Rhea v. Sawyer

Decision Date04 June 1913
Docket Number8,017
CourtIndiana Appellate Court

102 N.E. 52

54 Ind.App. 512


No. 8,017

Court of Appeals of Indiana

June 4, 1913

Rehearing denied November 7, 1913.

From Wells Circuit Court; Charles E. Sturgis, Judge.

Action by Litta Sawyer against Thomas J. Rhea. From a judgment for the plaintiff, the defendant appeals.


Abraham Simmons and Frank C. Dailey, for appellant.

William H. Eichhorn and Edwin C. Vaughn, for appellee.



Appellee recovered a judgment in the Wells Circuit Court for damages resulting from the death of two [54 Ind.App. 513] colts. The complaint is in two paragraphs, both of which proceed upon the theory that appellant was guilty of negligence in castrating the colts, and that they died as a result of such negligence.

Appellant relies for reversal upon the fifth, ninth and tenth causes assigned for a new trial. Those assignments call in question the correctness of instructions Nos. 1, 5 and 6 given by the court at the request of appellee. All of these instructions are open to the same objection. They are all mandatory and each informs the jury that plaintiff was entitled to recover in the event that she had proved certain facts by a fair preponderance of the evidence. Freedom of the plaintiff from contributory negligence was not mentioned or enumerated as one of the facts necessary to be proved in order to entitle her to a recovery.

In actions for damages resulting from personal injuries or the death of any person, contributory negligence is a defense, the burden of proving which is placed, by statute, upon the defendant. § 362 Burns 1908, Acts 1899 p. 58. The rule as to the burden of proof on the question of contributory negligence as it formerly existed in this State is not changed by this statute in any cases which do not fall within one of the classes enumerated in the act. Cincinnati, etc., St. R. Co. v. Klump (1905), 37 Ind.App. 660, 77 N.E. 869; Cleveland, etc., R. Co. v. Stevens (1912), 49 Ind.App. 647, 96 N.E. 493. In cases such as this the burden of alleging and proving that the plaintiff was free from fault contributing to the injury rests with such plaintiff, and there can be no recovery in the absence of such proof. The instructions in question were all fatally defective for the reason that they authorized a recovery by the plaintiff without requiring the jury to find as a prerequisite to such recovery that plaintiff was not guilty of contributory negligence. Dudley v. State, ex rel. (190...

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13 cases
  • Mudd by Mudd v. Goldblatt Bros., Inc.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 21 Septiembre 1983
    ...the general rule stated above, citing Evansville & Terre Haute R.R. Co. v. Berndt (1909), 172 Ind. 697, 88 N.E. 612; Rhea v. Sawyer (1913), 54 Ind.App. 512, 102 N.E. 52; and Wamsley v. Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Ry. Co. (1907), 41 Ind.App. 147, 82 N.E. 490. In these cases, p......
  • Julius Keller Const. Co. v. Herkless
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • 7 Octubre 1915
    ...was excluded from consideration by the ninth instruction, and the giving of it was therefore error. See the following: Rhea v. Sawyer, 54 Ind. App. 512, 102 N. E. 52;Chicago, etc., Co. v. Glover, 154 Ind. 584, 57 N. E. 244;Hutchinson v. Wenzel, 155 Ind. 49, 56 N. E. 845;Rahke v. State, 168 ......
  • Julius Keller Construction Company v. Herkless
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • 7 Octubre 1915
    ... ... This element was excluded from consideration by ... instruction No. 9, and the giving of it was therefore error ... See the following: Rhea v. Sawyer (1913), ... 54 Ind.App. 512, 102 N.E. 52; Chicago, etc., R. Co ... v. Glover (1900), 154 Ind. 584, 57 N.E. 244; ... Hutchinson ... ...
  • Freeport Motor Cas. Co. v. Chafin
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • 16 Diciembre 1960
    ...and prove that he was free from contributory negligence. In the absence of such proof, there could be no recovery. Rhea v. Sawyer, 1913, 54 Ind.App. 512, 102 N.E. 52. Thus, even though the court found prima facie evidence of negligence on the part of appellee without legal excuse, it still ......
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