Delahunt v. United Tel. & Tel. Co.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtBROWN, J.
Citation64 A. 515,215 Pa. 241
PartiesDELAHUNT et al. v. UNITED TELEPHONE & TELEGRAPH CO.
Decision Date14 May 1906
64 A. 515
215 Pa. 241

DELAHUNT et al.
v.
UNITED TELEPHONE & TELEGRAPH CO.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

May 14, 1906.


Appeal from Court of Common Pleas, Delaware County.

Action by Edward N. Delahunt and Margaret L. Delahunt, by their next friend, Mary

64 A. 516

G. Lenny, against the United Telephone & Telegraphy Company. Judgment for plaintiffs, and defendant appeals. Affirmed.

At the trial Mary G. Lenny was asked this question: "Q. How is Margaret as to being in possession of all her faculties? Mr. Geary: That is objected to. It is not a question of the child's condition. The Court: The child's condition might be such as to make the father liable to contribute more to it than he ordinarily would. The objection is overruled. (Exceptions noted for defendant.)" The court admitted under objection the letter from defendant's manager to Thomas F. Delahunt, quoted in the opinion of the Supreme Court The court also admitted under objection the testimony of James Mullen taken at a former trial of the case.

The court charged in part as follows: "The deceased, it appears, took hold of the telephone, either to use it, or for some purpose, and under the ruling of the court that was a thing he had a perfect right to do. This defendant company having supplied him with a telephone for his use, he had a right to believe that they would supply him with an instrument which would be perfectly safe to use in the ordinary way, and consequently having been injured in taking hold of the telephone the court has held, and instructs you, that that is sufficient evidence, when uncontradicted, of the negligence of the defendant. It has been urged upon you by the defendant's counsel that the deceased, the father of the plaintiffs, was guilty of contributory negligence. If he was, if his own negligence contributed in any way to the accident, these children cannot recover. The contributory negligence alleged is that having heard a sound, or clicking, which one of the witnesses described as resembling the noise of a cricket, he ought not to have touched the telephone. You will consider whether that testimony shows that there was anything which occurred that night to put him on his guard or warn him that it was dangerous for him to touch that telephone. Both of the witnesses said they heard this noise and that he went over and took hold of the speaking transmitter and pulled it down, and the injury happened immediately after. What had occurred to warn him that that was a dangerous thing to do? In order to use the transmitter it would be necessary for him to pull it down to a height that would enable him to speak into it. The fact that the floor was wet you will consider; you will consider whether there was anything which would cause a reasonable man to suppose that he might not use that telephone in the ordinary way, and if there was nothing to so warn him, and put him on his guard, he would not be guilty of any contributory negligence."

Verdict and judgment for plaintiffs for $10,175.89. Defendant appealed.

Argued before MITCHELL, C. J., and FELL, BROWN, ELKIN, and STEWART, JJ.

A. B. Geary and Joseph H. Hinkson, for appellant O. B. Dickinson and John E. McDonough, for appellees.

BROWN, J. The father of the appellees was a patron of the appellant. During the month of February, 1902, there was a severe storm, and the connection of his telephone with the exchange was broken. This disconnection continued for some weeks, and, according to the theory of the appellant, which seems to be accepted as correct the telephone was not connected with the exchange at the time the decedent was shocked to death in taking hold of the transmitter. The allegation of the appellees, as set forth in their statement is that the appellant, "by its careless and negligent management of its wire system, permitted one of its wires, which was not properly insulated, to come in contact with the wires of another company, heavily charged with electricity, whereby the said electric current was conveyed to the said telephone of said Thomas F. Delahunt when he was making proper and lawful use thereof, whereby by reason of the...

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45 practice notes
  • Whitmore v. Herrick, No. 38636.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 6, 1928
    ...21 Ruling Case Law, 407; Sauers v. Smits, 49 Wash. 557, 95 P. 1097, 17 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1242;Delahunt v. United Telephone & Telegraph Co., 215 Pa. 241, 64 A. 515, 114 Am. St. Rep. 958;Hunter v. Burroughs, 123 Va. 113, 96 S. E. 360. [1][2][3][4][5] There appears, however, in the case at bar ......
  • Whitmore v. Herrick, 38636
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 6, 1928
    ...Ruling Case Law 187, Section 156; 21 Ruling Case Law 407; Sauers v. Smits, 49 Wash. 557 (95 P. 1097); Delahunt v. United Tel. & Tel. Co., 215 Pa. 241 (64 A. 515); Hunter v. Burroughs, 123 Va. 113 (96 S.E. 360). There appears, however, in the case at bar a barrier to our consideration of the......
  • Benner v. Terminal Railroad Assn., No. 37598.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 30, 1941
    ...Tel. & Tel. Co., 17 Fed. Supp. 591; Cain v. Southern Mass. Tel. Co., 219 Mass. 504, 107 N.E. 380; Delahunt v. United Tel. & Tel. Co., 215 Pa. 241, 64 Atl. 515; San Juan L. & T. Co. v. Requena, 224 U.S. 89, 32 Sup. Ct. 399, 56 L. Ed. 680. (3) The plaintiff's petition properly pleaded a state......
  • Gilbert v. Korvette's, Inc.
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 11, 1972
    ...Wood et al. v. Philadelphia Rapid Transit Co., 260 Pa. 481, 104 A. 69, L.R.A.1918F, 817; Delahunt v. United Telephone & Telegraph Co., 215 Pa. 241, 64 A. 515, 114 Am.St.Rep. 958.' See also, Gettys, 'The Res Ipsa Loquitur Rule As Applied in Pennsylvania', 11 Temple L.Q. 191 4 It should be po......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
45 cases
  • Whitmore v. Herrick, No. 38636.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 6, 1928
    ...21 Ruling Case Law, 407; Sauers v. Smits, 49 Wash. 557, 95 P. 1097, 17 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1242;Delahunt v. United Telephone & Telegraph Co., 215 Pa. 241, 64 A. 515, 114 Am. St. Rep. 958;Hunter v. Burroughs, 123 Va. 113, 96 S. E. 360. [1][2][3][4][5] There appears, however, in the case at bar ......
  • Whitmore v. Herrick, 38636
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 6, 1928
    ...Ruling Case Law 187, Section 156; 21 Ruling Case Law 407; Sauers v. Smits, 49 Wash. 557 (95 P. 1097); Delahunt v. United Tel. & Tel. Co., 215 Pa. 241 (64 A. 515); Hunter v. Burroughs, 123 Va. 113 (96 S.E. 360). There appears, however, in the case at bar a barrier to our consideration of the......
  • Benner v. Terminal Railroad Assn., No. 37598.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 30, 1941
    ...Tel. & Tel. Co., 17 Fed. Supp. 591; Cain v. Southern Mass. Tel. Co., 219 Mass. 504, 107 N.E. 380; Delahunt v. United Tel. & Tel. Co., 215 Pa. 241, 64 Atl. 515; San Juan L. & T. Co. v. Requena, 224 U.S. 89, 32 Sup. Ct. 399, 56 L. Ed. 680. (3) The plaintiff's petition properly pleaded a state......
  • Gilbert v. Korvette's, Inc.
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 11, 1972
    ...Wood et al. v. Philadelphia Rapid Transit Co., 260 Pa. 481, 104 A. 69, L.R.A.1918F, 817; Delahunt v. United Telephone & Telegraph Co., 215 Pa. 241, 64 A. 515, 114 Am.St.Rep. 958.' See also, Gettys, 'The Res Ipsa Loquitur Rule As Applied in Pennsylvania', 11 Temple L.Q. 191 4 It should be po......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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