Daniel v. Childress, No. 8263

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Writing for the CourtRUARK
Citation381 S.W.2d 539
PartiesHenry DANIEL, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. P. L. CHILDRESS, Defendant-Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 8263
Decision Date04 August 1964

Page 539

381 S.W.2d 539
Henry DANIEL, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
P. L. CHILDRESS, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 8263.
Springfield Court of Appeals, Missouri.
Aug. 4, 1964.
Motion for Rehearing or Transfer Overruled Sept. 1, 1964.

Daniel, Clampett, Ellis, Rittershouse & Dalton, B. H. Clampett, Ransom A. Ellis, Jr., Springfield, for defendant-appellant.

Robert McPherson, Aurora, Robert Stemmons, Mt. Vernon, for plaintiff-respondent.

RUARK, Presiding Judge.

Plaintiff Henry Daniel came off second best in encounter with a heifer calf and has secured judgment of four thousand dollars against defendant Childress, who now appeals. The suit arises out of an injury plaintiff received while assisting in a dehorning and vaccinating operation on defendant's farm. Plaintiff was herding, or urging, the calf down a chute or runway leading into the place of operation. The calf had other notions. The result--broken ribs and this suit.

Plaintiff, thirty-eight years old at the time (March 14, 1961), had handled cattle 'all

Page 540

my life' on his own farm. Such experience included the dehorning process. Defendant was engaged in a rather large farming operation which involved the purchase, feeding, and sale of cattle. There were times when he had from two to three hundred cattle on his place. Plaintiff had been employed by defendant for three and one-half years prior to the incident here involved. A part of his work involved the feeding and care of cattle. During this period he had also participated in the dehorning and vaccination processes on defendant's place.

Dehorning takes place during the period from November through March while there are no flies. In the dehorning and vaccination operation on defendant's farm, the cattle or calves are driven from the pen--one at a time--down a chute, runway, or alley to the dehorning chute or 'veterinarian's squeeze tank.' The chute, alley, or runway down which the cattle are driven consists of two parallel fences made of posts and plank. These side fences are four to four and one-half feet high. Along the inside of each are two 'runners' or 'stringers' (made of two-by-six lumber), nailed one above the other with several inches' space between. These stringers serve the purpose of keeping cattle which are coming down the runway from coming into contact with the upright posts of the side fences and also of permitting a person in the runway to step up on the fence and to get out of the runway to afford free passage to cattle coming down it. The inside measurement of the runway here in use was three and one-half to four feet. This runway chute was used on other occasions to direct cattle into a loading chute. But on this occasion the veterinarian's squeeze chute was placed at the east end. The open width of this squeeze chute is slightly less than that of the runway. It has a wooden floor and sides of metal bars or rods. It is so constructed that, when an animal enters, a gate can be dropped behind the victim, a stanchion will seize and hold it by the neck, and (by means of a lever) the metal bar sides can be squeezed in against the victim so as to hold it practically immobile while it is subjected to the indignity of dehorning, vaccination, or castration.

As stated, plaintiff had participated in this operation of dehorning and vaccinating during the three and one-half years he had worked for defendant. He was unable to say how many animals had been processed during the period he participated, but his witness Wardlow and others testified that during the period of his (plaintiff's) employment from five hundred to six hundred cows and calves were processed annually. In these dehorning operations four men had worked as a team, each doing the same job. Tennis, superintendent and foreman, and Jennings, an employee, worked at the squeeze chute. Tennis attended to vaccination and, if necessary, castration. Jennings used the dehorners. Plaintiff and his witness Wardlow were accustomed to drive the cattle from the pen down the runway to the squeeze chute. These two had worked together and always performed the same function.

On this occasion there were fifty, sixty, or perhaps seventy head of 'run of the mill' whiteface Hereford calves in the pen to the west of the runway 'to be run through.' Approximately one-third of them (being yearlings) had horns. In the immediate instance, Wardlow had a group of these calves (five or six) bunched together at the entrance from the pen at the west end of the chute. From this group two calves came down the alley. Plaintiff stepped up on a stringer (on the side of the runway) and let the first one go by. Then he stepped down into the runway behind it so as to turn one back and drive the other into the squeeze chute. This animal, so being driven to the squeeze, was a (white-face) heifer weighing about three hundred pounds. Plaintiff was right behind it with a stick in his hand, but he does not recall whether or not he struck it. The calf got to the squeeze chute and balked. Although there is evidence to the contrary from plaintiff's own witness, we must take that most favorable to the verdict; therefore,

Page 541

we must assume, from plaintiff's testimony, that when the calf got to the squeeze chute it suddenly, and without warning, whirled or spun around and struck plaintiff in his right side. Plaintiff does not say what part of the heifer calf's body struck him, but his witness Wardlow testified that the animal struck him in the chest with its shoulder as it raced, or escaped back to join its fellows. This thrust, blow, lunge, or whatever it may be called pushed, drove, or threw plaintiff against the side fence and he sustained the injury complained of.

