Pfaehler v. Ten Cent Taxi Co.

Citation198 S.C. 476,18 S.E.2d 331
Decision Date07 January 1942
Docket NumberNo. 15349.,15349.
PartiesPFAEHLER . v. TEN CENT TAXI CO. (two cases).
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina

18 S.E.2d 331
198 S.C. 476

TEN CENT TAXI CO. (two cases).

No. 15349.

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Jan. 7, 1942.

[18 S.E.2d 332]

Appeal from Common Pleas Court of Charleston County; Wm. H. Grimball, Judge.

Actions by Edward A. Pfaehler and by Annie C. Pfaehler against the Ten Cent Taxi Company, for injuries sustained in automobile collision. Verdicts and judgments for plaintiffs in the Civil and Criminal Court, and the defendant appealed to the Court of Common Pleas. From a judgment of the Court of Common Pleas reversing the judgment of the Civil and Criminal Court and ordering the case back to the Civil and Criminal Court for new trial, the plaintiffs appeal.

Reversed and remanded for entry of judgments upon the verdicts.

Waring & Brockinton, of Charleston, for appellant.

Hagood, Rivers & Young, of Charleston, for respondent.

BONHAM, Chief Justice.

These two actions were tried in the Civil and Criminal Court of Charleston, and were heard together as they grew out of the same state of facts. The plaintiffs in the actions are husband and wife. The action of Edward A. Pfaehler is to recover damages for injury to his automobile and to his person; and that of Mrs. Annie C. Pfaehler is for injuries to the person. There were ver dicts for each plaintiff. Briefly stated, the facts upon which the actions were tried, as alleged in the complaints, were these:

Mr. and Mrs. Pfaehler were driving their automobile on Meeting Street, in Charleston, on the 21st of June, 1936, when an automobile, the property of the defendant, was, as is alleged, carelessly, negligently and recklessly driven into and upon their automobile, which did great damage to it, and inflicted personal injuries to both of the occupants.

The defendant, by its answer, admitted the ownership of the automobile, but denied the other allegations of the complaint, and stood, on the trial, upon the ground that the automobile was not in its possession, nor being operated for its benefit, when the collision occurred.

As stated, the verdicts were for the plaintiffs. Upon the appeal of the defendant to the Court of Common Pleas for Charleston County, it was heard by the Honorable William H. Grimball, Presiding Judge, who, by his order, dated May 28, 1940, reversed the action of the Civil and Criminal Court, and ordered the case back for a new trial. From that order, appeal comes to this court upon two exceptions, as follows:

"1. In holding that a new trial should be granted because the Trial Judge charged the jury as to Ordinances of the City of Charleston, whereas he should have held:

"(a) The charge on the Ordinances was not asked for or objected to by either party.

"(b) The charge was in no sense prejudicial and did not affect the outcome of the case.

"(c) There was no denial by the Defendant that the car was being operated negligently and illegally, the defense being that the Defendant was not responsible for such operation.

"(d) The charge could not in any way have affected the outcome of the cases, since there was an abundance of proof that the taxi cab was being negligently operated and there was no denial of the same.

"2. In holding that the Defendant was not responsible for the operation of the taxi cab involved in the collision and that the Trial Judge should have directed a verdict, whereas the testimony showed:

"(a) That Arnold Rose, the driver and duly constituted agent of the Defendant, was in the sole and exclusive control of the taxi cab and placed an intoxicated per-

[18 S.E.2d 333]

son in the front seat next to the driver's seat, placed the ignition key where it was available for the starting of the car and himself left the automobile under the complete control and possession of the intoxicated person.

"(b) In that the said driver and agent of the Defendant failed to use due care and prudence in the conduct and handling of Defendant's automobile and allowed it to be taken away and negligently operated.

"(c) The negligence of Defendant's agent and servant, to wit: the driver was the direct and proximate cause of the collision, which resulted in the injuries to the Plaintiffs' persons and property."

It appears from the record that Arnold Rose, the employee of defendant company, on...

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