Dulaney v. Jones

Decision Date18 December 1911
Docket Number15,188 3/4
CourtMississippi Supreme Court

APPEAL from the circuit court of Washington county. Hon. A. J. ROSE Special Judge.

Suit by Jones & Rogers against C. L. Dulaney et al. From a judgment for plaintiffs, defendants appeal.

The facts are sufficiently stated in the opinion of the court.

Judgment reversed.

Hugh C Watson, for appellants.

The rule of law involved in this case is that a vendor of feed stuff sold for the purpose of being fed to the animals of the vendee is held to impliedly warrant the soundness and wholesomness of the articles so sold.

It will be kept in mind that the vendor in this case was a dealer and the vendee was a consumer. That this is not a case between dealers.

It is contended by the appellees that this rule is applicable when the articles sold are intended for consumption by man, but that there is no implied warranty where the grain is to be consumed by animals. We think that the sounder and more humane reasoning is with our contention, and we cite the following cases in point: Houk v. Berg, 105 S.W. (Tex.), 1176; French v. Vining, 3 Am. Rep. (Mass.) 440.

In Hauk v. Berg, the appellee bought the grain from the appellant, a grain dealer, who had purchased it from another, a milling company. Says the court: "The rule as between dealers is not the same as between dealer and consumer. It is the rule that where a dealer or ordinary trader sells goods for immedate consumption by the buyer, an implied warranty arises that the goods are wholesome and fit for food." This was a case where rotten food stuff had been sold by the vendor to the consumer and by the latter fed to his horse and mule which caused the death of the horse and the sickness of the mule. Held, that an action for damages against the vendor would lie.

French v. Vining was a case where hay, which had been accidently poisoned, was sold for cow feed. Says the court: "It is perfectly well settled that there is an implied warranty in reference to manufactured articles purchased for a particular use, which is made known to the vendor; that they are reasonably fit for the use for which they are purchased."

It was laid down firmly, early in the history of the law, that in contracts for provisions it is implied that they are wholesome, and that if they are not wholesome, an action on the case lies for deceit against the vendor. 3 Blackstone page 105.

Some of the leading cases on this subject in which the law is carefully reviewed are Tomlinson v. Armour & Co., 19 L. R. A. (N. S.) 923 (N. J.); McKibbins v. Box, 13 L. R. A. (N. S.) 646; Craft v. Parker, 21 L. R. A. 139 (Mich.); Darks v. Sudders-Gayles Gro. Co., 130 S.W. 434. The fact that the decisions of the courts on this subject were not ample to protect the public from the vendor of adulterated, unwholesome and unhealthy food, has necessitated federal and state legislation on this subject.

It seems to us that for the courts to apply this humane rule to protect dumb brutes and the owners thereof from the vendors of unwholesome, unhealthy and rotten food stuffs would be a salutary step that would be fraught with much good.

Shields & Boddie, for appellees.

The implied warranty as to food intended for human use is not extended to food stuff for animals. In the case of Lukens v. Friend, 27 Kan. 664, reported in 41 Am. Rep. 429, Judge Brewer, in delivering the opinion, says: "Upon what ground is an implied warranty rested in the case of the sale of provisions which does not exist in the case of sale of other articles? Obviously, it is not upon any property grounds, or because thereby the estate of either party is affected, but for reasons of public policy, for the preservation of life and health, the law deems it wise that he who engages in the business of selling provisions for domestic use should himself examine and know their fitness for such use, and be liable for a lack of such knowledge. One may not place poison where it is likely to be taken by one ignorant of its qualities. Regard for human life compells this. No more may he sell food unfit to be taken to a man who he knows is buying it to eat. The same reason controls, to-wit, regard for life and health. But this, it will be remembered, is an exception to the general rule of the common law, and the exception should not be extended beyond the reach of the reasons upon which it is based. If the preservation of human life and health be as we think it is, the foundation of this exception, then it should not be extended to cases in which human life and health are in no wise endangered. Now, the claim of the plaintiff is simply of a property loss, that his estate has been diminished, and that alone is his cause of action. His injury is similar to that which he would have sustained if he had purchased from a wagon maker a defective wheel, and thereby his wagon was broken down. No matter of health or life of himself or family is involved. We think, therefore, that no recovery can be had under the principles of this exception."

This doctrine has been approved in the following sases ...

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  • Butler v. State
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • October 12, 1936
    ... ... 1206, 22 L.R.A ... (N.S.) 959; Trono v. U.S. 4 Am. & Eng'. Ann ... Cas. 778; State of S. Carolina v. Gillis, 5 L.R.A ... (N.S.) 571; Jones v. State, 59 L.R.A. 1160; ... People v. Newman, 195 N.E. 645; People v ... Liddell, 187 N.E. 174; State v. Lewis, 160 So ... 485; State v ... ...
  • Friend v. Childs Dining Hall Co.
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    • September 11, 1918
    ...448, 83 Atl. 529;Race v. Krum, 222 N. Y. 410, 414,118 N. E. 853;Osgood v. Lewis, 2 Har. & G. (Md.) 495, 520, 18 Am. Dec. 317;Dulaney v. Jones, 100 Miss. 835-840, 57 South. 225;Parks v. C. C. Yost Pie Co., 93 Kan. 334-337,114 Pac. 202, L. R. A. 1915C, 179. See, however, Crigger v. Coca Cola ......
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    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
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