140 S.W. 257 (Ark. 1911), Bohlinger v. Germania Life Insurance Company

Citation140 S.W. 257, 100 Ark. 477
Opinion JudgeFRAUENTHAL, J.
Party NameBOHLINGER v. GERMANIA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY
AttorneyJ. W. Blackwood and J. W. Newman, for appellant. W. H. Pemberton, for appellee.
Case DateOctober 23, 1911
CourtSupreme Court of Arkansas

Page 257

140 S.W. 257 (Ark. 1911)

100 Ark. 477

BOHLINGER

v.

GERMANIA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY

Supreme Court of Arkansas

October 23, 1911

Appeal from Pulaski Circuit Court, Second Division; F. Guy Fulk, Judge; affirmed.

Judgment affirmed.

J. W. Blackwood and J. W. Newman, for appellant.

1. The statements complained of in the letter to Powell & Doyle are libelous per se. 18 Am. & Eng. Enc. of L. 861; Kirby's Dig., § 1850; 18 Am. & Eng. Enc. of L. 909; Id. 941-942; 9 L. R. A., 621, note, and cases cited; 4 Ark. 110; 72 Ark. 421; 98 F. 222.

2. Appellee is liable to the same extent as if it were the sole author of the statements. 18 Am. & Eng. Enc. of L. 1048; Id. 1013-1014; 169 Mass. 512; 25 Cyc. 369; 98 F. 222, 39 C. C. A. 19; Townshend, Slander and Libel, § 158; 6 Cush. 71; 33 Minn. 66-68, 21 N.W. 862; 55 Mich. 224, 21 N.W. 324, 54 Am. Rep. 372.

3. The communications were not privileged. 59 F. 540; 25 Cyc. 386; 18 Am. & Eng. Enc. of L. 1038; 152 Mo. 268; 52 S.W. 912, 47 L. R. A. 859; 173 F. 22, 97 C. C. A. 334; 84 Va. 890, 6 S.E. 474; 98 F. 222, 39 C. C. A. 19; 77 Ark. 64, 72.

4. The case should have gone to the jury. The court should have instructed the jury as to the law in regard to qualified privilege, and left it to them to say how far the privilege extended, and whether or not the privilege was forfeited or lost by reason of its abuse. And whether or not all portions and publications of the statements were privileged was a question for the jury. 129 N.W. 674; 61 Minn. 137, 144, 63 N.W. 615; 134 S.W. 1093; 47 L. R. A. 483, 486; 130 Va. 504, 49 S.E. 644. It was also for the jury to say, from the manner, tone and surrounding circumstances, whether or not any clearly privileged communication was malicious. 5 Words and Phrases, 4299; Id. 4302; 18 Am. & Eng. Enc. of L., (2 ed.) 1050, 1051; 56 Ark. 94, 97.

W. H. Pemberton, for appellee.

1. The communication was privileged. 25 Cyc. 398; Id. 385; Id. 397; 23 Fla. 595; 3 So. 211; 18 Am. & Eng. Enc. of L. 1038; 10 C. B. 583; 7 E. C. L. 583; 100 N.C. 397; 47 W.Va. 766, 35 S.E. 873; 121 Ga. 241, 48 S.E. 934; 45 Mich. 484; 44 S.W. 580, 18 Tex. Civ. App. 296; 78 Minn. 289, 79 Am. St. Rep. 387; 74 N.Y.S. 561, 68 A.D. 141; 132 N.C. 172; 42 S.W. 607; 13 L. R. A. 655; 47 L. R. A. 483.

2. The privilege was not lost because the communication was seen by the confidential clerk and stenographer of Powell & Doyle. 25 Cyc. 387; 50 N.J.L. 275; 13 Allen 239; 105 Mass. 395; 99 N.W. 847; 78 Minn. 289; 39 F. 672.

3. Malice is an essential element of libel; and where the communication is privileged, the presumption of malice is rebutted and the burden of proving it is on the party alleging it. 47 L. R. A. 485; 111 Pa. 414, 56 Am. Rep. 274; 66 Mich. 166; 88 Me. 521, 34 A. 411; 116 Ga. 855, 43 S.E. 262; 25 Cyc. 412; 99 N.W. 847; 42 S.W. 607; 103 Va. 504, 49 S.E. 644; 47 W.Va. 766; 10 C. B. 583; 66 Mich. 166; 30 N.Y. 20; 25 Wend. 448.

4. In directing a verdict for defendant, the court acted within its province. 25 Cyc. 547; 164 Mo. 289; 93 S.W. 1033; 103 S.W. 374; 83 Ky. 375; 121 Mich. 536; 121 N.Y. 203; 116 N.Y. 211; Townshend, Slander and Libel, § 288.

OPINION

[100 Ark. 479] FRAUENTHAL, J.

