v. Carle, supra; City of Decatur v. Gilliam, 222 Ala. 377, 133 So. The Assignments 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, and 35, by the City. Some of those assignments point out t......
  • 562 P.2d 436 (Hawai'i 1977), 5736, Breed v. Shaner
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • April 1, 1977
    ...the transfer to discover and remedy unsafe conditions before any liability for the condition will attach. City of Decatur v. Gilliam, 222 Ala. 377, 133 So. 25 (1931). 19 McQuillin, Municipal Corporations (3rd ed.) § 54.30, states that '(t)he duty of a city with respect to streets in the ann......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 cases
  • 142 So. 80 (Ala. 1932), 5 Div. 99, Houston v. Town of Waverly
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • May 26, 1932
    ...City of Birmingham v. Edwards, 201 Ala. 251, 77 So. 841; City of Mobile v. Ryser, 217 Ala. 92, 114 So. 903; City of Decatur v. Gilliam, 222 Ala. 377, 133 So. Pleas 5 and 8 each aver that "at the time of plaintiff's fall mentioned in the complaint, the plaintiff knew or had reason to be......
  • 105 So.2d 121 (Ala. 1958), 6 Div. 209, Jacks v. City of Birmingham
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • June 5, 1958
    ...City of Montgomery v. Ferguson, 207 Ala. 430, 93 So. 4; City of Montgomery v. Ross, 195 Ala. 362, 70 So. 634; City of Decatur v. Gilliam, 222 Ala. 377, 133 So. 25. But such assumption only protects those who are in the exercise of such ordinary care at the time as the situation on the whole......
  • 167 So. 276 (Ala. 1936), 6 Div. 793, City of Tuscaloosa v. Fair
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • February 13, 1936
    ...raise a presumption of knowledge of such defect." Section 2029, Code; City of Birmingham v. Carle, supra; City of Decatur v. Gilliam, 222 Ala. 377, 133 So. The Assignments 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, and 35, by the City. Some of those assignments point out t......
  • 562 P.2d 436 (Hawai'i 1977), 5736, Breed v. Shaner
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • April 1, 1977
    ...the transfer to discover and remedy unsafe conditions before any liability for the condition will attach. City of Decatur v. Gilliam, 222 Ala. 377, 133 So. 25 (1931). 19 McQuillin, Municipal Corporations (3rd ed.) § 54.30, states that '(t)he duty of a city with respect to streets in the ann......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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