Denson v. Ga. Ry. & Electric Co

Citation135 Ga. 132,68 S.E. 1113
CourtSupreme Court of Georgia
Decision Date23 September 1910
PartiesDENSON v. GEORGIA RY. & ELECTRIC CO.

(Syllabus by the Court.)

1. Negligence (§ 4*)—Electricity {§§ 14, 19*)"Ordinary Care"—Master and Servant—Injury to Employe—Instructions. In an action for damages on account of the homicide of the plaintiff's husband, under the pleading and the evidence the following facts appeared: The plaintiff's husband was in the employment of one of the defendant's patrons, and was charged with the duty of repairing shafting, machinery, "and the like." The defendant contracted to deliver into the plant of the company where the plaintiff's husband worked currents of 220 volts of electricity on a wire for supplying power and 110 volts on each of two other wires used for feeding electric lights. While engaged in his duties, the plaintiff's husband came into contact with the wire or bulb on an extension cord connected with a wire feeding one of the electric lights, and received a shock causing his death. The defendant carried on its primary wires to a transformer located near the plant a current of 2, 300 volts; said transformer being for the purpose of reducing the current to that which the defendant was to supply to the plant. Various acts of negligence were alleged to have been committed by the defendant, which resulted in allowing the wire with which the plaintiff came in contact to become charged with an excessive and deadly current, and with respect to its failure to provide suitable appliances whereby this could have been prevented. The jury found for the defendant, and the plaintiff excepted to the order of the court denying her motion, for a new trial. Held, that "ordinary care" is a relative term, and the diligence which will amount to ordinary care varies according to the circumstances of each particular case. Central R., etc., Co. v. Ryles, 84 Ga. 420, 11 S. E. 499. (a) A power company, in furnishing electrici-ty to patron?, with respect to employes of the latter rightfully on the premises of the patron and likely to come into contact with wires carrying the current supplied, is bound to use ordinary care, which demands that the power company shall use such diligence in preventing injuries to such employes as is commensurate with the danger involved in the use and control of such a subtle and deadly agency as electricity. 1 Thompson on Negligence, § 804.

(b) The court charged the jury as follows: "If you find, under the evidence and the law as given you in charge, that the defendant was supplying electricity to the building in which the plaintiff's husband was employed and at work, and that the defendant exercised ordinary care in supplying electric current and in supplying such appliances as were in general use at the time of the death of plaintiff's husband, then the plaintiff could not recover. The defendant is not required to put in every latest device. It is only required to use the kind of machinery in general use and that is reasonably suited for the purpose for which it was intended; and you are to consider this at the time of the accident." The court gave the jury other charges of a similar nature. Such charges were erroneous, for the reason that it was a question for the jury to determine as to whether or not the defendant, relatively...

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7 cases
  • Duncan v. Ft. Dodge Gas & Elec. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 23, 1922
    ...301, 73 Pac. 39;Bice v. Wheeling E. Co., 62 W. Va. 685, 59 S. E. 626;Ohrstrom v. Tacoma, 57 Wash. 121, 106 Pac. 629;Denson v. Georgia Ry. & E. Co., 135 Ga. 132, 68 S. E. 1113. To negative any inference that the overcharge of electricity, if any, upon the fan or upon the wire attached theret......
  • Duncan v. Ft. Dodge Gas & Elec. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 23, 1922
    ...188 N.W. 865 193 Iowa 1127 THOMAS R. DUNCAN, Administrator, Appellee, v. FORT DODGE GAS & ELECTRIC COMPANY, Appellant No. 34205Supreme Court of Iowa, Des MoinesJune 23, 1922 .           Appeal. from Webster District Court.--H. E. FRY, ...301 (73. P. 39); Bice v. Wheeling Elec. Co., 62 W.Va. 685 (59. S.E. 626); Ohrstrom v. City of Tacoma, 57 Wash. 121. (106 P. 629); Denson v. Georgia R. & Elec. Co., 135. Ga. 132 (68 S.E. 1113). . .          To. negative any inference that the overcharge of electricity, if. ......
  • Darden v. Mayor, (Nos. 16757, 16797.)
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • September 27, 1926
    ...maintenance of its wires, but properly held the defendant to the standard of ordinary care in this respect. Denson v. Georgia Railway & Electric Co., 135 Ga. 132 (1), 68 S. E. 1113. 4. Where, in the trial of such a case, it appears from the evidence, including the evidence as to admissions ......
  • Darden v. City of Washington
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • September 27, 1926
    ......          . Syllabus by Editorial Staff. . .          Finding. of charged electric wire hanging loose in dangerous situation. does not require finding of negligence as matter of law. . .          Submitting. issue ... of its wires, but properly held the defendant to the standard. of ordinary care in this respect. Denson v. Georgia. Railway & Electric Co., 135 Ga. 132 (1), 68 S.E. 1113. . .          4. Where, in the trial of such a case, it appears from ......
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