Pinckney v. Atl. Coast Line R. Co, (No. 12509.)

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtCARTER
Citation145 S.E. 135
PartiesPINCKNEY. v. ATLANTIC COAST LINE R. CO. et al.
Docket Number(No. 12509.)
Decision Date12 October 1928

145 S.E. 135

PINCKNEY.
v.
ATLANTIC COAST LINE R. CO. et al.

(No. 12509.)

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Oct. 12, 1928.


[145 S.E. 135]

Cothran, J., dissenting.

Appeal from Common Pleas Circuit Court of Charleston County; J. W. De Vore, Judge.

Action by Frank D. Pinckney against the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company and others. From so much of an order as sets aside verdict for plaintiff for punitive damages, plaintiff appeals, and, from so much of said order as refuses to set aside verdict as to actual damages, named defendant and a certain other defendant appeal. Modified and affirmed.

Nath B. Barnwell, of Charleston, for plaintiff.

Hyde, Mann & Figg, of Charleston, Lide & McCandish, of Marion, and Octavus Cohen, of Charleston, for defendants.

CARTER, J. This is an action by Frank D. Pinckney, as plaintiff, against the defend-

[145 S.E. 136]

ants, Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company, Camp Manufacturing Company, A. J. Johnston, and G. J. Glaus, in the court of common pleas for Charleston county, for alleged personal injuries caused the plaintiff by a collision between a train of the said Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company and an automobile driven by the plaintiff at a public crossing at St. Stephens, S. C., which public crossing was at the time of the collision completely blocked by a train of cars of the defendant Camp Manufacturing Company, which stood on a siding belonging to the defendant Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company, the collision having occurred between 7:15 and 7:30, on the evening of December 19, 1922. The defendants A. J. Johnston and G. J. Glaus were engineer and fireman, respectively, on the engine of the said train of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company which struck the plaintiff's automobile. The action was for both actual and punitive damages. The case was tried before Hon. J. W. De Vore, presiding judge, and a jury, November, 1925, resulting in a verdict for the plaintiff, as follows: $2,500 actual damages and $1,000 punitive damages against the defendant Camp Manufacturing Company, and $2,500 actual damages and $1,000 punitive damages against the defendant Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company, and nothing against the other defendants, A. J. Johnston and G. J. Glaus.

At the close of the testimony, the defendants made a motion for direction of a verdict, which was refused. After a verdict was rendered by the jury, motion for a new trial was made by the defendants Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company and Camp Manufacturing Company. His honor, Judge De Vore, issued an order refusing the motion as to actual damages, but set aside the verdict as to punitive damages. From this order all of the parties have appealed to this court. The plaintiff has appealed from so much of the order as sets aside the verdict for punitive damages, and the defendants Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company and Camp Manufacturing Company have appealed for refusal to set aside the verdict as to actual damages.

The allegations of the complaint necessary for an understanding of the case are, in substance, that the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company owns and operates a line of railroad passing through the town of St. Stephens, in Berkeley county, this state, and that the defendant Camp Manufacturing Company is engaged in business in this state, operating, managing, and controlling a freight and logging trailroad, which connects with the railroads of its codefendant Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company at the said town of St. Stephens; that the defendants, A. J. Johnston, resident of Florence, S. C, and G. J. Glaus, resident of Charleston, S. C, were engineer and fireman, respectively, on the engine of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company, hereinafter referred to; "that on the 19th day of December, 1922, at or about the hour of 7 o'clock p. m., on a dark, rainy, misty and cold night, this plaintiff was driving his Ford automobile in and upon a public highway in the state of South Carolina, in the town of St. Stephens, in Berkeley county of said state, when at a crossing of said highway with defendant Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company's tracks his automobile was struck by a train of defendant Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company, his said automobile was completely demolished, and this plaintiff sustained a broken leg and broken arm, severe bruises to his entire body, a terrible shock to his entire nervous system, terrible pain and suffering, was required to remain in a hospital for about a month and subsequently to walk on crutches for about a month and incurred considerable bills for medical attendance and hospital care."

The plaintiff asked for damages in the sum of $25,000, and alleged that the injuries which he suffered were caused by the negligence, recklessness, willfulness and wantonness of the defendants in the following particulars:

"(a) Defendant Camp Manufacturing Company with the consent, acquiescence and approval of its codefendant Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company had placed and kept a train of cars on a track of said Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company and across the public highway and crossing of said road, obstructing the crossing of said highway and said railroad unnecessarily and for an unreasonable length of time and without any safeguards, lights or warnings to the public of such obstruction: — the said obstruction being in violation of the laws of the State and of the ordinances of the town of St. Stephens in which it occurred.

"(b) The train of Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company was being run and operated by its said engineer A. J. Johnston and its said fireman G. J. Glaus at a high, excessive and dangerous rate of speed in violation of law and of the ordinances of the 'town of St. Stephens, through which it was passing.

"(c) The said train of Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company was being operated by the said engineer and the said fireman without any proper or adequate lookout, safeguards, or warnings, and was being operated at and upon said crossing without giving any proper signals of its approach contrary to the common law, contrary to the Statutes of the State, and contrary to the ordinances of the town of St. Stephens.

"(d) The said train of defendant Atlantic Coast Line Railroad was allowed by its said engineer and fireman to proceed across said public crossing in the town of St. Stephens on the said dark, rainy, misty night at the high and dangerous rate of speed without protecting the public at the said crossing by means of a flagman or otherwise."

