J. Ray Arnold Lumber Corporation of Olustee v. Richardson

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtDAVIS, J.
Citation141 So. 133,105 Fla. 204
PartiesJ. RAY ARNOLD LUMBER CORPORATION OF OLUSTEE v. RICHARDSON.
Decision Date19 April 1932

141 So. 133

105 Fla. 204

J. RAY ARNOLD LUMBER CORPORATION OF OLUSTEE
v.

RICHARDSON.

Florida Supreme Court, Division B.

April 19, 1932


Action by Willard Richardson, a minor, by V. A. Richardson, his next friend, against the J. Ray Arnold Lumber Corporation of Olustee. Judgment for plaintiff, and defendant brings error.

Affirmed on condition of remittitur.

BUFORD, C.J., and ELLIS, J., dissenting.

[105 Fla. 204]

COUNSEL

J. B. Hodges, of Lake City, Walter A. Dopson, of Macclenny, and McKay, Withers & Ramsey, of Tampa, for plaintiff in error.

W. B. Cone, of Macclenny, and Evan Evans, of Jacksonville, for defendant in error.

OPINION

DAVIS, J.

In this case the plaintiff, a minor, recovered judgment in the court below in the sum of $10,000. Upon writ of error, the defendant contends that no basis for legal recovery was shown by the pleadings and proofs, of that, if so shown, the judgment is grossly excessive.

The declaration was in one count, and was predicated upon section 5943, C. G. L., section 4020, R. G. S., which reads as follows:

'No child under fourteen years of age shall be employed, [105 Fla. 205] permitted or suffered to work in, about or in connection with any (1) mill, (2) factory, (3) workshop (4) mechanical establishment [141 So. 134] (5) laundry, (6) or on the stage of any theatre.'

It alleges in substance that the defendant, J. Ray Arnold Lumber Corporation, was engaged in operating a lumber mill in Baker County; that the plaintiff, Willard Richardson, was a child of the age of twelve years; that the defendant, notwithstanding the age of plaintiff, wrongfully and unlawfully employed, permitted or suffered plaintiff to work in, about, or in connection with, said defendant's said lumber mill, by reason whereof, at said time and place, and while the plaintiff was so employed by the defendant, and acting in the course of said employment, he was struck and injured by a log being handled by the defendant's log-skidding apparatus, the details and manner of the occurrence of the injury being set forth.

The cause was tried upon the theory that, if the defendant 'employed,' 'permitted,' or 'suffered' the plaintiff to work in the manner described, and the plaintiff received the injury complained of while at work, the defendant was guilty of negligence per se by its act of employing, permitting, or suffering the child to work in violation of the positive inhibition of the statute, and was consequently liable for the damages occasioned by the child's injury, regardless of the manner in which the injury came about. In other words, the position of the plaintiff is that the illegal employment, or permitting, or suffering to work is, in such case, to be regarded as the proximate cause of whatever injury occurs in the course of the work that the child is permitted or suffered to do, and that it is only essential to prove the illegal employment, or suffering to work, and its casual connection with an injury in the course of it, to establish a ground for recovery.

The violation of such a statute as section 5943, C. G. L., supra, has been universally held to give rise to a cause of [105 Fla. 206] action, because statutes for the protection of the lives and limbs of children are held to create a liability for damages due to their infraction whether provided for in so many words in the statute or not. Morris v. Stanfield, 81 Ill.App. 264; Koester v. Rochester Candy Works, 194 N.Y. 92, 87 N.E. 77, 19 L. R. A. (N. S.) 783, 16 Ann. Cas. 589; Leathers v. Blackwell Durham Tobacco Co., 144 N.C. 330, 57 S.E. 11, 9 L. R. A. (N. S.) 349; Norman v. Virginia-Pocahontas Coal Co., 68 W.Va. 405, 69 S.E. 857, 31 L. R. A. (N. S.) 504; Berdos v. Tremont & Suffolk Mills, 209 Mass. 489, 95 N.E. 876, Ann. Cas. 1912B, 797. See, also, Labotts's Master and Servant (2d. Ed.) vol. 5, p. 5885, par. 1899.