Plaintiff testified that although he had run cattle down through to the squeeze chute before, this was the first time an animal had ever suddenly turned and started back up the runway. He said that defendant's foreman, Tennis, had not warned him such would happen. He did say, however, that on previous occasions:

'Q. Is it not a fact that Mr. Wardlow would help you on some occasions get a calf to go into the squeeze chute if you had difficulty yourself getting him in there?

'A. Yes.

'Q. If you had a real stubborn calf that didn't want to go in, the two of you, Mr. Wardlow and yourself, would push...

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5 practice notes
  • Chism v. White Oak Feed Co., Inc., No. 11531
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • February 20, 1981
    ...bear a strong resemblance to the question of whether or not an invitee has been guilty of contributory negligence. Daniel v. Childress, 381 S.W.2d 539 (Mo.App.1964); 62 Am.Jur.2d Premises Liability § 71 (1972). Clearly, in order to charge an invitee with contributory negligence in entering ......
  • Hedgcorth v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., No. 10263
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • June 8, 1979
    ...principle on which the court relied was contributory negligence." 62 Am.Jur.2d, Premises Liability, § 71, p. 323. In Daniel v. Childress, 381 S.W.2d 539, 542 (Mo.App.1964) this court said: "(W)e find it unsatisfying to consider negligence of the master and assumption of risk of the employee......
  • Lawley v. Kansas City, No. KCD
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • December 2, 1974
    ...is that negligence, which is not an ordinary incident of his employment was the fact under the City's cited cases of Daniel v. Childress, 381 S.W.2d 539 (Mo.App.1964); and Mitchell v. Westport Hotel Operating Co., 225 Mo.App. 181, 19 S.W.2d 528 (1929), and assumption of risk is no defense. ......
  • Mathes v. Trump, No. 54868
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • September 14, 1970
    ...Karl Trump) is not liable for the consequences of danger, only that of his own * * * negligence. * * *' Daniel v. Childress, Mo.App., 381 S.W.2d 539, 542. An 'employer is not an insurer of the employee's safety.' Hightower v. Edwards, Mo.Sup., 445 S.W.2d 273, We hold, on the evidence adduce......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Chism v. White Oak Feed Co., Inc., No. 11531
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • February 20, 1981
    ...bear a strong resemblance to the question of whether or not an invitee has been guilty of contributory negligence. Daniel v. Childress, 381 S.W.2d 539 (Mo.App.1964); 62 Am.Jur.2d Premises Liability § 71 (1972). Clearly, in order to charge an invitee with contributory negligence in entering ......
  • Hedgcorth v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., No. 10263
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • June 8, 1979
    ...principle on which the court relied was contributory negligence." 62 Am.Jur.2d, Premises Liability, § 71, p. 323. In Daniel v. Childress, 381 S.W.2d 539, 542 (Mo.App.1964) this court said: "(W)e find it unsatisfying to consider negligence of the master and assumption of risk of the employee......
  • Lawley v. Kansas City, No. KCD
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • December 2, 1974
    ...is that negligence, which is not an ordinary incident of his employment was the fact under the City's cited cases of Daniel v. Childress, 381 S.W.2d 539 (Mo.App.1964); and Mitchell v. Westport Hotel Operating Co., 225 Mo.App. 181, 19 S.W.2d 528 (1929), and assumption of risk is no defense. ......
  • Mathes v. Trump, No. 54868
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • September 14, 1970
    ...Karl Trump) is not liable for the consequences of danger, only that of his own * * * negligence. * * *' Daniel v. Childress, Mo.App., 381 S.W.2d 539, 542. An 'employer is not an insurer of the employee's safety.' Hightower v. Edwards, Mo.Sup., 445 S.W.2d 273, We hold, on the evidence adduce......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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