Hollinshed v. Yazoo & M.V.R. Co., 14,802

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Writing for the CourtANDERSON, J.
Citation99 Miss. 464,55 So. 40
PartiesWILL HOLLINGSHED v. YAZOO & MISSISSIPPI VALLEY RAILROAD COMPANY
Decision Date22 May 1911
Docket Number14,802

55 So. 40

99 Miss. 464

WILL HOLLINGSHED
v.

YAZOO & MISSISSIPPI VALLEY RAILROAD COMPANY

No. 14,802

Supreme Court of Mississippi

May 22, 1911


APPEAL from the circuit court of Quitman county, HON. SAM C. COOK, Judge.

Suit by Will Hollingshed against the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Company. From a judgment for a small amount for the plaintiff, he appeals.

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

Reversed and remanded.

W. F. Gee and T. E. Williams, for appellant.

In this case there can be no question of contributory negligence for the proof is all one way that plaintiff below was in the camp cars on the spur track by the authority of the defendant and had been placed in that situation by the employes of defendant.

By the third, fourth and fifth instructions given for defendant, the court lays down the rule that before the plaintiff can recover it must appear from the evidence that the defendant was guilty of reckless misconduct, intentional wrong or gross negligence. These three instructions are in direct conflict with instruction No. 8 given for defendant and instruction No. 2 given for plaintiff wherein the court lays down the rule that plaintiff is entitled to recover if the defendant was guilty of lack of ordinary care and caution.

These instructions being in direct conflict left the jury no guide by which to arrive at a correct verdict and this is reversible error. 11 Ency. Plead. & Prac., p. 145; Whitfield v. Westbrook, 40 Miss. 311; Railroad Co. v. Miller, 40 Miss. 45; Cunningham v. State, 56 Miss. 269; Railroad Co. v. Kendrick, 40 Miss. 374; Herndon v. Henderson, 41 Miss. 584; Solomon v. Compress Co., 69 Miss. 319.

Instruction No. 8 given for defendant is clearly erroneous because by it the jury is limited in the verdict it may render to fifty dollars for wages lost and twenty-seven dollars for medical attention and informed that it could not, in any event render a verdict in excess of this amount which was seventy-seven dollars. In giving this instruction the court evidently proceeded on the idea that as the declaration only alleged a loss of fifty dollars for lost time, the recovery could not be in excess of this sum. This was error. The mere fact that the plaintiff undertakes to enumerate some portion of his general damage which he might have proved without alleging will not preclude him from proving other general damage. 5 Ency. Plead. and Practice, p. 719.

Acting under this instruction the jury could not allow for physical suffering which they might have allowed under the pleading and proof, but which they did not take into consideration as may be seen from the evidence. Plaintiff proved by his testimony that his medical bill was twenty-seven dollars and that he had lost wages amounting to one hundred and twelve dollars and fifty cents, being two and one half months at forty-five dollars per month. The verdict of the jury was for one hundred thirty-nine dollars and fifty cents, the exact amount the plaintiff testified he had lost in wages and in medical bills which clearly indicates that the jury followed the sixth instruction and did not allow for physical suffering. This instruction was erroneous. 13 Cyc., pages 185 and 186; Railroad Co. v. Ragsdale, 46 Miss. 458; Ency. Pleading and Practice, p. 717, vol. 5.

Defendant's instructions Nos. 4 and 5 should have been given by the court. The trial court evidently proceeded on the theory that as the declaration alleged gross negligence and proceeded on the theory of punitive damages, there could be no recovery of actual damages gross negligence should be shown. The case of Silver v. Kent, 60 Miss. 124, holds that under a declaration framed on the theory of gross negligence and punitive damages only, all actual damages may be recovered in case gross negligence is shown. 60 Miss. 124; Telegraph Co. v. Jackson, 49 So. 737.

Under the rule in this state where the declaration alleges mere negligence and damages are claimed without asking for punitive damages, yet the character of such negligence as gross may be shown and punitive damages recovered. Express Co. v. Brown, 67 Miss. 260.

If a plaintiff in his declaration may allege mere negligence and ask for damages generally, without asking for punitive damages, as he may do under the authority of Express Co. v. Brown, and yet recover punitive damages where warranted by the proof, then surely he may allege gross negligence and ask for punitive damages in his declaration, as well as actual damages, as in this case, and where warranted by the proof recover actual damages although he may not be entitled to punitive damages.

The court erred in refusing the 4th instruction asked by plaintiff. This instruction announced that mere negligence and carelessness on the part of defendant would justify the jury in giving plaintiff actual damages.

It is clearly proven that plaintiff was lawfully in the camp cars by permission of the defendant, with its knowledge, and that the crew in charge of the local knew of the position and situation of plaintiff, and there is no question in the case of contributory negligence. Under these circumstances the conductor in charge of the local freight was bound to use great care and to notify plaintiff of the intention to switch. Elliott on Railroads, 1265, b, and 1265, c.

