Farmers' Mercantile Co v. Seabd. Air Line Ry

Citation102 S.C. 348,86 S.E. 678
Decision Date21 October 1915
Docket Number(No. 9219.)
PartiesFARMERS' MERCANTILE CO. et al. v. SEABOARD AIR LINE RY.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina

Appeal from Common Pleas Circuit Court of Bamberg County; T. J. Mauldin, Judge.

Action by the Farmers' Mercantile Company and others against the Seaboard Air Line Railway. From an order of nonsuit, the plaintiffs the Continental Insurance Company and another appeal, and from a judgment in favor of defendant, the plaintiff the Girard Fire & Marine Insurance Company appeals. Reversed and remanded.

W. Anderson Olarkson and James H. Fowles, both of Columbia, for appellants.

Lyles & Lyles, of Columbia, and Harley & Best, of Barnwell, for respondent.

GAGE, J. The appeal is by three insurance companies from an order of nonsuit as to two, and from a judgment entered on a jury's verdict as to one.

The Farmers' Mercantile Company had a storehouse at Olar, a station on the defendant's road. The goods therein were alleged to be worth $6,500, or more. They were alleged to be insured against loss by fire in the three plaintiff insurance companies for an aggregate sum of $4,000. They were alleged to have been totally destroyed by a fire set out by the defendants' locomotive engine.

The insurance companies paid the total loss of $4,000 which they had underwritten to the Farmers' Company, but its loss was yet unsatisfied by $2,500. The policies of insurance contained the customary clauses by which the companies became upon payment of the policies subrogated to the rights of the insured against the wrongdoer.

The Farmers' Company sued for the entire loss of $6,500, and the insurance companies were joined as plaintiffs by reason of their having paid $4,000 of the entire loss, for which they were secondarily liable; and such joinder was conceded proper. The Ætna and the Girard Companies were nonsuited. The Continental got no mention by name in the verdict. The verdict was "for the Farmers' Mercantile Company the sum of $2,500." Soon after the verdict rendered the defendant paid the full recovery of $2,500 to the Farmers' Company, and the judgment was marked satisfied. So that the apparent outcome of the action is the settlement by the defendant of a proven $6,500 liability for $2,500. It was frankly admitted at the bar by counsel for the respondent that the recovery of $2,500 was only for the surplus loss over the amount of insurance. And the same counsel did not deny that the Ætna and the Girard Companies may yet sue for subrogation, but not the Continental.

A result like that reached by the court and jury ought not to be sustained, except of necessity; nor ought the insurance companies be put to another action, if they had a right to sue in this action, and that right was also frankly conceded. Had all the allegations of the complaint been proven, by the testimony which was excluded and by that which was admitted, the verdict should have been:

                ---------------------------------------
                |For the AEtna    |$2,000.00          |
                |-----------------|-------------------|
                |" the Girard     |1, 000.00          |
                |-----------------|-------------------|
                |" the Continental|1, 000.00          |
                |-----------------|-------------------|
                |" the Farmers' Co|2, 500.00 $6,500.00|
                ---------------------------------------
                

But the Ætna and the Girard were nonsuited, the Continental was ignored in the verdict, while the Farmers' Company got the surplus it was entitled to have. The Farmers' Company is now out of the case by the defendant's action, and the insurance companies are the sole complainants. The...

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12 cases
  • Northwestern Ohio Natural Gas Co. v. First Congregational Church of Toledo, 23445.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • February 1, 1933
    ......Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham R. Co., 170 Ala. 635, 54 So. 62;Farmers' Mercantile Co. v. Seaboard Air Line Ry., 102 S. C. 348, 86 S. E. 678. ......
  • Ridgeland Box Mfg. Co. v. Sinclair Refining Co., 1996.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • January 26, 1949
    ......Supp. 277 property is assignable. Bultman v. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co., 103 S.C. 512, 88 S.E. 279; Evans v. Watkins, 112 S.C. 419, 100 ...408, 19 S.E. 858, 44 Am.St.Rep. 725, and by the case of Farmers" Mercantile Co. v. Seaboard Air Line Rwy. Co. 102 S.C. 348, 86 S.E. 678.  \xC2"......
  • Natural Gas Co. v. Church
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • February 1, 1933
    ...... Rd. Co., 170 Ala. 635, 54 So. 62; Farmers Mercantile Co. v. Seaboard Air Line Ry., 102 S.C. 348, 86 S. E., 678. . ......
  • Wilson v. G. A. Stowers Furniture Co.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • July 5, 1927
    ......(N. S.) 870; Perkins v. Terrell (Tex. Civ. App.) 214 S. W. 551; Farmers' Merchantile Co. v. Seaboard Air Line Ry., 102 S. C. 348, 86 S. E. 678; ......
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