14 S.W. 863 (Tenn. 1890), United Elec. Ry. Co. v. Shelton

Citation:14 S.W. 863, 89 Tenn. 423
Opinion Judge:TURNEY, C.J.
Party Name:UNITED ELECTRIC RY. CO. et al. v. SHELTON.
Attorney:Steger, Washington & Jackson and Vertrees & Vertrees, for appellants. John L. Nolen, for appellee.
Case Date:December 07, 1890
Court:Supreme Court of Tennessee
 
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Page 863

14 S.W. 863 (Tenn. 1890)

89 Tenn. 423

UNITED ELECTRIC RY. CO. et al.

v.

SHELTON.

Supreme Court of Tennessee.

December 7, 1890

Appeal from circuit court, Davidson county.

Action for damages by C. F. Shelton against the United Electric Railway Company and the Cumberland Telephone & Telegraph Company.

Steger, Washington & Jackson and Vertrees & Vertrees, for appellants.

John L. Nolen, for appellee.

TURNEY, C.J.

Shelton's horse was killed by coming in contact with a wire of the telegraph and telephone company, which had fallen across the trolley wire of the electric railway company. The wire of the telephone company had become much impaired. The falling of a wall of a burning building broke a pole of the telephone company, breaking the wires at several points. At the point of the accident, the telephone wires crossed the railway track above the trolley. A broken wire fell across the trolley wire, and, while resting on it, the horse came in contact with it, and was instantly killed. There was no guard wire over the trolley wire. The case was tried by the circuit judge without the intervention of a jury. The condition of the telephone wire was such as to arrest the attention of a prudent man engaged in the business of either company. The circuit judge found, under the facts, that both companies were guilty of negligence, and responsible for the loss, and gave judgment accordingly. The judgment is correct. While it was the primary duty of the telephone company to see that its wires were in a reasonably safe and sound condition, and protected against the contingency of falling, it

Page 864

was also a duty of the electric company to see that its trolley was in like manner protected from such contingency. While it was the duty of the one company not to use unsound and unprotected wires, it was...

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