54 S.E. 571 (S.C. 1906), Campbell v. Western Union Telegraph Co.

Citation:54 S.E. 571, 74 S.C. 300
Opinion Judge:GARY, A. J. PER CURIAM.
Attorney:Geo. H. Fearons, Willcox & Willcox, J. M. Johnson, and C. K. Laney, for appellant. R. T. Caston and Edward McIver, for respondent.
Case Date:February 26, 1906
Court:Supreme Court of South Carolina

Page 571

54 S.E. 571 (S.C. 1906)

74 S.C. 300




Supreme Court of South Carolina

February 26, 1906

On Rehearing, April 26, 1906.

Appeal from Common Pleas Circuit Court of Chesterfield County; Dantzler, Judge.

Action by Lewis Campbell against the Western Union Telegraph Company. Judgment for plaintiff. Defendant appeals. Affirmed.

Geo. H. Fearons, Willcox & Willcox, J. M. Johnson, and C. K. Laney, for appellant. R. T. Caston and Edward McIver, for respondent.


[74 S.C. 302] This is an action for damages for failure to deliver a telegram within a reasonable time. The complaint alleges: "That on the 24th day of June, 1903, in the forenoon, the wife of the plaintiff then being very ill at the home of relatives at McBee, S. C., where she was then on a visit, Tom Campbell, the brother of the plaintiff, delivered to the agent of the defendant at McBee, S. C., the following message for transmission to the plaintiff, at his home at Patrick, S. C., 'Your wife is very sick,' and then and there paid the agent of the defendant the toll charged for the transmission of the said message to the plaintiff at Patrick, S.C. That the said message was received by the agent of the defendant at Patrick, S. C., fifteen minutes after noon on said day, and could have been delivered to plaintiff in a short time thereafter, so as to have enabled him to reach McBee, S. C., and the bedside of his wife that afternoon. That the defendant, by its inattention, carelessness and wanton negligence, failed to deliver said message until some time during the day of June 25th, when plaintiff received same, together with another message, dated June 25th, stating that his wife was dead. Plaintiff was thus prevented by the defendant from having any knowledge of his wife's sickness until after her death, and thus caused great mental anguish and suffering and distress, and of being at her bedside at the time of her death." The defendant denied said allegations and set up the following defense: "And for a further defense, the defendant alleges that the message set forth in the complaint, filed in the above-stated action, was accepted by it for transmission under and in accordance with the terms of a special contract, printed upon the back of the form upon which the said message was written, a part of which contract provided as follows: 'Messages will be delivered free within the established free delivery limits of the terminal office. For delivery at a greater distance a special charge will be made to cover the cost of such [74 S.C. 303] delivery.' And the defendant further alleges, on information and belief, that at the time when said message was filed for transmission, and at the time when the said message was received at its office in the town of Patrick, S. C., the plaintiff was not a resident of said town of Patrick, was not within the free delivery limits of its office in said town, and was not within the corporate limits of said town." The plaintiff lived on the premises of Campbell Ingram, and about 2 1/2 miles from Patrick, and, on

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the day the telegram was sent, was at work about 3 1/2 miles from said place. The defendant made an effect to deliver the message on the day it was received, but it was not...

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