Meador v. Hotel Grover, 34980.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Citation193 Miss. 392,9 So.2d 782
Decision Date05 October 1942
Docket Number34980.
PartiesMEADOR v. HOTEL GROVER et al.

9 So.2d 782

193 Miss. 392

MEADOR
v.
HOTEL GROVER et al.

No. 34980.

Supreme Court of Mississippi

October 5, 1942


[9 So.2d 783]

Dugas Shands, of Cleveland, Sillers & Roberts, of Rosedale, and Alfred A. Levingston, of Cleveland, for appellant.

Wynn, Hafter & Lake, of Greenville, and Roberts & Smith and W. D. Jones, all of Cleveland, for appellee.

ALEXANDER, Justice.

The declaration is in three counts. The first count alleges that plaintiff's decedent suffered fatal injuries on account of the negligence of the hotel company in maintaining a defective and dangerous elevator for the use of its guests and invitees. The allegation in this connection is as follows: "that the elevator and appurtenances thereto did not conform with the modern standards and requirements of safety and security for passengers required to use its facilities; that the defendant negligently allowed the spaces or openings to exist as aforesaid between the bottom south side of the elevator cage and the south side of the shaft and door openings at the respective floors; that the defendant failed to provide, as good prudence, sound judgment, and reasonable care for the safety of passengers on the elevator would dictate, an inner door on the cage of the elevator to protect the passengers from the obvious and patent danger of coming into contact with the wall of the shaft or the doors cut therein at the respective landings when said elevator was moving in an upward or downward course; that the defendant failed to provide the proper guards to prevent passengers on the said elevator from being caught in the said opening and spaces as aforesaid; that the defendant in operating [9 So.2d 784] an elevator was charged under the law with the highest degree of care and caution in protecting passengers on the said elevator from injuries that are inevitable in the operation of machinery unless proper and adequate safeguards are taken and made; that such proper and adequate safeguards were not taken and made by the defendant; that the defendant knew, or should have known, under the circumstances, that these defects and dangers existed." It was further alleged that while the deceased was a passenger in the elevator and "While the said elevator was thus proceeding in an upward direction, he then, in some manner either stumbled, fell, or was knocked from his then existing position in the elevator to the floor of the cage at the points where the south bottom edge of the said open side of the cage was passing the upper portion of the second floor elevator door or the open space which said door would have covered had it been closed. He was caught between the edge of the floor of said elevator cage and the door of the said second floor and the wall of the south side of the said elevator shaft between the top of the second and bottom of the third floors. After being so thrown and so caught as aforesaid, the elevator proceeded in an upward direction a distance of approximately 2 feet 11 inches, thereby crushing the body of the said R. Herman Meador between the said edge of the cage and the top of the facing of the second floor door and the side of the shaft."

The second count is grounded upon the alleged wanton and wilful negligence of the operator of the elevator in failing promptly to bring the elevator to an immediate stop upon discovering that decedent had fallen or been thrown to the floor at the point when he was exposed to the danger of being caught and crushed against the exposed side of the elevator shaft, whereby decedent was caught and crushed in the space between the elevator door and the side of the exposed shaft. This space is asserted to vary between 1 1/2 and 7 inches.

The third count is based upon the humanitarian doctrine that after the injury to decedent the hotel company and its servant, the elevator operator, were under a duty to provide necessary and proper ministration to the injured man by giving or procuring medical aid and comfort, all of which the defendants wilfully and wantonly neglected to do.

Defendants filed a motion for a bill of particulars clarifying certain generalizations of fact and particularly seeking an enlargement of the allegation that deceased at the time of his injury, "was in the hotel for the purpose of a business well known and long condoned by the defendant." Plaintiff's forthcoming bill of particulars elaborated this allegation with the explanation: "That on the night of January 13, 1941, and for several weeks prior thereto, with the knowledge of the defendant corporation, there were one or more women registered and staying in a room or rooms in said hotel who were there, to the knowledge of said defendant corporation, and with its permission, for the purpose of practicing prostitution and had been so doing; and R. Herman Meador was in the hotel for the purpose of so engaging one of them, but whose name plaintiff does not know, and which purpose the defendants herein knew, and as the corporate defendant had customarily, habitually, and regularly allowed of such men in the past; and, for the purpose of knowingly allowing the said Meador to carry out his said purpose, the defendant corporation accepted him on its elevator in said hotel as a passenger to carry him up to the floor on which said women were staying, and he was being transported upward by the defendant corporation, acting by its employee within the scope of his employ, when he suffered the injuries herein complained of, and at that time he was a guest of the defendant corporation and a guest of a guest of said defendant corporation."