And such statutes, being to effectuate a humane purpose and intended for the progress of humanity, should be liberally construed. Cole v. Sloss-Sheffield Stee & Iron Co., 186 Ala. 192, 65 So. 177, Ann. Cas. 1916E, 99; DeSoto Coal Co. v. Hill, 179 Ala. 186, 60 So. 583; Nolan v. Moore, 81 Fla. 594, 88 So. 601. 'This is a statute which marks an epoch in the progress of humanity, and the courts should not get in its way or whittle it down, as courts have done in the past.' Lee v. Sterling Mfg. Co., 47 Misc. 182, 93 N.Y.S. 560, 563.

The statute was enacted in pursuance of a wise, humane, public policy to prohibit the parents of children under fourteen years of age from hiring them out to work not only in, about, but 'in connection with,' any mill, factory, workshop, mechanical establishment, laundry, or on the stage of any theater, and to make the observance of it effective by prohibiting the owners or operators of such places from employing children under age to work in, about, or in connection with, the named establishments.

In so enacting it, the Legislature not only took into account the likely hazardous nature of the work usually done in the prohibited places, but also exercised its power and duty to provide for the protection of the young children of the state from growing up in servility and ignorance, [105 Fla. 207] rendering them unfit to discharge the duties of citizenship. Not the least of the statutory objects was to prevent children from being deprived of educational advantages while...

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33 practice notes
  • Tampa Shipbuilding & Engineering v. Adams
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • April 14, 1938
    ...before it the statutes, supra, under which this action was brought in the case of J. Ray Arnold Lumber [132 Fla. 423] Corp. v. Richardson, 105 Fla. 204, text 205, 207, 141 So. 133, 134, when it was said: 'The cause was tried upon the theory that, if the defendant 'employed,' 'permitted,' or......
  • Hudson v. Weiland
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • May 8, 1942
    ...the physician or hospital, so as to impute liability therefor against the original tort-feasor. J. Ray Arnold Lumber Corp. v. Richardson [105 Fla. 204], 141 So. 133. This is the prevailing rule in the United States. See Note 8 A.L.R. 506.' It is well settled that where an injury is the prod......
  • Ideal Farms Drainage Dist. v. Certain Lands
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • May 9, 1944
    ...the public policy of a State or the general welfare should receive a liberal construction. See Arnold Lumber Corp. v. Richardson, 105 Fla. 204, 141 So. 133. Where two legislative Acts are repugnant to or in conflict with each other, the one last passed, being the latest expression of the Le......
  • Stuart v. Hertz Corp., 46553
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 28, 1977
    ...the treating physician. Page 707 This holding is in conformity with the rule announced in J. Ray Arnold Corporation, etc. v. Richardson, 105 Fla. 204, 141 So. 133 (1932), which reads as "Where one who has suffered personal injuries by reason of the negligence of another exercises reasonable......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
33 cases
  • Tampa Shipbuilding & Engineering v. Adams
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • April 14, 1938
    ...before it the statutes, supra, under which this action was brought in the case of J. Ray Arnold Lumber [132 Fla. 423] Corp. v. Richardson, 105 Fla. 204, text 205, 207, 141 So. 133, 134, when it was said: 'The cause was tried upon the theory that, if the defendant 'employed,' 'permitted,' or......
  • Hudson v. Weiland
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • May 8, 1942
    ...the physician or hospital, so as to impute liability therefor against the original tort-feasor. J. Ray Arnold Lumber Corp. v. Richardson [105 Fla. 204], 141 So. 133. This is the prevailing rule in the United States. See Note 8 A.L.R. 506.' It is well settled that where an injury is the prod......
  • Ideal Farms Drainage Dist. v. Certain Lands
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • May 9, 1944
    ...the public policy of a State or the general welfare should receive a liberal construction. See Arnold Lumber Corp. v. Richardson, 105 Fla. 204, 141 So. 133. Where two legislative Acts are repugnant to or in conflict with each other, the one last passed, being the latest expression of the Le......
  • Stuart v. Hertz Corp., 46553
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 28, 1977
    ...the treating physician. Page 707 This holding is in conformity with the rule announced in J. Ray Arnold Corporation, etc. v. Richardson, 105 Fla. 204, 141 So. 133 (1932), which reads as "Where one who has suffered personal injuries by reason of the negligence of another exercises reasonable......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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