McGee v. Charles F. Smith & Sons, Inc.

Decision Date12 April 1978
Docket NumberNo. 50103,50103
Citation357 So.2d 930
PartiesMichael O'Ryan McGEE v. CHARLES F. SMITH & SONS, INC.
CourtMississippi Supreme Court

Tighe & Tighe, B. Stirling Tighe, Jackson, for appellant.

Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens & Cannada, Richard L. Forman, Jackson, for appellee.

En Banc.

SUGG, Justice, for the court:

This is an appeal of a personal injury action brought by Michael O'Ryan McGee from a judgment of the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County finding in favor of the defendant, Charles F. Smith & Sons, Inc. We affirm.

On the night of August 15, 1974 McGee, with several other young people, was a passenger in a jeep vehicle traveling along the levee which begins at the east end of Fortification Street in Jackson, Mississippi, parallels the Pearl River, and turns west terminating at the City of Jackson maintenance shop on South Jefferson Street. There was a "road closed" sign at the beginning of the levee and several other "posted" or "no trespassing" signs along the route the jeep traveled. McGee and the jeep's occupants were unaware that an excavation had been made through the levee road by Smith who was constructing a sewer line pursuant to a contract with the City of Jackson. The excavation was on City property and through a levee easement granted by the City to a levee district. McGee and the others drove off into a ten foot deep chasm created by the excavation. McGee was thrown from the open vehicle and suffered serious personal injuries when the jeep landed on top of him.

Before the trial McGee made a motion to suppress evidence in anticipation of Smith's defense that McGee was a trespasser at the time of the accident to whom a reduced duty of care was owed. The basis of the motion was that Smith, as one being under contract with the City to lay a sewer line, could not raise the defense that McGee was a trespasser on the City property. The trial court overruled the motion and permitted evidence going to the defense together with instructions charging the jury with reference thereto.

On appeal the sole issue of law presented is whether Smith was entitled to raise the defense that McGee was a trespasser on property where Smith was installing a sewer line under contract with the City.

McGee maintains that White v. Mississippi Power & Light Co., 196 So.2d 343 (Miss.1967), is controlling. In White we held that "an electric company is not relieved of liability to persons injured by...

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3 cases
  • Hughes v. Star Homes, Inc.
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • 16 Enero 1980
    ...So.2d 456 (1960). A landowner owes a trespasser the duty to refrain from willfully or wantonly injuring him. McGee v. Charles F. Smith & Sons, Inc., 357 So.2d 930 (Miss.1978); Ausmer v. Sliman, 336 So.2d 730 (Miss.1976); Langford v. Mercurio, 254 Miss. 788, 183 So.2d 150 (1966); Kelley v. S......
  • Maxwell v. Illinois Central Gulf R.R.
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • 16 Septiembre 1987
    ...to trespassers, that is, to refrain from wilfully, wantonly, or grossly negligently injuring the trespasser. McGee v. Charles F. Smith & Sons, Inc., 357 So.2d 930, 931 (Miss.1978); Illinois Central Gulf Railroad Co. v. Ishee, 317 So.2d 923, 924-26 (Miss.1975). Once the trespasser was in fac......
  • Adams By and Through Adams v. Fred's Dollar Store of Batesville
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • 15 Octubre 1986
    ...So.2d 456 (1960). A landowner owes a trespasser the duty to refrain from willfully or wantonly injuring him. McGee v. Charles F. Smith & Sons, Inc., 357 So.2d 930 (Miss. 1978); Ausmer v. Sliman, 336 So.2d 730 (Miss. 1976); Langford v. Mercurio, 254 Miss. 788, 183 So.2d 150 (1966); Kelly v. ......

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