Defendants filed separate demurrers to each of the three counts, all of which were sustained, and, the plaintiff declining to amend, the suit was dismissed. Each demurrer includes as grounds that no negligence is shown by the allegations of the declaration, and that it is not alleged that the deceased was at the time of his injury using reasonable care for his own safety. The demurrers to the first and third counts also urged that the legal status of deceased as a guest was negatived by the declaration itself and further that the parties were jointly engaged in an unlawful enterprise and being in pari delicto no right of action existed in plaintiff. The second count was attacked specially on the ground that the alleged wilful act of the elevator operator was not that of the hotel but "may have been personal to the defendant, Sam Deloach." The third count is assailed further [9 So.2d 785] on the ground that the declaration reveals a sufficient compliance by the defendants with the legal duty to use reasonable care for one injured by the operation of their premises. Such contention is sought to be sustained by the disclosure of the declaration that: "The said defendant Sam Deloach informed and advised the night clerk, Mrs. Katherine Vaughn, that Meador had been seriously injured by the elevator. The said Mrs. Katherine Vaughn, Night Clerk, while engaged in the business of the defendant and within the scope of her employment, took charge of him in his helpless condition and called the Splendid Cafe by...

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23 practice notes
  • Tug Valley Pharmacy, LLC v. All Plaintiffs Below in Mingo Cnty., No. 14–0144.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • May 28, 2015
    ...of law is merely a condition and not a contributing cause of the injury, a recovery may be permitted.” (quoting Meador v. Hotel Grover, 193 Miss. 392, 9 So.2d 782, 786 (1942) (emphasis added)). The Price court echoed the common, but hollow, sentiment that plaintiff's claim is barred only if......
  • Cahn v. COPAC, Inc., No. 2014–CA–00021–COA.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Mississippi
    • December 8, 2015
    ...plaintiff is a lawbreaker at the time of his injury, that alone is not enough to bar the plaintiff from recovery. Meador v. Hotel Grover, 193 Miss. 392, 9 So.2d 782, 786 (1942). This principle is consistent with tort law concerning duties owed to known trespassers and preventing use of spri......
  • Omian v. Chrysler Grp. LLC., Docket No. 310743.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • February 26, 2015
    ...of committing an illegal act.’ ” Manning v. Bishop of Marquette, 345 Mich. 130, 136, 76 N.W.2d 75 (1956), quoting Meador v. Hotel Grover, 193 Miss. 392, 9 So.2d 782 (1942). Defendant has not argued that plaintiff's injury bears any relationship to the crimes alleged against plaintiff or the......
  • Holcomb v. Meeds, No. 38692
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Kansas
    • July 3, 1952
    ...and to other persons lawfully on the premises." On appeal the charge was approved and the judgment affirmed. Meador v. Hotel Grover, 193 Miss. 392, 9 So.2d 782, 785, was an action by an administrator for the wrongful death of his intestate, who was fatally injured at an elevator in a hotel ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
23 cases
  • Tug Valley Pharmacy, LLC v. All Plaintiffs Below in Mingo Cnty., No. 14–0144.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • May 28, 2015
    ...of law is merely a condition and not a contributing cause of the injury, a recovery may be permitted.” (quoting Meador v. Hotel Grover, 193 Miss. 392, 9 So.2d 782, 786 (1942) (emphasis added)). The Price court echoed the common, but hollow, sentiment that plaintiff's claim is barred only if......
  • Cahn v. COPAC, Inc., No. 2014–CA–00021–COA.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Mississippi
    • December 8, 2015
    ...plaintiff is a lawbreaker at the time of his injury, that alone is not enough to bar the plaintiff from recovery. Meador v. Hotel Grover, 193 Miss. 392, 9 So.2d 782, 786 (1942). This principle is consistent with tort law concerning duties owed to known trespassers and preventing use of spri......
  • Omian v. Chrysler Grp. LLC., Docket No. 310743.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • February 26, 2015
    ...of committing an illegal act.’ ” Manning v. Bishop of Marquette, 345 Mich. 130, 136, 76 N.W.2d 75 (1956), quoting Meador v. Hotel Grover, 193 Miss. 392, 9 So.2d 782 (1942). Defendant has not argued that plaintiff's injury bears any relationship to the crimes alleged against plaintiff or the......
  • Holcomb v. Meeds, No. 38692
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Kansas
    • July 3, 1952
    ...and to other persons lawfully on the premises." On appeal the charge was approved and the judgment affirmed. Meador v. Hotel Grover, 193 Miss. 392, 9 So.2d 782, 785, was an action by an administrator for the wrongful death of his intestate, who was fatally injured at an elevator in a hotel ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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