Hutchison v. Southern Ry. Co., 9833.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Citation95 S.E. 181,109 S.C. 90
Docket Number9833.
Decision Date07 December 1917

95 S.E. 181

109 S.C. 90


No. 9833.

Supreme Court of South Carolina

December 7, 1917

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

Actions by Mrs. Kate J. Hutchison and Miss Kate J. Hutchison against the Southern Railway Company. Judgment for defendant, and plaintiffs appeal. Affirmed.

Gary, C.J., and Fraser, J., dissenting.

J. Harry Foster, of Rock Hill, for appellants.

McDonald & McDonald, of Winnsboro, for respondent.


These actions were brought to recover damages alleged to have been caused by incorrect information given to plaintiffs by defendant's agent at Rock Hill, S. C., with regard to [109 S.C. 93] their right to through transportation, without change of cars, from Rock Hill to Auburn, Ala.

Plaintiffs allege that on October 21, 1915, they purchased from defendant's agent at Rock Hill through tickets from Rock Hill to Auburn, Ala.; that the agent told them to go to Charlotte and take train No. 37, which is known as the New York, Atlanta & New Orleans, Limited, and they would be carried through to Auburn, without another change of cars; that they followed his directions, and, when the train was approaching Atlanta, the conductor asked them to go forward and take seats in another car, as the one they were in would be dropped at Atlanta, thereby further misleading them into the belief that they would be carried on to Auburn in the forward car, as he knew their tickets were for Auburn; that, after the train left Atlanta, another conductor came through to take up tickets, and, when he saw their tickets, told them the train was not scheduled to stop at Auburn, and that he would not stop there; that he was obdurate, rude in manner and speech, and would give them no opportunity to explain their situation to him, and they were compelled by the circumstances to get off at Opelika, Ala., a station seven miles this side of Auburn, at which the train was scheduled to stop, and drive through the country in an automobile to Auburn; that the train arrived at Opelika about 10 o'clock at night; it was raining and the weather was very inclement, and their experience was most unpleasant and disagreeable, on account of the inclemency of the weather and the drive through the country at night without an escort.

Defendant denied misdirection of plaintiffs by its agents, and alleged that they had been informed that No. 37 was not scheduled to stop at Auburn, and, in view of that information, they intended to get off at Opelika, and had made arrangements for a relative to meet them there and take them to Auburn. Defendant also claimed immunity from liability under the terms of the contract of carriage, alleging [109 S.C. 94] that the tariff under which the tickets were sold was a through route and joint rate tariff that had been established over the lines of defendant and other carriers, and that by the terms of the contract, which was printed on the tickets, plaintiffs agreed that, in selling the tickets over other lines, defendant acted only as agent for such lines, and agreed that its own responsibility should end with its own line, and that its line ended at Atlanta; and, further, that the tariff under which the tickets were sold had been duly filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission and published, and that it showed that the train was not scheduled to stop at Auburn.

The cases were heard together on circuit and in this court. After hearing all the evidence, the circuit court directed verdicts for defendant, and from judgments thereon, plaintiffs appealed.

Considered in its most favorable light for plaintiffs, as it must be on an issue as to the right of the court to direct verdicts for [95 S.E. 182] defendant, there was evidence tending to prove that defendant's Rock Hill agent told plaintiffs that they could go through to Auburn on 37 without changing cars after leaving Charlotte, although that was denied by the agent.

But the inference which plaintiffs would have drawn from the fact that defendant's conductor asked them to take seats in another car, because the car they...

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1 cases
  • State v. Hewitt, 9863.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • January 19, 1918
    ...The defendant being sentenced under the act more favorable to him, there is no question but that his honor had jurisdiction to impose [109 S.C. 90] the sentence he did. The rule in such cases is fully set out in the opinion of Mr. Justice Gary (now Chief Justice) in the case of State v. Man......

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