Campbell v. Laundry, (No. 460.)

Docket Nº(No. 460.)
Citation130 S.E. 638
Case DateDecember 09, 1925
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of North Carolina

130 S.E. 638

CAMPBELL.
v.
MODEL STEAM LAUNDRY.

(No. 460.)

Supreme Court of North Carolina.

Dec. 9, 1925.


[130 S.E. 638]

(190 N. C.)

Appeal from Superior Court, Mecklenburg County; Lane, Judge.

Action by A. S. Campbell, administrator of Richard S. Sams, against the Model Steam Laundry. Judgment for plaintiff, and defendant appeals. No error.

Action by plaintiff to recover damage on account of wrongful death of plaintiff's intestate. From a judgment in favor of the plaintiff, defendant appeals. No error.

The evidence tended to show that August 22, 1924, the defendant's large electric delivery truck was parked on the left side of Brevard street, Charlotte, contrary to a parking ordinance, while its driver went into the house of A. S. Campbell to deliver a package of laundry. The driver approached this position "angling across the street." The truck was painted black and red in checkerboard style. When the driver was going into the Campbell house he saw the Sams child, plaintiff's intestate, coming down the steps. These are half-moon steps, and go from the ground to the second story. "It is about 6 feet from the foot of these stairs to the curbstone." This Sams child came right on down, and walked out of the gate to the side of the truck, and got up on its left front wheel, but on the left side. The control lever is located between the steering wheel and side of the body. The child climbed up on the left front wheel, leaned over the side of the body and got hold of the steering wheel, and then reached the lever and pushed it down, and the car started.

When the car started the child was on the left front wheel, and his feet were thrown out from under him, and he caught on the side. The car went southwardly down North Brevard street, "angling across the street." This indicated that the driver did not turn his wheels toward the curb when he stopped the truck. The driver was still in the house. A witness jumped on the truck in an effort to stop it, and the child fell off, and the truck ran over him injuring him so that he died in only 20 minutes.

There was evidence tending to show that if the truck had been parked to the right side of the curb the child could not have reached the steering apparatus from the right, or curb side, if standing on the right-hand wheel. None of these trucks have "controller and drive" on the right side. The wheel tread is 56 inches. The defendant had owned eight electric trucks of the same kind. The left side is boxed up, and the right side is not. It would be easy for a child to climb up into the truck from the right side. The switch plug on the truck is on the right side. The truck could not be moved by electric current if the switch plug is out; this big brass plug slips in, and makes the connection by which the electric current is turned on. The Sams child was strong and healthy, 4 years old, and accustomed to playing out on the sidewalk. If the switch plug is removed, the truck is practically dead. The car was left with the brakes loose, not set. The witness who stopped the car after the injury put on the brakes and stopped the car.

J. Laurence Jones and J. A. Lockhart, both of Charlotte, for appellant.

McCall, Smith & McCall, of Charlotte, for appellee.

VARSER, J. [1] There must, of necessity, be a period within which a child is incapable of exercising care to such a degree as may be otherwise legally applicable to the given situation. We are of the opinion that a child 4 years old is incapable of negligence, primary or contributory. 20 R. C. L. 124, par. 105; Shellaberger v. Fisher, 143 F. 937, 75 C. C. A.

[130 S.E. 639]

