Sparks v. Atl. Coast Line R. Co, (No. 9387.)

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtGAGE, J
Citation88 S.E. 739
PartiesSPARKS. v. ATLANTIC COAST LINE R. CO. et al.
Decision Date24 April 1916
Docket Number(No. 9387.)

88 S.E. 739

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

(No. 9387.)

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

April 24, 1916.


Appeal from Common Pleas Circuit Court of Sumter County; H. F. Rice, Judge.

Action by W. E. Sparks, administrator of the estate of Eugene Sparks, against the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company and L. C. Jones. From a judgment against the first-named defendant alone, it appeals. Reversed and remanded.

[88 S.E. 740]

P. A. Willcox, of Florence, and Mark Reynolds and Lucian W. McLemore, both of Sumter, for appellant.

L. D. Jennings and It. D. Epps, 'both of Sumter, for respondent.

GAGE, J. The appeal involves a single question of law, and that is the liability of the master for the willful act of the servant, under the circumstances of this case, when the jury has found the servant to be not liable for the same act. Both the master and servant were sued as joint tort-feasors. The jury found, in effect, that a conductor of a rapidly moving railroad train willfully pitched off the car a trespassing negro boy and killed him; and the jury found a verdict against the corporation master alone. The circuit court sustained the verdict, on the authority of Carson v. Railroad, 68 S. C. 56, 46 S. E. 525.

We think no case in our own Reports presents just such an issue as is here made. In the instant case there is only one servant, one intent, and one act, and the case is a pure tort. If the corporation, in the person of its general manager, had stood in his very body by the conductor's side, consenting to the act of the conductor, and the conductor had pitched out the trespasser, then a jury might in a court of sessions have convicted the one and acquitted the other; for the jury might have concluded that the two had differing intents. And in a civil court a jury might have found a verdict for dollars against one alone, upon principles announced so long ago as in Chanet v. Parker, 1 Mill, Const. 165. In the case supposed, while for most purposes the conductor might have been a servant and the general manager a master, yet they were at the instant both principals in that act.

How is the case altered that the general manager was not present in the body, but was ideally present in the person of the conductor? The conductor was two persons in one; he stood for the general manager and for himself, too. The act he did and the intent he had when he pitched out the trespasser were the two facts to be established against the conductor and against the...

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31 practice notes
  • Johnson v. Atl. Coast Line R. Co, (No. 12210.)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • May 26, 1927
    ...cites Sparks v. R. Co., 109 S. C. 145, 95 S. E. 344, Jones v. R. Co., 106 S. C. 20, 90 S. E. 183, and Sparks v. R. Co., 104 S. C. 266, 88 S. E. 739, cases also relied upon by the appellants. The test applied was the question: "How is it possible for the master to exercise his right of reimb......
  • Miller v. Atl. Coast Line R. Co, (No. 12063.)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • September 10, 1926
    ...jury rendered a verdict against the company alone. The court said: "Under the recent decisions in Sparks v. Railroad Co., 104 S. C. 266, 88 S. E. 739, and Jenkins v. Railroad Co., 89 S. C. 408, 71 S. E. 1010, the verdict is illogical and cannot stand, as no delict of the company was proved,......
  • Jenkins v. Southern Ry. Co, (No. 11630.)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • December 13, 1924
    ...the cases of Sparks v. R. Co., 109 S. C. 145, 95 S. E. 344; Jones v. R. Co., 106 S. O. 20, 90 S. E. 183; Sparks v. R. Co., 104 S. C. 266, 88 S. E. 739, that if, in an action against the master and the servant jointly, the alleged liability of the master is based solely upon an alleged act o......
  • Durst v. Southern Ry. Co, (No. 11629.)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • December 10, 1924
    ...v. Railroad Co., 109 S. C. 145, 95 S. E. 344; Jones v. Railroad Co., 106 S. C. 20, 90 S. E. 183; Sparks v. Railroad Co., 104 S. C. 266, 88 S. E. 739. He specifically charged the jury: "If the lamp in question was overturned and fell in consequence of, and as a proximate result of, the failu......
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31 cases
  • Johnson v. Atl. Coast Line R. Co, (No. 12210.)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • May 26, 1927
    ...cites Sparks v. R. Co., 109 S. C. 145, 95 S. E. 344, Jones v. R. Co., 106 S. C. 20, 90 S. E. 183, and Sparks v. R. Co., 104 S. C. 266, 88 S. E. 739, cases also relied upon by the appellants. The test applied was the question: "How is it possible for the master to exercise his right of reimb......
  • Miller v. Atl. Coast Line R. Co, (No. 12063.)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • September 10, 1926
    ...jury rendered a verdict against the company alone. The court said: "Under the recent decisions in Sparks v. Railroad Co., 104 S. C. 266, 88 S. E. 739, and Jenkins v. Railroad Co., 89 S. C. 408, 71 S. E. 1010, the verdict is illogical and cannot stand, as no delict of the company was proved,......
  • Jenkins v. Southern Ry. Co, (No. 11630.)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • December 13, 1924
    ...the cases of Sparks v. R. Co., 109 S. C. 145, 95 S. E. 344; Jones v. R. Co., 106 S. O. 20, 90 S. E. 183; Sparks v. R. Co., 104 S. C. 266, 88 S. E. 739, that if, in an action against the master and the servant jointly, the alleged liability of the master is based solely upon an alleged act o......
  • Durst v. Southern Ry. Co, (No. 11629.)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • December 10, 1924
    ...v. Railroad Co., 109 S. C. 145, 95 S. E. 344; Jones v. Railroad Co., 106 S. C. 20, 90 S. E. 183; Sparks v. Railroad Co., 104 S. C. 266, 88 S. E. 739. He specifically charged the jury: "If the lamp in question was overturned and fell in consequence of, and as a proximate result of, the failu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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