Lomax v. City of Greenville, No. 16869

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtLEGGE; STUKES, TAYLOR and OXNER, JJ., and LITTLEJOHN
Citation82 S.E.2d 191,225 S.C. 289
PartiesLOMAX v. CITY OF GREENVILLE et al.
Decision Date13 May 1954
Docket NumberNo. 16869

Page 191

82 S.E.2d 191
225 S.C. 289
LOMAX

v.
CITY OF GREENVILLE et al.
No. 16869.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
May 13, 1954.

Page 192

[225 S.C. 291] James M. Richardson and J. Wiley Brown, Greenville, for appellant.

T. C. Callison, Atty. Gen., Julian L. Johnson, Asst. Atty. Gen., L. M. Cantrell, Columbia,[225 S.C. 292] for respondents.

LEGGE, Justice.

Appellant, an employee of the Police Department of the City of Greenville, was accidentally injured while carrying a message from a prisoner in the City jail to the prisoner's wife in a distant section of the City. His claim for compensation under the South Carolina Workmen's Compensation Law, Code 1952, Title 72, was allowed by the Hearing Commissioner, whose award was affirmed by the full Commission. The Circuit Court reversed the award upon the ground that the accident had not arisen out of and in the course of the employment; hence this appeal.

Page 193

Appellant is a negro, fifty-nine years of age, and at the time of the accident had been employed as janitor by the Police Department of the City of Greenville for approximately thirty years. Actually, his work included many duties not strictly those of a janitor, among them the running of errands and carrying of messages for prisoners.

J. H. Jennings, the Chief of Police, testified that the three lieutenants of police were in charge of the hiring and firing of janitors and had full and complete authority to direct their activities.

O. T. Lowe, the Lieutenant of Police under whom the appellant worked, testified in regard to appellant's duties as follows:

[225 S.C. 293] 'Well, he has got so many I will have to kind of omit some. I don't believe they should call him a janitor; they ought to have another name for him. His chief duties are to get the building clean, feed the prisoners, see that the prisoners are taken care of. See if there are any sick ones, if any hang themselves back there--if they do, he has to see about that. He has also been instructed down there, if it's nothing except a misdemeanor case--no investigation--if they want to send a message out, if they have no telephone, he has permission to make that trip; if they have a telephone, he has permission to bring them to do that. If I have time I go get them and bring them out and let them make a telephone call.'

To quote further from Lieutenant Lowe's testimony:

'Q. If he has a request by a prisoner to get food or drink or to notify somebody, has he authority to do that? A. Yes.

'Q. Who gave him that authority? A. I did.

'Q. On March 29th of this year so far as you are concerned as Lieutenant of Police, did this janitor, Chester Lomax, have authority, without saying anything to you, to go to the Green Line Section for the purpose of communicating with some person at the request of a prisoner? A. Yes, sir.'

On the day of the accident, appellant's hours of duty were from 3:00 p. m. to 11:00 p. m. About 6:00 p. m., after he had served the evening meal to the prisoners, one of them asked him to go to his home in the 'Green Line' section of the City and tell his wife to come and get him out of jail. It was while engaged in that mission that appellant was injured by being struck by an automobile.

Appellant testified that among the duties assigned to him, and which he had performed for many years, was the job of running errands for prisoners, within the limits prescribed by the Police Department. In some instances he would carry messages on foot; if the distance was great, he would ride the public trolley, as he did on the occasion of his injury. He [225 S.C. 294] testified that for such errands he made no charge; that sometimes he would be given a tip; but that such services were not contingent upon his receiving a tip, being part of his duty. In this particular instance, the prisoner had told him that he would give him a dollar when he got back.

Several other officials of the Greenville Police Department testified to the effect that it was the policy of that department to assist in every way possible persons held in custody, and that the janitors were under beneral orders to run errands for the prisoners, subject to certain limitations not pertinent to this case.

The respondents offered no testimony, and the Industrial Commission, in awarding compensation, held that the evidence showed that for many years it had been the practice and policy of the Greenville Police...

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3 practice notes
  • Hospitality Ass'n of South Carolina, Inc. v. County of Charleston, No. 24346
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 21 d3 Setembro d3 1994
    ...108 S.E.2d 825 (1959), overruled on other grounds, McCall v. Batson, 285 S.C. 243, 329 S.E.2d 741 (1985); Lomax v. City of Greenville, 225 S.C. 289, 82 S.E.2d 191 (1954); Marshall v. Rose, 213 S.C. 428, 49 S.E.2d 720 (1948); Southern Fruit Co., Inc. v. Porter, 188 S.C. 422, 199 S.E. 537 (19......
  • Sylvan v. Sylvan Bros., No. 16885
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 29 d2 Junho d2 1954
    ...regardless of whether or not the danger is common to the neighborhood. See the recent case of Lomax v. City of Greenville, S.C., 82 S.E.2d 191. When the instant case is considered in the light that the basic purpose of the Workmen's Compensation Act is the inclusion of employees and employe......
  • City of Charleston v. Jenkins, No. 18120
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 11 d1 Novembro d1 1963
    ...it, and (2) by the proviso that legislation thereunder shall not be inconsistent with the laws of the State. Lomax v. City of Greenville, 225 S.C. 289, 82 S.E.2d 191. Any and all ordinances enacted under Section[243 S.C. 209] 47-61 of the Code must be in the exercise of the police power thu......
3 cases
  • Hospitality Ass'n of South Carolina, Inc. v. County of Charleston, No. 24346
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 21 d3 Setembro d3 1994
    ...108 S.E.2d 825 (1959), overruled on other grounds, McCall v. Batson, 285 S.C. 243, 329 S.E.2d 741 (1985); Lomax v. City of Greenville, 225 S.C. 289, 82 S.E.2d 191 (1954); Marshall v. Rose, 213 S.C. 428, 49 S.E.2d 720 (1948); Southern Fruit Co., Inc. v. Porter, 188 S.C. 422, 199 S.E. 537 (19......
  • Sylvan v. Sylvan Bros., No. 16885
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 29 d2 Junho d2 1954
    ...regardless of whether or not the danger is common to the neighborhood. See the recent case of Lomax v. City of Greenville, S.C., 82 S.E.2d 191. When the instant case is considered in the light that the basic purpose of the Workmen's Compensation Act is the inclusion of employees and employe......
  • City of Charleston v. Jenkins, No. 18120
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 11 d1 Novembro d1 1963
    ...it, and (2) by the proviso that legislation thereunder shall not be inconsistent with the laws of the State. Lomax v. City of Greenville, 225 S.C. 289, 82 S.E.2d 191. Any and all ordinances enacted under Section[243 S.C. 209] 47-61 of the Code must be in the exercise of the police power thu......

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