9, 5 L. R. A. (N. S.) 250; Purtell v. Philadelphia Coal Co., 256 111. 110, 99 N. E. 899, 43 L, R. A. (N. S.) 193, Ann. Cas. 1913E, 335; South Bend v. Turner, 156 Ind. 418, 60 N. E. 271, 54 L. R. A. 396, 83 Am. St. Rep. 200; Schmitz v. St. Louis R. Co., 119 Mo. 256, 24 S. W. 472, 23 L. R. A. 250; Sou. R. Co. v. Chatman, 124 Ga. 1026, 53 S. E. 692, 6 L. R. A. (N. S.) 283, 4 Ann. Cas. 675; Chicago City R. Co. v. Wilcox, 138 111. 370, 27 N. E. 899, 21 L. R. A. 76; Evansville v. Senhenn, 151 Ind. 42, 47 N. E. 634, 51 N. E. 88, 41 L. R. A. 728, 68 Am. St. Rep. 218; Barnes v. Shreveport City R. Co., 47 La. Ann. 1218, 17 So. 782, 49 Am. St. Rep. 400; Buechner v. New Orleans, 112 La. 599, 36 So. 603, 66 L. R. A. 334, 104 Am. St. Rep. 455; Twist v. Winona R. Co., 39 Minn. 164, 39 N. W. 402, 12 Am. St. Rep. 626; Pass Christian v. Fernandez, 100 Miss. 76, 56 So. 329; O'Flaherty v. Union R. Co., 45 Mo. 70, 100 Am. Dec. 343; Newman v. Phillips-burg Horse-Car R. Co., 52 N. J. Law, 446, 19 A. 1102, 8 L. R. A. 842; Mangam v. Brooklyn City R. Co., 38 N. Y. 455, 98 Am. Dec. 66; Bottoms v. Seaboard & R. R. Co., 114 N. C. 699, 19 S. E. 730, 25 L. R. A. 784, 41 Am. St. Rep. 799; Rolin v. Tobacco Co., 141 N. C. 300, 53 S. E. 891, 8 Ann. Cas. 638, 7 L. R. A. (N. S. 335; Ruehl v. Rural Telephone Co., 23 N. D. 6, 135 N. W. 793, L. R. A. 1918C, 1063, Ann. Cas. 1914C, 680; Cleveland Rolling Mill Co. v. Corrigan, 46 Ohio St. 283, 20 N. E. 466, 3 L. R. A. 385; Kay v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 65 Pa. 269, 3 Am. Rep. 628; Summers v. Bergner Brewing Co., 143 Pa. 114, 22 A. 707, 24 Am. St. Rep. 518; Evers v. Philadelphia Traction Co., 176 Pa. 376, 35 A. 140, 53 Am. St. Rep. 674; Tucker v. Buffalo Cotton Mills, 76 S. C. 539, 57 S. E. 626, 121 Am. St. Rep. 957; Gunn v. Ohio River R. Co., 42 W. Va. 676, 26 S. E. 546, 36 L. R. A. 575; Hemingway v. Chicago R. Co., 72 Wis. 42, 37 N. W. 804, 7 Am. St. Rep. 823.

This ruling is in accord with the decisions throughout this country, as indicated by the following: McDermott v. Severe, 202 U. S. 600, 26 S. Ct. 709, 50 L. Ed. 1162. In this case the court affirmed the judgment for plaintiff, a boy 6 years and 10 months old. The trial court instructed the jury that, since plaintiff was under 7 years of age, contributory negligence could not be attributed to him. Snare & Triest Co. v. Friedman, 169 F. 1, 94 C. C. A. 369, 40 L. R. A. (N. S.) 367; Northern Pac. R. Co. v. Chervenak, 203 F. 884, 122 C. C. A. 178; Sheffield Co. v. Harris, 183 Ala. 357, 61 So. 88; St. Louis I. M. & S. R. Co. v. Denty, 63 Ark. 177, 37 S. W. 719; L. & N. R. Co. v. Arp, 136 Ga. 489, 71 S. E. 867; Anderson v. Great Northern R. Co., 15 Idaho, 513, 99 P. 91; Devine v. Chicago Ry. Co., 189 111. App. 435; U. S. Brewing Co. v. Stoltenberg, 211 111. 531, 71 N. E. 1081, Elwood Electric Co. v. Ross, 26 Ind. App. 258, 58 N. E. 535; Smith v. A. T. & S. F. R. R. Co., 25 Kan. 738; 111. Cent. R. R. Co. v. Dupree, 138 Ky. 459, 128 S. W. 334, 34 L. R. A. (N. S.) 645; Palermo v. Orleans Ice Mfg. Co., 130 La. 833, 58 So. 589, 40 L. R. A. (N. S.) 671; Morgan v. Aroostook Valley R. Co., 115 Me. 171, 98 A. 628; Marsland v. Murray, 148 Mass. 91, 18 N. E. 680, 12 Am. St. Rep. 520; Hoover v. Detroit R. Co., 188 Mich. 313, 154 N. W. 94; Berry v. Railroad., 214 Mo. 593, 114 S. W. 27; Dorr v. Atlantic Shore Line Ry. Co., 76 N. H. 160, 80 A. 336; Napurana v. Young, 74 N. J. Law, 627, 65 A. 1052; Bir-kett v. Knickerbocker Ice Co., 110 N. Y. 504, 18 N. E. 108; Levine v. Railway, 78 App. Div. 426, 80 N. Y. S. 48, affirmed Id., 177 N. Y. 523, 69 N. E. 1125; MacDonald v. O'Reilly, 45 Or. 589, 78 P. 753; Counlzzarri v. Phila. & R. Ry. Co., 248 Pa. 474, 94 A. 134; Dodd v. Spartansburg Ry., Gas & Electric Co., 95 S. C. 9, 78 S. E. 525; Wise & Co. v. Morgan, 101 Tenn. 273, 48 S. W. 971, 44 L. R. A. 548; Ollis v. H., E. & W. T. Ry. Co., 31 Tex. Civ. App. 601, 73 S. W. 30; Smalley v. Railroad, 34 Utah, 423, 98 P. 311; Norfolk & W. R. Co. v. Groseclose's Adm'r, 88 Va. 267, 13 S. E. 454, 29 Am. St. Rep. 718; American Tobacco Co. v. Polisco, 104 Va. 777, 52 S. E. 563; Eskildsen v. City of Seattle, 29 Wash. 583, 70 P. 64; Parrish v. City of Huntington, 57 W. Va. 286, 50 S. E. 416; Gibson v. City of Huntington, 38 W. Va. 177, 18 S. E. 447, 22 L. R. A. 561, 45 Am. St. Rep. 853; O'Brien v. Wis. Cent. T. Co., 119 Wis. 7, 96 N. W. 424; Wald v. Electric Ry., 18 Manitoba, 134, affirmed in 41 Can. S. C. 431; Cooke v. Midland G. W....

