55 S.W. 202 (Ky.App. 1900), O'Donnell's Adm'r v. Louisville Electric Light Co.

Citation:55 S.W. 202
Opinion Judge:HOBSON, J.
Attorney:Matt O'Doherty, for appellant. Humphrey & Davie and John W. Barr, Jr., for appellee.
Case Date:February 19, 1900
Court:Court of Appeals of Kentucky

Page 202

55 S.W. 202 (Ky.App. 1900)




Court of Appeals of Kentucky.

February 19, 1900

Appeal from circuit court, Jefferson county, law and equity division.

"Not to be officially reported."

Action by Edward O'Donnell's administrator against the Lousiville Electric Light Company to recover damages for the death of plaintiff's intestate. Judgment for defendant, and plaintiff appeals. Reversed.

Page 203

Matt O'Doherty, for appellant.

Humphrey & Davie and John W. Barr, Jr., for appellee.


This is an action to recover for the loss of the life of appellant's intestate by reason of the alleged negligence of appellee. The intestate was in appellee's service, and was ordered by it to climb one of its poles, and fasten to it a bracket, to which two wires were to be attached. While twisting one of the wires around the bracket with his pliers, in some way his left arm came in contact with another wire, charged with 2,000 volts of electricity, which thus passed through his body, causing instant death. Appellant contended that the wire he so touched with his left arm was an arc wire, which should have been dead, or without any current of electricity, and that by reason of the negligence of the defendant in not having this wire properly insulated the intestate lost his life. On the other hand, appellee contended that the intestate had himself stripped the insulation off both the wires he was to fasten to the bracket, and that his death was due to his touching with his left hand one of these stripped wires while working with his pliers on the other. The proof was conflicting, and it was a question for the jury, on all the evidence, whether the intestate's death was due to negligence on the part of appellee, or whether there was contributory negligence on his part, but for which he would not have lost his life. The case was tried before the decision of this court in McLaughlin v. Light Co., 100 Ky. 173, 37 S.W. 831. The instructions of the court to the jury were substantially the same as those condemned in that case and in the subsequent case of Overall v. Light Co. (Ky.) 47 S.W. 442. Appellee introduced on its behalf on the trial Charles Pilger, who was present at the time, and assisting the intestate in the work. He testified in chief that the injury occurred substantially as claimed by it. He was then...

To continue reading