The defendants Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, A. J. Johnston, and G. J. Glaus, in their answer, admitted the formal allegations of

[145 S.E. 137]

the complaint, and also admitted that the defendants A. J. Johnston and G. J. Glaus were the engineer and fireman on the train referred to in the complaint, with the usual duties pertaining to said positions; that at the time and place mentioned in the complaint "the plaintiff was driving his automobile along the highway therein mentioned, and attempted to drive the same over and across a crossing of the defendant, Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company, and that the said automobile was struck by a train of the said defendant, Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company, upon said crossing, and that the plaintiff then and there sustained a personal injury and his automobile was damaged." The remainder of the material allegations of the complaint these defendants denied.

They also set up the defense of contributory negligence, alleging:

"That whatever injuries were sustained by the plaintiff or damage done to his automobile at the time and place mentioned in said complaint, were due to and caused, in whole or in part, or were contributed to as a proximate cause thereof by the negligence, carelessness, gross negligence, wantonness and wilfulness of the plaintiff himself, without which said injuries and damages would not have occurred."

The answer of the defendant Camp Manufacturing Company is similar to that of the other defendants, except with reference to the allegations concerning the defendants Johnston and Glaus, admitted the formal matters alleged in the complaint, set up the defense of contributory negligence, and alleged that, "at the highway crossing where plaintiff's automobile was struck, there is a double track constituting the main lines of Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company, and that the logging train of this defendant was not on either of the main lines of said Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company, but was temporarily on a side track in the opposite direction from which the plaintiff was coming, having been placed thereon by permission of said Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company; that said legging train was plainly visible to the plaintiff, and that he could have seen the same before he entered upon the railroad track by the ordinary use of his faculties; that there is ample space between the side track and the main line in which the plaintiff could have stopped his automobile;" but that the plaintiff "negligently and carelessly entered upon the main line track of Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company in full view of the logging train of this defendant, and negligently and carelessly failed to stop his automobile between the track on which the train was coming and this side track, and that the said negligence and carelessness of the plaintiff combined and concurred with the alleged negligence of this defendant as a proximate cause of the accident, resulting in plaintiff's alleged injuries, and without which it would not have occurred." This defendant further alleged that the conduct of the plaintiff in going on the said crossing under the conditions set out above was willful, wanton, and reckless.

Exceptions of Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company.

In passing upon the exceptions of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company, we shall consider the same under three principal divisions, as outlined by counsel for this appellant, namely: (a) Refusal to direct a verdict;...

To continue reading

Request your trial
4 practice notes
  • Jones v. Southern Ry. Co., No. 17756
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • March 15, 1961
    ...v. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co., 140 S.C. 123, 138 S.E. 675, and its companion case, Pinckney v. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co., 147 S.C. 227, 145 S.E. 135; Funderburk v. Powell, 181 S.C. 412, 187 S.E. 742; Kneece v. Southern R. Co., 187 S.C. 195, 197 S.E. 673; or a highway; Myers v. Atlantic Coa......
  • Curry v. United States, Civ. A. 1370.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • January 20, 1954
    ...S.C. 236, 173 S.E. 812; Bober v. Southern Ry. Co., 151 S.C. 459, 149 S.E. 257; Pinckney v. Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Co., 147 S.C. 227, 145 S.E. 135; Miller v. Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Co., 140 S.C. 123, 138 S.E. 675, In the Miller case, supra, the court said: "* * * The situation wa......
  • Kneece v. Southern Ry. Co, No. 14689.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • May 24, 1938
    ...that question was properly for the jury. See also the following decisions: Pinckney v. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. et al., 147 S.C. 227, 145 S.E. 135; Bober v. Southern Railway Co. et al., 151 S.C. 459, 149 S.E. 257; Lawrence v. Southern Railway Co., 169 S. C. 1, 167 S.E. 839; Myers v. Atlan......
  • Myers v. Atl. Coast Line R. Co, No. 13802.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • March 12, 1934
    ...by the particular conditions is not abrogated by the signal statute." The case of Pinckney v. A. C. L. Railway Co., 147 S. C. 227, 145 S. E. 135, 138, was a "companion case" to the Miller Case, supra, growing out of the same accident. In affirming the judgment for the plaintiff, it was said......
4 cases
  • Jones v. Southern Ry. Co., No. 17756
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • March 15, 1961
    ...v. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co., 140 S.C. 123, 138 S.E. 675, and its companion case, Pinckney v. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co., 147 S.C. 227, 145 S.E. 135; Funderburk v. Powell, 181 S.C. 412, 187 S.E. 742; Kneece v. Southern R. Co., 187 S.C. 195, 197 S.E. 673; or a highway; Myers v. Atlantic Coa......
  • Curry v. United States, Civ. A. 1370.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • January 20, 1954
    ...S.C. 236, 173 S.E. 812; Bober v. Southern Ry. Co., 151 S.C. 459, 149 S.E. 257; Pinckney v. Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Co., 147 S.C. 227, 145 S.E. 135; Miller v. Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Co., 140 S.C. 123, 138 S.E. 675, In the Miller case, supra, the court said: "* * * The situation wa......
  • Kneece v. Southern Ry. Co, No. 14689.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • May 24, 1938
    ...that question was properly for the jury. See also the following decisions: Pinckney v. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. et al., 147 S.C. 227, 145 S.E. 135; Bober v. Southern Railway Co. et al., 151 S.C. 459, 149 S.E. 257; Lawrence v. Southern Railway Co., 169 S. C. 1, 167 S.E. 839; Myers v. Atlan......
  • Myers v. Atl. Coast Line R. Co, No. 13802.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • March 12, 1934
    ...by the particular conditions is not abrogated by the signal statute." The case of Pinckney v. A. C. L. Railway Co., 147 S. C. 227, 145 S. E. 135, 138, was a "companion case" to the Miller Case, supra, growing out of the same accident. In affirming the judgment for the plaintiff, it was said......

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