138 Mass. 334 (Mass. 1885), Hurley v. Fall River Daily Herald Publishing Co.

Citation138 Mass. 334
Opinion JudgeHolmes, J.
Party NameWilliam J. Hurley v. Fall River Daily Herald Publishing Company. Patrick Gillan v. Same
AttorneyD. V. Sullivan, for the plaintiffs. H. K. Braley, for the defendant.
Judge PanelC. Allen & Colburn, JJ., absent. Holmes, J.
Case DateJanuary 09, 1885
CourtSupreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

Page 334

138 Mass. 334 (Mass. 1885)

William J. Hurley

v.

Fall River Daily Herald Publishing Company.

Patrick Gillan

v.

Same

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

January 9, 1885

Argued October 29, 1884.

Bristol.

Two actions of tort. The declaration in each case alleged that, on December 27, 1883, the defendant caused to be published in a newspaper called the Fall River Daily Herald, published by the defendant, a false and malicious libel concerning the plaintiff, as follows:

"Was his a 'graveyard' case? Suspicions aroused by the recent death of John F. Downing. -- The father's story. -- The death of John F. Downing, who was buried on Tuesday, has revived the matter of graveyard insurance. It is reported that several men had policies on his life, knowing when they were issued that he was suffering from consumption, which policies, it is alleged, were obtained through a fraudulent physical examination by Dr. Hennessey. The father of the deceased, Michael T. Downing, feels thoroughly convinced, from some reason, that his son's death was brought about by malpractice on the part of Hennessey, to subserve his life insurance schemes. Mr. Downing said yesterday, that in December, 1882, John contracted a severe cold, and, as he was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, he secured medical advice from the society physician, Dr. Hennessey. Instead of improving, the cold grew worse under the doctor's care, until it developed into consumption, which resulted in the man's death. The father states, as a reason for his belief that his son's illness was cultivated, that the medicine furnished was extremely pungent, and its use always followed by acute pains in the breast and stomach. He had been informed that policies on his son's life were held by Dr. Hennessey, Edward Driscoll, Jr., W. J. Hurley, Patrick Gillan, William Barlow, Stephen Broderick, and Patrick Riley. He also learned that a prominent politician had visited his son, and offered to pay him $ 2 a week during his lifetime if he would be a party to a fraudulent examination, but that the offer was rejected."

The defendant demurred to the declaration, for the following reasons: "1. Because said declaration does not state a legal cause of action substantially in accordance with the Pub. Sts. c. 167. 2. Because it does not appear that the article relied on as libellous referred to the plaintiff, or was...

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6 practice notes
  • 280 Mass. 451 (1932), Peck v. Wakefield Item Co.
    • United States
    • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 26 Octubre 1932
    ...is not essential to a libel charging fraud. See Gay v. Homer, 13 Pick. 535, 537, 543; Hurley v. Fall River Daily Herald Publishing Co. 138 Mass. 334; Haynes v. Clinton Printing Co. 169 Mass. 512 , 513; Kimball v. Post Publishing Co. 199 Mass. 248 . It is not material that the charge against......
  • 17 A.2d 253 (Vt. 1941), Lancour v. Herald And Globe Association
    • United States
    • Vermont Supreme Court of Vermont
    • 7 Enero 1941
    ...207, 209; Kimball v. Post Pub. Co., 199 Mass. 248, 85 N.E. 103, 19 L.R.A. (N.S.) 862, 864; Hurley v. Fall River Daily Herald Pub. Co., 138 Mass. 334, 336; Amick v. Montross, 206 Iowa 51, 220 N.W. 51, 58 A.L.R. 1147, 1150. The principle is of long standing. It was applied in Meggs v. Griffit......
  • 190 Mass. 138 (1906), Dow v. Long
    • United States
    • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 4 Enero 1906
    ...was made of and concerning the plaintiff. Young v. Cook, 144 Mass. 38, 10 N.E. 719; Hurley v. Fall River Daily Herald Publishing Co., 138 Mass. 334; Chenery v. Goodrich, 98 Mass. 224. 'When the words are alleged to be spoken of the plaintiff, no innuendoes are necessary to apply them.' Deve......
  • 306 Mass. 279 (1940), Maloof v. Post Pub. Co.
    • United States
    • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 24 Junio 1940
    ...hearsay is none the less defamatory. Lundin v. Post Publishing Co. 217 Mass. 213 , 215. Hurley v. Fall River Daily Herald Publishing Co. 138 Mass. 334 , 336. Haynes v. Clinton Printing Co. 169 Mass. 512, 513. Kenney v. McLaughlin, 5 Gray, 3. Cowley v. Pulsifer, 137 Mass. 392. Peck v. Wakefi......
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6 cases
  • 280 Mass. 451 (1932), Peck v. Wakefield Item Co.
    • United States
    • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 26 Octubre 1932
    ...is not essential to a libel charging fraud. See Gay v. Homer, 13 Pick. 535, 537, 543; Hurley v. Fall River Daily Herald Publishing Co. 138 Mass. 334; Haynes v. Clinton Printing Co. 169 Mass. 512 , 513; Kimball v. Post Publishing Co. 199 Mass. 248 . It is not material that the charge against......
  • 17 A.2d 253 (Vt. 1941), Lancour v. Herald And Globe Association
    • United States
    • Vermont Supreme Court of Vermont
    • 7 Enero 1941
    ...207, 209; Kimball v. Post Pub. Co., 199 Mass. 248, 85 N.E. 103, 19 L.R.A. (N.S.) 862, 864; Hurley v. Fall River Daily Herald Pub. Co., 138 Mass. 334, 336; Amick v. Montross, 206 Iowa 51, 220 N.W. 51, 58 A.L.R. 1147, 1150. The principle is of long standing. It was applied in Meggs v. Griffit......
  • 190 Mass. 138 (1906), Dow v. Long
    • United States
    • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 4 Enero 1906
    ...was made of and concerning the plaintiff. Young v. Cook, 144 Mass. 38, 10 N.E. 719; Hurley v. Fall River Daily Herald Publishing Co., 138 Mass. 334; Chenery v. Goodrich, 98 Mass. 224. 'When the words are alleged to be spoken of the plaintiff, no innuendoes are necessary to apply them.' Deve......
  • 306 Mass. 279 (1940), Maloof v. Post Pub. Co.
    • United States
    • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 24 Junio 1940
    ...hearsay is none the less defamatory. Lundin v. Post Publishing Co. 217 Mass. 213 , 215. Hurley v. Fall River Daily Herald Publishing Co. 138 Mass. 334 , 336. Haynes v. Clinton Printing Co. 169 Mass. 512, 513. Kenney v. McLaughlin, 5 Gray, 3. Cowley v. Pulsifer, 137 Mass. 392. Peck v. Wakefi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results