McIntire v. Cudahy Packing Co.

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Citation60 So. 848,179 Ala. 404
Decision Date23 January 1913

Appeal from City Court of Birmingham; Charles W. Ferguson, Judge.

Action by William G. McIntire against the Cudahy Packing Company. Judgment for defendant, and plaintiff appeals. Affirmed.

The appeal is on the record, and the wrong sought to be set out in each count is substantially as follows: That the defendant was a wholesale dealer in meat; Tanner Bros. were retail dealers in meat, and had in its employment the plaintiff William G. McIntire. The defendant presented to Tanner Bros. a bill for meat, and a dispute arose between them as to the correction of certain items. Tanner Bros. denying that it had received certain articles charged in the bill, and to prove that those articles were delivered to Tanner Bros., defendant is alleged to have forged the signature of the plaintiff William G. McIntire, to a receipt for the articles in dispute, and to have presented it to Tanner Bros.; it being alleged that neither Tanner Bros. nor the plaintiff ever received those articles set out in the receipt, and that this defendant knew it. The dray receipt was alleged to be in the following words: "Birmingham, Ala., November 5, 1909. Tanner Brothers, received of Cudahy Packing Company (giving the names of the various places of business) sales ticket No 701: Six D. P. Loins, $5.85; 1 D. Ribs, $5.25; 3 Livers $1.21. Total $12.31. O. K. Mc." And it is alleged that the letters, "O. K. Mc.," were intended to mean that the goods mentioned in said dray ticket were received by this plaintiff. And it is alleged that defendant maliciously and falsely charged plaintiff with embezzlement by speaking of and concerning him, in the presence of divers persons, in substance as follows: McIntire received and receipted for the goods mentioned in the dray receipt or writing. The demurrers raise the point that no libelous matter is contained in the receipt, and that the count fails to state a cause of action. Certain other counts charge the statement above set out to have been made by the agents, servants, or employés of the defendant, and the demurrers raise the point that no ratification is shown, and that the matters spoken of were not libelous or slanderous per se, and that no innuendo is alleged showing how they could be slandered. The demurrers were sustained, and plaintiff appeals.

Allen & Bell, of Birmingham, for appellant.

Tillman, Bradley & Morrow and L. C. Leadbeater, all of Birmingham, for appellee.


The complaint contained 9 counts, many of which were added by amendment. Counts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 set up either the publication of the receipt in connection with words spoken as constituting a libel, or charge slander in the speaking of words in connection with the receipt. The written matter is not libelous per se, as the paper contains the most complete and innocent language. The language spoken, even though slanderous, does not import the essential of libel into said receipt, as the said language is not a charge as to the meaning of the receipt, but is independent language in connection with the said receipt.

It is well settled in this jurisdiction, as well as others, that a corporation cannot commit slander, and can only become liable for the utterances of its agents by expressly authorizing the slanderous utterance, or by approving or ratifying the...

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15 cases
  • Vowles v. Yakish, 32668.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • October 4, 1920
    ...919;Duquesne Dist. Co. v. Greenbaum, 135 Ky. 182, 121 S. W. 1026, 24 L. R. A. (N. S.) 955, 21 Ann. Cas. 481;McIntyre v. Cudahy Pkg. Co., 179 Ala. 404, 60 South. 848;Flaherty v. Maxwell Motor Co., 187 Mich. 62, 153 N. W. 45;Singer Mfg. Co. v. Taylor, 150 Ala. 574, 43 South. 210, 9 L. R. A. (......
  • Vowles v. Yakish, 32668
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • October 4, 1920
    ...495 (69 S.E. 919); Duquesne Dist. Co. v. Greenbaum, 135 Ky. 182 (24 L. R. A. [N. S.] 955, 121 S.W. 1026); McIntyre v. Cudahy Pkg. Co., 179 Ala. 404 (60 So. 848); Flaherty v. Maxwell Motor Co., 187 Mich. 62 (153 N.W. 45); Singer Mfg. Co. v. Taylor, 150 Ala. 574 (43 So. 210). The agency of th......
  • Southern Ice Co. v. Black
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • December 2, 1916
    ...(2d Ed.) 1059; Sawyer v. Norfolk & W. R. Co., 142 N.C. 1, 54 S.E. 793, 115 Am. St. Rep. 716, 9 Ann. Cas. 440; McIntyre v. Cudahy P. Co., 179 Ala. 404, 60 So. 848; Duquesne Dist. Co. v. Greenbaum, 135 Ky. 182, 121 S.W. 1026, 24 L. R. A. (N. S.) 955, 21 Ann. Cas. 481; Kane v. Boston Mut. Life......
  • Roemer v. Jacob Schmidt Brewing Co., 19592[39].
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • April 28, 1916
    ...of a slander by such agent, unless it expressly authorized or ratified the defamatory utterance. See McIntyre v. Cudahy Packing Co., 179 Ala. 404,60 South. 848;Lindsey v. St. L., I. M. & S. Ry. Co., 95 Ark. 534, 129 S. W. 807;Southern Railway Company v. Chambers, 126 Ga. 404, 55 S. E. 37,7 ......
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