Carpenter v. Asheville Power & Light Co, (No. 555.)

Docket Nº(No. 555.)
Citation131 S.E. 400
Case DateJanuary 27, 1926
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of North Carolina

131 S.E. 400


(No. 555.)

Supreme Court of North Carolina.

Jan. 27, 1926.

(191 N.C.)

Appeal from Superior Court, Buncombe County; Stack, Judge.

Action by Walter B. Carpenter, administrator, against the Asheville Power & Light Company. From a judgment for plaintiff, defendant appeals. New trial granted.

Civil action to recover damages for an alleged wrongful death caused by the defendant's alleged negligence in failing properly to "ground" its transformers, or secondary system, used in connection with its sale and distribution of electric current for household and commercial purposes.

Plaintiff's intestate, a young woman 30 years of age, wife and mother, highly educated, peculiarly gifted in music, and of good health, was killed on November 7, 1923, in the kitchen of her home, while discharging some household duty, by coming in contact with an excessive electric current flowing over the wires of the defendant, and which were connected with plaintiff's home under a contract to supply his house with electricity for domestic purposes.

The defendant, in the operation of its business, maintains two sets of wires—one, comprising its primary system, running from its power house to transformers, and carrying an electric current of 2, 200 volts or more; the other, known as its secondary system, running from the transformers, where the voltage is "kicked down" to a current of 110 volts, to the homes of its customers for use in lighting and operating small motors, etc. The transformer near the plaintiff's house, it is alleged, failed to operate, or to reduce the current from the higher to the lower voltage, and in consequence of which the higher voltage was transmitted over the secondary wires to plaintiff's home, and caused the death of his wife. The negligence al-

[131 S.E. 401]

leged consists in the failure of the defendant to have its transformers "grounded" so as to convey the deadly current to the ground, rather than over its secondary wires, in case a transformer failed to operate, or in case the primary wires came in contact with the secondary wires, as they did in the instant case.

Upon denial of liability and issues joined, the jury returned the following verdict:

"(1) Was plaintiff's intestate killed by the negligence of the defendant, as alleged in the complaint? Answer: Yes.

"(2) What damages, if any, is plaintiff entitled to recover of the defendant? Answer: $35,000."

From a judgment on the verdict for plaintiff, the defendant appeals, assigning errors.

Martin, Rollins & Wright, of Asheville, for appellant.

Harkins & Van Winkle and Mark W. Brown, all of Asheville, for appellee.

STACY, C. J. [1] The exception addressed to the refusal of the court to grant the defendant's motion for judgment as of nonsuit cannot be sustained. The evidence was sufficient to carry the case to the jury. The motion was properly overruled on authority of McAllister v. Pryor, 187 N. C. 832, 123 S. E. 92, 34...

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25 cases
  • Gay v. Thompson, 207
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • 4 Febrero 1966
    ...action. Collier v. Arrington's Ex'rs, 61 N.C. 356; Kesler v. Smith, 66 N.C. 154; Carpenter v. Asheville Power & Light Co., 191 N.C. 130, 131 S.E. 400; Hoke v. Atlantic Greyhound Corp., 226 N.C. 332, 38 S.E.2d 105; Armentrout v. Hughes, supra; Hines v. Frink and Frink v. Hines, supra; Scrive......
  • Hanks v. Norfolk & Western Ry. Co, 737.
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • 30 Marzo 1949
    ...might be expected to be derived from his own exertions during his life expectancy. Carpenter v. Asheville Power & Light Co,, 191 N.C. 130, 131 S.E. 400. In arriving at this assessment (the present worth of which alone may be awarded the plaintiff), the jury is at liberty to take into consid......
  • Long v. Carolina Baking Co, 14988.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 16 Diciembre 1939
    ...for the pecuniary injury resulting from the death of the deceased is to be awarded." Carpenter v. Asheville Power Co., 1926, 191 N.C. 130, 131 S.E. 400, 401. Section 161 of the North Carolina Code, introduced in evidence, is in these words: "§ 161. Damages recoverable for death by wrongful ......
  • Inge v. Seabd. Air Line Ry. Co, (No. 88.)
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • 17 Noviembre 1926
    ...Liability Act, and in such cases arising under the state law, there is a marked distinction. See Carpenter v. Power Co., 191 N. C. 130, 131 S. E. 400. The present action is not for wrongful death, but in Chesapeake & O. R. Co. v. Kelly, 241 U. S. 485, 36 S. Ct. 630, 60 L. Ed. 1117, L. R. A.......
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