Minot v. Snavely

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
Citation172 F. 212
Docket Number3,022.
PartiesMINOT et al. v. SNAVELY. [1]
Decision Date19 July 1909

Lathrop Morrow, Fox & Moore, R. J. Ingraham, and Cyrus Crane, for plaintiffs in error.

Fyke &amp Snider and James H. Richardson, for defendant in error.

Before VAN DEVANTER, Circuit Judge, and CARLAND, District Judge.

CARLAND District Judge.

Elizabeth R. Snavely sued Minot and Adams, as trustees, to recover damages for the negligent killing of her husband on March 2 1908, while passing from a passenger elevator operated in the American Bank Building, Kansas City, Mo. She recovered a verdict of $5,000. The petition specified two grounds of negligence: (1) Negligent and careless operation and handling of the elevator by the person in charge thereof at the time Snavely received the injury which resulted in his death. (2) That the agent or servant in charge of said elevator was wholly unfit by reason of his youth and inexperience to handle the elevator with safety, which facts defendants well knew or by the exercise of ordinary care might have known. The parties to the action in this opinion will be called plaintiff and defendants respectively, as they appeared in the trial court. At the trial, for the purpose of sustaining the charge of negligence in the above specification numbered two, counsel for plaintiff, over objection, introduced the following testimony.

Witness A. J. Read, speaking of what he observed a day or two before the accident:

'Q. State what you saw, Mr. Read? A. The operator would endeavor to stop the elevator at a certain floor; and, instead of the floor of the elevator stopping on an even basis with the particular floor, it would go up probably from six inches to a foot, or would stop below that floor, and then the elevator would start, and it would start with such a jerk that it almost threw a person down. It almost threw me down.
'Q. What, if anything, did you notice with reference to his manipulation of the lever? A. His hand seemed to be pulling the lever back and forward all the time.
'Q. Do you know whether or not this young man was a regular elevator operator in that building? A. He was not.
'Q. You were acquainted with the other elevator operators-- were you? A. I was.
'Q. Did you observe any difference between his management of the elevator and the management by the other operators? A. Yes, sir.'

Witness G. W. Duvall:

'A. I had known this young boy for some time before this accident, and I had talked with him about being careful. He was nervous, and seemed to have trouble in stopping the cars on a level with the floor. He would often stop the car above the floor, and often below. He was quite nervous-- both before the accident and afterwards.'

Snavely, the deceased, was not a servant of the defendants, and hence was not a fellow servant of Corliss, the person operating the elevator. Counsel for defendants requested the court to charge the jury as follows:

'The court charges the jury that the charge in plaintiff's petition that the said defendants were negligent in employing an attendant who, on account of his youth, inexperience, and incompetency, was unfit to have charge of said elevator car in question is withdrawn from your consideration, and in arriving at your verdict you must disregard said charge of negligence in that respect.'

At common law a master is not liable for injuries...

To continue reading

Request your trial
6 cases
  • Western Real Estate Trustees v. Hughes
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • August 18, 1909
  • St. Louis Southwestern Ry. Co. v. Hudson
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • June 5, 1929
    ...acting within the scope of his employment, and the killing was a wrongful act, the defendant would be liable. Minot v. Snavely (C. C. A. 8th Circuit) 172 F. 212, 19 Ann. Cas. 996; St. L., I. M. & S. R. R. Co. v. Stroud, 67 Ark. 112, 56 S. W. 870; Oakland City Agricultural & Industrial Socie......
  • Lange v. B & P Motor Express, Inc.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • August 23, 1966
    ...Co. v. Rees, 217 F.2d 595 (9th Cir. 1954); Central Truck-away System v. Moore, 304 Ky. 533, 201 S.W.2d 725 (1947); Minot v. Snavely, 172 F. 212 (8th Cir. 1909).3 The reasons which support the latter view are clearly more sound. It is argued that, since the true basis for liability of the em......
  • Krausnick v. Haegg Roofing Co., 46746.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 13, 1945
    ...of the master in employing a careless and incompetent servant. See Black v. Hunt, 96 Conn. 663, 115 A. 429;Minot v. Snavely, 8 Cir., 172 F. 212,19 Ann.Cas. 996;Denver City Tramway Co. v. Cowan, 51 Colo. 64, 116 P. 136;Grand Rapids & I. R. Co. v. Ellison, 117 Ind. 234, 20 N.E. 135. We think ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT