Gunn v. City of Jacksonville

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtWHITFIELD, J.
Citation67 Fla. 40,64 So. 435
Decision Date27 January 1914
PartiesGUNN v. CITY OF JACKSONVILLE.

64 So. 435

67 Fla. 40

GUNN
v.
CITY OF JACKSONVILLE.

Florida Supreme Court

January 27, 1914


Error to Circuit Court, Duval County; R. M. Call, Judge.

Action for personal injuries by Edward O. Gunn against the City of Jacksonville. Judgment for defendant on directed verdict, and plaintiff brings error. Reversed.

Syllabus by the Court

SYLLABUS

The considerations and legal principles that guide the judicial discretion in directing a verdict and in granting a new trial on the evidence are not the same.

In directing a verdict, the court is governed practically by the same rules that are applicable in demurrers to evidence.

A party in moving for a directed verdict admits, not only the facts stated in the evidence adduced, but also admits every conclusion favorable to the adverse party that a jury might fairly and reasonably infer from the evidence.

Where on the evidence adduced there is room for a difference of opinion between reasonable men as to the existence of facts from which an ultimate fact is sought to be established, or where there is room for such differences as to the inferences which might be drawn from conceded facts, the court should submit the case to the jury for their finding, as it is their conclusion, in such cases, that should prevail, and not primarily the views of the judge.

The duty devolving upon the court in reference to directing a verdict on the evidence may become, in many cases, one of delicacy, and it should be cautiously exercised.

Electricity is an invisible force, highly dangerous in its use, and those who employ others where electricity or other dangerous agencies are used should exercise such care for the safety of the employés as is commensurate with the dangers involved and the competency of the employés.

Where there is substantial evidence upon which a finding and judgment may lawfully be for one party, a judgment entered on a directed verdict for the other party may be reversed.

COUNSEL [64 So. 435] [67 Fla. 41] Alex. St. Clair-Abrams, of Jacksonville, for plaintiff in error.

P. H. Odom, of Jacksonville, for defendant in error.

OPINION

WHITFIELD, J.

In eight counts using varying language the declaration alleges that the city owned, controlled, managed, and operated an electric plant located in a certain building in said city; that Gunn was in the employ of the city in said building to work in and about said electric light plant; that while Gunn was engaged in performing his duties in said electric light plant at night, by reason of the carelessness and negligence of the defendant, under stated circumstances, in leaving the ends of its wires without insulation, and said wires being charged with electricity, the plaintiff, Gunn, received an electric shock which injured him. The case was tried on issues of not guilty, of contributory negligence, and of assumed risk. There was also a special plea, averring the machinery was purchased from a reputable manufacturer, and was of the newest and best type of machinery for the purpose; but this special plea was apparently not utilized in the trial, and it may well be eliminated as not essential to a proper determination of the negligence alleged. Upon the conclusion of the plaintiff's testimony, the court directed a verdict for the defendant, and a writ of error was taken by the plaintiff to the judgment entered on such directed verdict. The burden of proving the negligence alleged was upon the plaintiff, and the burden of proving the matters set up [67 Fla. 42] in avoidance of liability was upon the defendant. If the specially pleaded defensive matters sufficiently appear in the evidence adduced by the plaintiff, the defendant may have the benefit thereof in appropriate proceedings.

It is contended that the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
52 practice notes
  • City of Hollywood v. Bair
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • October 31, 1938
    ...v. Pelot, 62 Fla. 121, 56 So. 496. See also King v. Cooney-Eckstein Co., 66 Fla. 246, 63 So. 659, Ann.Cas.1916C, 163; Gunn v. Jacksonville, 67 Fla. 40, 64 So. 435; Davis v. Ivey, 93 Fla. 387, 112 So. 264; Florida East Coast R. Co. v. Hayes, 66 Fla. 589, 64 So. 274; Jacksonville v. Glover, 6......
  • Stalnaker v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 28, 1938
    ...Co. v. Pelot, 62 Fla. 121, 56 So. 496. See King v. Cooney-Eckstein Co., 66 Fla. 246, 63 So. 659, Ann.Cas.1916C, 163; Gunn v. Jacksonville, 67 Fla. 40, 64 So. 435; Davis v. Ivey, 93 Fla. 387, 112 So. 264; Florida East Coast R. Co. v. Hayes, 66 Fla. 589, 64 So. 274; Jacksonville v. Glover, 69......
  • Tampa Shipbuilding & Engineering v. Adams
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • April 14, 1938
    ...Co. v. Pelot, 62 Fla. 121, 56 So. 496. See King v. Cooney-Eckstein Co., 66 Fla. 246, 63 So. 659, Ann.Cas.1916C, 163; Gunn v. Jacksonville, 67 Fla. 40, 64 So. 435; Davis v. Ivey, 93 Fla. 387, 112 So. 264; Florida East Coast R. Co. v. Hayes, 66 Fla. 589, 64 So. 274; Jacksonville v. Glover, 69......
  • Florida East Coast Ry. Co. v. Thompson
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • January 18, 1927
    ...in granting a new trial on the evidence are not the same. F. E. C. Ry. Co. v. Hayes, 66 Fla. 589, 64 So. 274; Gunn v. City of Jacksonville, 67 Fla. 40, 64 So. 435; Gravette v. Turner, 77 Fla. 311, 81 So. 476. We have carefully read and considered all the evidence presented by this record, a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
52 cases
  • City of Hollywood v. Bair
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • October 31, 1938
    ...v. Pelot, 62 Fla. 121, 56 So. 496. See also King v. Cooney-Eckstein Co., 66 Fla. 246, 63 So. 659, Ann.Cas.1916C, 163; Gunn v. Jacksonville, 67 Fla. 40, 64 So. 435; Davis v. Ivey, 93 Fla. 387, 112 So. 264; Florida East Coast R. Co. v. Hayes, 66 Fla. 589, 64 So. 274; Jacksonville v. Glover, 6......
  • Stalnaker v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 28, 1938
    ...Co. v. Pelot, 62 Fla. 121, 56 So. 496. See King v. Cooney-Eckstein Co., 66 Fla. 246, 63 So. 659, Ann.Cas.1916C, 163; Gunn v. Jacksonville, 67 Fla. 40, 64 So. 435; Davis v. Ivey, 93 Fla. 387, 112 So. 264; Florida East Coast R. Co. v. Hayes, 66 Fla. 589, 64 So. 274; Jacksonville v. Glover, 69......
  • Tampa Shipbuilding & Engineering v. Adams
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • April 14, 1938
    ...Co. v. Pelot, 62 Fla. 121, 56 So. 496. See King v. Cooney-Eckstein Co., 66 Fla. 246, 63 So. 659, Ann.Cas.1916C, 163; Gunn v. Jacksonville, 67 Fla. 40, 64 So. 435; Davis v. Ivey, 93 Fla. 387, 112 So. 264; Florida East Coast R. Co. v. Hayes, 66 Fla. 589, 64 So. 274; Jacksonville v. Glover, 69......
  • Florida East Coast Ry. Co. v. Thompson
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • January 18, 1927
    ...in granting a new trial on the evidence are not the same. F. E. C. Ry. Co. v. Hayes, 66 Fla. 589, 64 So. 274; Gunn v. City of Jacksonville, 67 Fla. 40, 64 So. 435; Gravette v. Turner, 77 Fla. 311, 81 So. 476. We have carefully read and considered all the evidence presented by this record, a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT