Mississippi Power & Light Co. v. Whitescarver, 6790.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBRYAN, SIBLEY, and HUTCHESON, Circuit
Citation68 F.2d 928
Docket NumberNo. 6790.,6790.
Decision Date02 March 1934

68 F.2d 928 (1934)


No. 6790.

Circuit Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

February 2, 1934.

Rehearing Denied March 2, 1934.

Marcellus Green, Garner Wynn Green, and Forrest B. Jackson, all of Jackson, Miss., and R. L. Dent, of Vicksburg, Miss., for appellant.

J. F. Barbour, of Yazoo City, Miss., for appellees.

Before BRYAN, SIBLEY, and HUTCHESON, Circuit Judges.

SIBLEY, Circuit Judge.

On this appeal from a recovery of $7,500 for the negligent electrocution of one Whitescarver, the Mississippi Power & Light Company assigns as error the exclusion as evidence of an extract from a book and the refusal to direct the verdict in its favor. The declaration alleged as negligence among other things that the company maintained its power wires, carrying 13,000 volts, at an insufficient height where the death occurred, and that its representatives who were present just beforehand and knew what Whitescarver was about to do and the danger in it did not stop or warn him, and he, being ignorant of the danger, brought a metal pole which he was erecting against or near a wire and was killed by electricity from it. The outline of the evidence is as follows: Three power lines, bare and carrying 13,000 volts of electricity, were strung by virtue of a public franchise on common looking poles along the

68 F.2d 929
paved highway at the line of the adjoining fields and at a height between poles of 19 feet and 4 inches from the ground at a locality about one-half mile from the edge of the city of Leland. In the city and up to a few hundred feet from this place the poles were higher and were again higher just beyond it. A few weeks before Whitescarver's death the land in the vicinity, formerly a cotton field, had been cut up into lots and was auctioned off, and one Carollo had bought lots adjoining the highway and on them was building a home and a gasoline filling station. A week before the death of Whitescarver, Carollo had requested the Power & Light Company to arrange connections to light these buildings, and on the day previous to the death two linesmen were sent who strung the light wires to the buildings and installed on a pole near the filling station a transformer to reduce the voltage of the current for the lights. On the fatal morning, before these men left, Whitescarver, who was an employee of an oil company, arrived with a metal pole which, with the advertising sign at its top, was over 22 feet long, and he began digging a hole in which to plant the pole on the edge of Carollo's lot directly under the wires. This was seen by the linesmen of the company, and one of them says he gave Whitescarver warning that the wires carried a heavy voltage and were dangerous. The other testified he neither gave nor heard a warning, but he was in the filing station part of the time and it might have been given without his hearing it. Others working near at hand for Carollo say no warning was given in their hearing. A negro painter, Graves, testified that Whitescarver came to him at the rear of the filling station to borrow a ladder to use in raising the pole and asked him to help, and that he refused, stating that the wires were dangerous. He says he followed Whitescarver to the spot, however, and saw the occurrence. Carollo testifies that he got the ladder and Graves said nothing to him, but stayed behind the filling station where he was painting. Several...

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31 cases
  • Hillman v. Northern Wasco County People's Utility Dist.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oregon
    • March 26, 1958
    ...... Two power poles were placed about 10 feet apart at the south edge of ... Hillman found his own truck too light for the job and hired a tow truck equipped with a winch to ...261, 295 P.2d 201; Mississippi Power & Light Co. v. Whitescarver, 5 Cir., 68 F.2d 928; ......
  • Mississippi Power & Light Co. v. Shepard, 46986
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • September 24, 1973
    ...Light Co. v. Griffin, 81 F.2d 292 (5 Cir. 1936); Whitescarver v. Mississippi Power & Light Co., 5 F.Supp. 948 (D.C.Miss.1932) aff. 68 F.2d 928 (5th Cir. 1934); Holocomb v. Singing River Electric Power Association, 231 So.2d 192 (Miss.1970); Mississippi Power & Light Company v. Walters, 248 ......
  • Mississippi Power & Light Co. v. Walters
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • November 25, 1963
    ...(1922), 98 N.J.L. 160, 119 A. 163; Neumann v. Interstate Power Co. (1929), 179 Minn. 46, 228 N.W. 342; Mississippi Power & Light Co. v. Whitescarver (1934), (C.A. 5th Miss.), 68 F.2d 928; Sandeen v. Willow River Power Co. (1934), 214 Wis. 166, 252 N.W. 706; Southwestern Gas & Electric Co. v......
  • Catholic Diocese of Natchez-Jackson v. Jaquith
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • June 9, 1969
    ...So. 677 (1929). Mississippi has followed the majority rule for a number of years and we think properly so. See Mississippi Power & Light Co. v. Whitescarver, 68 F.2d 928 (1934). See also Crouch v. Mississippi Power & Light Co., 193 So.2d 144 (Miss.1966) and Mississippi Power & Light Co. v. ......
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