Poland v. Earhart

Decision Date11 December 1886
Citation70 Iowa 285,30 N.W. 637
CourtIowa Supreme Court


Appeal from circuit court, Wapello county.

Action for the recovery of damages. Plaintiff alleges in her petition that defendant sold a revolver to her minor son, who, while afterwards handling said weapon, accidentally discharged the same, and the ball therefrom passed through his hand, breaking some of the bones thereof, and disabling him for a long time from doing any labor; and she seeks to recover the value of his services during the time he was disabled; also the expense of nursing and caring for him during the same time. Defendant demurred to the petition on the ground that the damages sought to be recovered are not the proximate consequence of the wrongful act complained of. The circuit court sustained the demurrer, and dismissed plaintiff's petition, and from that order she appealed.A. C. Steck, for appellant.

D. C. Beaman, for appellee.


Defendant's act of selling the revolver to plaintiff's minor son was a misdemeanor, which, by the provisions of chapter 78 of the acts of the Twentieth General Assembly, is punishable by fine or imprisonment. One who has been injured by the unlawful or criminal act of another may maintain an action for the recovery of the damages sustained by him in consequence of the injury. Messenger v. Pate, 42 Iowa, 443. In such cases the wrong-doer is held liable, not only for such injuries as are the immediate and natural consequences of his misconduct, but for all such consequential injuries as might reasonably have been anticipated as the probable result of the wrongful act. 1 Suth. Dam. 23; McDonald v. Snelling, 14 Allen, 296.

The injuries of which plaintiff complains, and for which she demands relief, are the loss of the services of her son during the time he was disabled, and the cost and expense incurred by her in nursing and caring for him. The immediate cause of these injuries was not the sale of the weapon by defendant, but the accident which subsequently occurred while the boy was handling it, whereby he was wounded. If plaintiff has a cause of action, then, for the injuries, it must be founded on the fact that the accident by which her son was wounded might reasonably have been anticipated by defendant as a consequence of the sale of the weapon to him. But there are no allegations in the petition showing that such injury ought to have been anticipated as a consequence of the act. Plaintiff's son was...

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5 cases
  • Public Service Corporation v. Watts
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • 16 Octubre 1933
    ... ... 525, 87 So. 12 ... The ... plaintiff must aver and prove foreseeability ... Meyer ... v. King, 16 So. 245; Poland v. Earhart, 70 Iowa 285, ... 30 N.W. 637; Carter v. Towne, 98 Mass. 567; ... Pietri v. L. & N., 119 So. 164; Cole v. German ... Savings, ... ...
  • McBride v. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co.
    • United States
    • South Carolina Supreme Court
    • 28 Junio 1927
    ... ... Railroad Co., 5 Ind. App ... 513, 31 N.E. 860, 32 N.E. 866; Railroad Co. v ... Ousler, 15 Ind.App. 232, 36 N.E. 290. Iowa: Poland ... v. Earhart, 70 Iowa, 285, 30 N.W. 637. Kansas: ... Railroad Co. v. Trahern, 77 Kan. 803, 91 P. 48; ... Railroad Co. v. Payne, 29 Kan ... ...
  • Terry v. New Orleans Great Northern Railroad Co.
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • 10 Febrero 1913
    ...caused the injury complained of is now abandoned." The editor in the same paragraph then proceeds to criticize the case of Poland v. Earhart, 70 Iowa 285, where defendant sold a revolver to a minor in contravention of a law making such sales a misdemeanor, and the vendee in using the weapon......
  • Meyer v. King
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • 15 Octubre 1894
    ... ... rendered it dangerous to put the chloroform in his hands, or ... that he was ignorant of its use ... In ... Poland v. Earhart, 70 Iowa 285, 30 N.W ... 637, the defendant had sold [72 Miss. 7] a minor, in ... contravention of statute, a pistol. The minor ... ...
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