Sherrill v. Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co., No. 19631

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtLITTLEJOHN; MOSS
Citation197 S.E.2d 283,260 S.C. 494
PartiesWilton W. SHERRILL, Jr., a minor by his Guardian Ad Litem Margaret S. Dixson, Respondent-Appellant, v. SOUTHERN BELL TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH COMPANY, and South Carolina Electric andGas Company, Appellants-Respondents.
Docket NumberNo. 19631
Decision Date06 June 1973

Page 283

197 S.E.2d 283
260 S.C. 494
Wilton W. SHERRILL, Jr., a minor by his Guardian Ad Litem
Margaret S. Dixson, Respondent-Appellant,
v.
SOUTHERN BELL TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH COMPANY, and South
Carolina Electric andGas Company, Appellants-Respondents.
No. 19631.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
June 6, 1973.

[260 S.C. 495]

Page 284

Joseph R. Young of Young, Clement & Rivers, Charleston, John A. Boykin, Jr., and William D. Goddard, Atlanta, Ga., for appellants-respondents.

[260 S.C. 496] Allen R. Dupree, North Charleston Heights, for respondent-appellant.

LITTLEJOHN, Justice.

In this case, the complaint alleged that on or about March 1, 1970, plaintiff Wilton W. Sherrill, Jr., an eighteen-year-old boy, incurred electrical shock and severe burns and injuries, resulting from negligence on the part of Southern Bell and/or South Carolina Electric and Gas Company, while engaged in roofing repairs on the roof of a building located at the corner of Spruill Avenue and Hampton Street in Charleston. The answer of both defendants alleged sole negligence and contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff.

The trial judge granted a nonsuit in favor of South Carolina Electric and Gas Company. The jury returned a [260 S.C. 497] verdict of $50,000.00 actual damages against Southern Bell, which has appealed. The single question submitted by Southern Bell, as copied from its brief, is as follows:

'The sole question raised by Southern Bell in this appeal is whether there is any direct or circumstantial evidence of actionable negligence attributable to Southern Bell.'

Sherrill has also appealed, alleging error on the part of the trial judge in refusing to dismiss Southern Bell's appeal because it was untimely. In light of the ruling we hereinafter make, it becomes unnecessary to disuss Sherrill's exception. It is appropriate, however, to state that we think the exception without merit and hold that the appeal is timely. There is left for our consideration only the question raised by Southern Bell as set forth above.

On or about Saturday, Feb. 28, 1970 and Sunday, March 1, 1970, Sherrill was engaged

Page 285

in roofing repair work on the roof of the Palmetto Wrecking & Salvage Company building. A utility pole, owned by South Carolina Electric and Gas Company, was located immediately to the west of the building. Another utility pole, owned by South Carolina Electric and Gas Company, was located immediately to the east of the building.

A telephone line (owned by Southern Bell and consisting of an insulated transmission line, a non-insulated metallic support cable, and a non-insulated connecting mousing wire) extended between the utility poles. The telephone line was located across and approximately three feet above the roof of the building. The sole purpose of the support cable and mousing wire was to support the transmission line, which was used to carry line and voice current.

In addition to the telephone line, three South Carolina Electric and Gas uninsulated electric power transmission lines extended between the same two utility poles. The first electric power line, a neutral wire, was located approximately seven feet above the telephone line. The second and third electric power lines, both primary wires, were [260 S.C. 498] located approximately eleven feet and thirteen feet, respectively, above the telephone line. The neutral line did not carry electrical current, but the two primary lines carried about 8,000 volts. The telephone company used the poles jointly with the power company, including the use of common grounding devices on the poles.

On Saturday and Sunday, Sherrill had on several occasions come into contact with the support cable. No electric shock resulted from such contact. Immediately prior to the accident, Sherrill climbed from the ground to...

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7 practice notes
  • Chrisley v. United States, No. 85-270-3.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • September 23, 1985
    ...and an injury to the plaintiff proximately caused by the breach of that duty. Sherrill v. Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Co., 260 S.C. 494, 197 S.E.2d 283, 285 (1973). And a person cannot recover damages of another unless the second has failed to discharge a duty which he owed to the......
  • Carter v. R.L. Jordan Oil Co., Inc., No. 1078
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • September 23, 1987
    ...S.E.2d 530 (1985). These elements must be established by the party alleging the negligent act. Sherrill v. Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co., 260 S.C. 494, 197 S.E.2d 283 (1973); Carter v. Columbia and Greenville R.R. Co., 19 S.C. 20 (1882). The absence of any one of these elements renders the ......
  • Joyner v. Glimcher Properties, No. 3526.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 27, 2002
    ...conviction because the magistrate failed to file a return. See Barbee, 280 S.C. at 329, 313 S.E.2d at 298; Eaves, 260 S.C. at 524-25, 197 S.E.2d at 283; Adams, 244 S.C. at 326, 137 S.E.2d at 101. Our supreme court held in each case that the failure of the magistrate to file a return is not ......
  • Babb v. Lee Cnty. Landfill SC, LLC, No. 27299.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 14, 2013
    ...prevail on a negligence claim, a plaintiff must establish duty, breach, causation, and damages. Sherrill v. Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co., 260 S.C. 494, 499, 197 S.E.2d 283, 285 (1973). Generally, under South Carolina law, the damages element requires a plaintiff to establish physical injur......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • Chrisley v. United States, No. 85-270-3.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • September 23, 1985
    ...and an injury to the plaintiff proximately caused by the breach of that duty. Sherrill v. Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Co., 260 S.C. 494, 197 S.E.2d 283, 285 (1973). And a person cannot recover damages of another unless the second has failed to discharge a duty which he owed to the......
  • Carter v. R.L. Jordan Oil Co., Inc., No. 1078
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • September 23, 1987
    ...S.E.2d 530 (1985). These elements must be established by the party alleging the negligent act. Sherrill v. Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co., 260 S.C. 494, 197 S.E.2d 283 (1973); Carter v. Columbia and Greenville R.R. Co., 19 S.C. 20 (1882). The absence of any one of these elements renders the ......
  • Joyner v. Glimcher Properties, No. 3526.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 27, 2002
    ...conviction because the magistrate failed to file a return. See Barbee, 280 S.C. at 329, 313 S.E.2d at 298; Eaves, 260 S.C. at 524-25, 197 S.E.2d at 283; Adams, 244 S.C. at 326, 137 S.E.2d at 101. Our supreme court held in each case that the failure of the magistrate to file a return is not ......
  • Babb v. Lee Cnty. Landfill SC, LLC, No. 27299.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 14, 2013
    ...prevail on a negligence claim, a plaintiff must establish duty, breach, causation, and damages. Sherrill v. Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co., 260 S.C. 494, 499, 197 S.E.2d 283, 285 (1973). Generally, under South Carolina law, the damages element requires a plaintiff to establish physical injur......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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