Scott v. Southern Ry. Co.

Citation231 S.C. 28,97 S.E.2d 73
Decision Date05 March 1957
Docket NumberNo. 17266,17266
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
PartiesJoe F. SCOTT, Respondent, v. SOUTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY, Southern Railway-Carolina Division, Corporations, Appellants.

Frank G. Tompkins, Jr., Columbia, J. D. Parler, St. George, Barnwell & Whaley, Charleston, for appellants.

A. Russell McGowan, Charleston, for respondent.

TAYLOR, Justice.

This appeal arises out of an action brought in the Court of Common Pleas for Dorchester County to recover damages occasioned by appellants' train running into and striking respondent's car while stalled upon appellants' tracks in the Town of St. George, South Carolina.

Timely motions were made for nonsuit, directed verdict and judgment non obstante veredicto or a new trial, all of which were denied.

A review of the record reveals that there is testimony to the effect that at approximately 7:30 P.M., on December 23, 1953, respondent's wife, who was driving his 1953 Chevrolet, attempted to cross over appellants' tracks in front of the Court House in the Town of St. George and found that the right rear wheel had dropped into a hole in such place and manner that the rear wheel was against one track and the front wheel just over the ties so that even with the aid of three eleven year old boys, who were her passengers, pushing, she was unable to move off the tracks either forward or backwards. The car had been in this position, despite the driver's efforts to extricate it, for approximately ten minutes when she saw the headlight of appellants' train approaching from approximately two miles distance. The boys attempted to get help from others while the driver took her flashlight, it being dark, and ran along the track toward the train until the engine passed her, a distance of 175 steps from the crossing, waiving the flashlight up and down in an effort to attract the engineer's attention in time to stop the train. The afternoon and evening had been foggy, but at the time it was clear and both the engine light and flashlight were visible. The engineer stated immediately after the accident that he saw the lady's flashlight signal in time to stop and avoid the accident but that the light was being waved up and down instead of from side to side and he thought it was some child playing with the flashlight and did not apply his brakes until he saw the car and that it was then too late to avoid the collision. There is also testimony that the train was traveling 35-40 miles per hour in a 25 miles per hour zone.

In reviewing appellants' motion for a directed verdict, the trial Judge stated:

'* * * as I recall, that the engineer said that he saw the frantic efforts of the plaintiff's wife trying to flag the train and that he had time to stop if he had heeded them but he thought it was a prank. I think that is a matter for the jury to determine, whether or not he was reckless in taking that attitude. Of course, I understand that there is evidence on behalf of the defendants that contradicts that testimony. They said it was foggy, they couldn't see. The plaintiff said at that particular time they had a clear view of the lights of the engine. * * * Likewise, the engineer denied having made the statement which was attributed to him. But those are matters for the jury. * * *'

There is evidence contrary to that heretofore related, but we find no error in this ruling as the evidence and all reasonable inferences arising therefrom must be considered as a whole and in the light most favorable to the plaintiff for the purpose of disposing of such motions, and if more than one reasonable inference can be drawn therefrom, the case must be submitted to the jury. Scott v. Meek, S.C., 95 S.E.2d 619, and cases cited therein.

Appellants also contend that the Court erred in charging the jury the law applicable to the last clear chance doctrine. Section 5(a) of respondent's complaint alleges:

'(a) In...

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  • Mci Commc'n Servs., Inc. v. Ertel Constr., Inc.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • October 30, 2019
    ...v. United States , 237 F. Supp. 205 (E.D.S.C. 1965) ; Newman v. Brown , 228 S.C. 472, 90 S.E.2d 649 (1955) ; Scott v. Southern Ry. Co. , 231 S.C. 28, 97 S.E.2d 73 (1957) ; Hutson v. Cummins Carolinas, Inc. , 280 S.C. 552, 314 S.E.2d 19 (S.C. Ct. App. 1984) ).) Therefore, because it owned th......
  • Green v. Bolen
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • July 14, 1960
    ...761. If more than one reasonable inference can be drawn from the evidence, the case must be submitted to the jury. Scott v. Southern Ry. Co., 231 S.C. 28, 97 S.E.2d 73. However, if the evidence is susceptible of only one reasonable inference, the question is no longer one for the jury but o......
  • Denene, Inc. v. City of Charleston
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • May 24, 2004
  • Fuller v. Eastern Fire & Cas. Ins. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • March 15, 1962
    ...the loss of use of such automobile for a reasonable length of time during which it was being repaired. In the case of Scott v. Southern Ry. Co., 231 S.C. 28, 97 S.E.2d 73, a recovery was allowed for the loss of use of an automobile where there was testimony that the rental value of a substi......
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