This was an action instituted by A. Bohlinger to recover damages for the alleged publication of a libel. The suit was originally brought against the Germania Life Insurance Company, the Retail Credit Company and John F. Clifford. The cause abated as to the Retail Credit Company for failure to obtain service of summons upon it, and was dismissed on the motion of plaintiff as against the last-named defendant. The remaining defendant pleaded that the alleged libel was a privileged communication. Upon the [100 Ark. 480] trial of the case, the court directed a verdict in favor of the defendant after all evidence had been introduced by both parties to the suit. From this action of the court the plaintiff has appealed.

The Germania Life Insurance Company was a foreign corporation, domiciled in the State of New York, and was engaged in the life insurance business. It had managers or general agents located...

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29 practice notes
  • 219 S.W. 1032 (Ark. 1920), 226, Mauney v. Millar
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • March 8, 1920
    ...Conn. 175; 42 S.E. 295; 38 Fla. 240; 105 Iowa 488; 125 Mich. 192; 69 Miss. 168; 195 Pa.St. 52; 139 Id. 334; 127 Mass. 316; 123 N.Y. 420; 100 Ark. 483. See also 152 Mo. 268; 122 Id. 355; 52 Ark. 187; 106 Id. 20; 55 Id. 598; 75 Id. 159; 83 Id. 80; 35 Id. 110; 97 Id. 98. The presumption is tha......
  • 174 F.Supp. 283 (W.D.Ark. 1959), Civ. A. 762, Crawford v. General Contract Corp.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 8th Circuit Western District of Arkansas
    • June 2, 1959
    ...Cir., 5 F.2d 25; Wise v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, etc., 8 Cir., 252 F. 961 * * *.' In Bohlinger v. Germania Life Ins. Co., 1911, 100 Ark. 477, 140 S.W. 257, 36 L.R.A.,N.S., 449, a life insurance company commissioned a credit agency to report upon an applicant for insurance. The re......
  • 548 F.Supp. 487 (W.D.Ark. 1982), Civ. 82-2048, Scholtes v. Signal Delivery Service, Inc.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 8th Circuit Western District of Arkansas
    • September 21, 1982
    ...or purpose of the inquiry, or if the statements were made from malice. Andrews, at 1281, quoting Bohlinger v. Germania Life Ins. Co., 100 Ark. 477, 140 S.W. 257 The Arkansas Supreme Court has said: The privilege ceases to exist upon a finding that the defamatory statement was communicated t......
  • 245 S.W. 186 (Ark. 1922), 11, Polk v. Missouri Pacific Railroad Co.
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • November 27, 1922
    ...company, was not a privileged communication, either absolute or qualified. Am. & Eng. Encyc. of Law, 2 ed. vol. 18, p. 1023; Id. 1029; 100 Ark. 477. Daniel did not exceed his authority. He was clothed with authority to employ and discharge section foremen. The railroad company is liable......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
29 cases
  • 548 F.Supp. 487 (W.D.Ark. 1982), Civ. 82-2048, Scholtes v. Signal Delivery Service, Inc.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 8th Circuit Western District of Arkansas
    • September 21, 1982
    ...or purpose of the inquiry, or if the statements were made from malice. Andrews, at 1281, quoting Bohlinger v. Germania Life Ins. Co., 100 Ark. 477, 140 S.W. 257 The Arkansas Supreme Court has said: The privilege ceases to exist upon a finding that the defamatory statement was communicated t......
  • 219 S.W. 1032 (Ark. 1920), 226, Mauney v. Millar
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • March 8, 1920
    ...Conn. 175; 42 S.E. 295; 38 Fla. 240; 105 Iowa 488; 125 Mich. 192; 69 Miss. 168; 195 Pa.St. 52; 139 Id. 334; 127 Mass. 316; 123 N.Y. 420; 100 Ark. 483. See also 152 Mo. 268; 122 Id. 355; 52 Ark. 187; 106 Id. 20; 55 Id. 598; 75 Id. 159; 83 Id. 80; 35 Id. 110; 97 Id. 98. The presumption is tha......
  • 289 N.W. 101 (N.D. 1939), 6600, Ellsworth v. Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, Inc.
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court of North Dakota
    • December 13, 1939
    ...of express malice, i. e., intent to injure the plaintiff. Nichols v. Eaton, 110 Iowa 514, 81 N.W. 792; Bohlinger v. German L. Ins. Co. 100 Ark. 483, 140 S.W. 257. MORRIS, J. Nuessle, Ch. J., and Burke and Christianson, JJ., concur. Burr, J. (dissenting). OPINION MORRIS Page 102 [69 N.D. 616......
  • 174 F.Supp. 283 (W.D.Ark. 1959), Civ. A. 762, Crawford v. General Contract Corp.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 8th Circuit Western District of Arkansas
    • June 2, 1959
    ...Cir., 5 F.2d 25; Wise v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, etc., 8 Cir., 252 F. 961 * * *.' In Bohlinger v. Germania Life Ins. Co., 1911, 100 Ark. 477, 140 S.W. 257, 36 L.R.A.,N.S., 449, a life insurance company commissioned a credit agency to report upon an applicant for insurance. The re......
  • Request a trial to view additional results