The verdict should be set aside because it is contrary to the evidence. The uncontradicted proof of plaintiff and Dr. Marshall showed plaintiff suffered great physical pain; and yet the jury only awarded plaintiff one hundred thirty-nine dollars and fifty cents, the exact amount plaintiff testified he lost in wages and medical attention, thus showing that the jury ignored the third instruction given for plaintiff and did not consider any damages arising from physical suffering. 13 Cyc., p. 185 and 186; Railroad Co. v. Ragsdale, 46 Miss. 458; Ency. Pl. & Prac., p., 717, vol. 5.

W. A. Scott, for appellee.

It does not appear that manifest harm or prejudice or wrong was done this appellant by the granting or refusing of any of the instructions complained of, and unless it does so appear, the rule of this court is not to disturb the verdict of the jury.

"Where a circuit judge is called upon in the excitement of a nisi prius trial to give a great number of instructions, this court is loath to reverse a case because of error in some of them, unless it be manifest that prejudice has been done the accused." Pollard v. State, 53 Miss. 410.

"Error in refusing an instruction will not cause a reversal if the verdict is supported by the evidence." Railroad Co. v. Field, 46 Miss. 573.

After this court shall have read the evidence adduced in the court below I cannot believe there is any possibility of a reversal of this case, for, if the object of the courts is to dispense justice between parties litigant, it manifestly and undeniably appears in this case that this appellant succeeded in wresting from a jury a verdict for an amount largely in excess of what he was entitled to.

Nevertheless it is insisted by adverse counsel that reversible error was...

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10 practice notes
  • Curry & Turner Const. Co., Inc. v. Bryan, 33436
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • 2 Enero 1939
    ...proper elements of damage. We submit the following authorities to controvert that view, to-wit: Hollenshed v. Yazoo-Miss. Valley R. Co., 55 So. 40; Pan-American Petroleum Corp. v. Pate, 138 So. 349; Chicago Rock Island Great Ry. Co. v. Steele, 264 S.W. 503; York v. Stokes, 129 So. 226; U.S.......
  • Alabama & Alabama & Vicksburg Railway Co. v. Thornhill, 16,216
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • 22 Diciembre 1913
    ...and settled proposition. Beginning with the Phillip's case, 64 Miss. 693, down to Hollingshed v. Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad, 55 So. 40 and 41, a practically unbroken line of authorities so hold. This court has said again and again that where all the facts and circumstances are in e......
  • Columbus & Greenville R. Co. v. Lee, 26535
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • 27 Febrero 1928
    ...with the following prior cases: R. R. Co. v. Phillips, 64 Miss. 693; R. R. Co. v. Murray, 91 Miss. 546; Hollingshed v. R. R. Co., 99 Miss. 464; R. R. Co. v. Thornhill, 106 Miss. 387; R. R. Co. v. Knight, 138 Miss. 621; and R. R. Co. v. Hudson, 142 Miss 542, the brief of counsel for appellee......
  • New Orleans & G. N. R. Co. v. Walden, 28713
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • 23 Marzo 1931
    ...applied therein and thereto when there was conflict in the evidence as to how the injury occurred. In Hollingshed v. Yazoo & M. V. R. Co., 99 Miss. 464, 55 So. 40, 41, Judge ANDERSON, as the organ of the court, used this language: "By instruction No. 5, refused by the court, the appellant s......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • Curry & Turner Const. Co., Inc. v. Bryan, 33436
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • 2 Enero 1939
    ...proper elements of damage. We submit the following authorities to controvert that view, to-wit: Hollenshed v. Yazoo-Miss. Valley R. Co., 55 So. 40; Pan-American Petroleum Corp. v. Pate, 138 So. 349; Chicago Rock Island Great Ry. Co. v. Steele, 264 S.W. 503; York v. Stokes, 129 So. 226; U.S.......
  • Alabama & Alabama & Vicksburg Railway Co. v. Thornhill, 16,216
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • 22 Diciembre 1913
    ...and settled proposition. Beginning with the Phillip's case, 64 Miss. 693, down to Hollingshed v. Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad, 55 So. 40 and 41, a practically unbroken line of authorities so hold. This court has said again and again that where all the facts and circumstances are in e......
  • Columbus & Greenville R. Co. v. Lee, 26535
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • 27 Febrero 1928
    ...with the following prior cases: R. R. Co. v. Phillips, 64 Miss. 693; R. R. Co. v. Murray, 91 Miss. 546; Hollingshed v. R. R. Co., 99 Miss. 464; R. R. Co. v. Thornhill, 106 Miss. 387; R. R. Co. v. Knight, 138 Miss. 621; and R. R. Co. v. Hudson, 142 Miss 542, the brief of counsel for appellee......
  • New Orleans & G. N. R. Co. v. Walden, 28713
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • 23 Marzo 1931
    ...applied therein and thereto when there was conflict in the evidence as to how the injury occurred. In Hollingshed v. Yazoo & M. V. R. Co., 99 Miss. 464, 55 So. 40, 41, Judge ANDERSON, as the organ of the court, used this language: "By instruction No. 5, refused by the court, the appellant s......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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