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22 practice notes
  • Tyndall v. United States, Civ. A. No. 1294-1298.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Eastern District of North Carolina
    • January 15, 1969
    ...when a motor vehicle was illegally parked where heedless children were known to be present, Campbell v. Model Steam Laundry, 190 N.C. 649, 130 S.E. 638 (1925); Arnett v. Yeago, 247 N.C. 356, 100 S.E. 2d 855 (1957); or where a two-year-old passenger turns the key, Pinyan v. Settle, 263 N.C. ......
  • Robinson v. Pollard, No. 48618
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • January 30, 1974
    ...223 App.Div. 234, 228 N.Y.S. 20, affd. 248 N.Y. 641, 162 N.E. 557. 'North Carolina.-Campbell v. Model Steam Laundry (1925) 190 N.C. 649, 130 S.E. 638. 'Ohio.-Garbo v. Walker (1955, C.P.) 57 Ed.2d 537; Wagner v. Arthur (1956, C.P.) 73 Ohio L.Abs. 16, 134 N.E.2d 'South Carolina.-Pfaehler v. T......
  • Walston v. Greene, No. 23
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • February 26, 1958
    ...Mills, 168 N.C. 229, 84 S.E. 388, L.R.A.1915D, 850--a bright little boy 5 years of age; Campbell v. Model Steam Laundry, 190 N.C. 649, 130 S.E. 638--4 years of age; Bevan v. Carter, 210 N.C. 291, 186 S.E. 321--4 years of age; Kelly v. Hunsucker, 211 N.C. 153, 189 S.E. 664--4 1/2 years of ag......
  • Christiansen v. Los Angeles & S. L. R. Co., 4855
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Utah
    • September 23, 1930
    ...dangerous because of the condition in which it is placed and left upon an inclined plane. Campbell v. Model Steam Laundry, 190 N.C. 649, 130 S.E. 638; Erickson v. Minn., S. P. & S. S. M. R. Co., 165 Minn. 106, 205 N.W. 889, 45 A.L.R. 973; Union Light, Heat & Power Co. v. Lunsford, 189 Ky. 7......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
22 cases
  • Tyndall v. United States, Civ. A. No. 1294-1298.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Eastern District of North Carolina
    • January 15, 1969
    ...when a motor vehicle was illegally parked where heedless children were known to be present, Campbell v. Model Steam Laundry, 190 N.C. 649, 130 S.E. 638 (1925); Arnett v. Yeago, 247 N.C. 356, 100 S.E. 2d 855 (1957); or where a two-year-old passenger turns the key, Pinyan v. Settle, 263 N.C. ......
  • Robinson v. Pollard, No. 48618
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • January 30, 1974
    ...223 App.Div. 234, 228 N.Y.S. 20, affd. 248 N.Y. 641, 162 N.E. 557. 'North Carolina.-Campbell v. Model Steam Laundry (1925) 190 N.C. 649, 130 S.E. 638. 'Ohio.-Garbo v. Walker (1955, C.P.) 57 Ed.2d 537; Wagner v. Arthur (1956, C.P.) 73 Ohio L.Abs. 16, 134 N.E.2d 'South Carolina.-Pfaehler v. T......
  • Walston v. Greene, No. 23
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • February 26, 1958
    ...Mills, 168 N.C. 229, 84 S.E. 388, L.R.A.1915D, 850--a bright little boy 5 years of age; Campbell v. Model Steam Laundry, 190 N.C. 649, 130 S.E. 638--4 years of age; Bevan v. Carter, 210 N.C. 291, 186 S.E. 321--4 years of age; Kelly v. Hunsucker, 211 N.C. 153, 189 S.E. 664--4 1/2 years of ag......
  • Christiansen v. Los Angeles & S. L. R. Co., 4855
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Utah
    • September 23, 1930
    ...dangerous because of the condition in which it is placed and left upon an inclined plane. Campbell v. Model Steam Laundry, 190 N.C. 649, 130 S.E. 638; Erickson v. Minn., S. P. & S. S. M. R. Co., 165 Minn. 106, 205 N.W. 889, 45 A.L.R. 973; Union Light, Heat & Power Co. v. Lunsford, 189 Ky. 7......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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