Watson v. City Of Atlanta

Citation130 Ga. 370,71 S.E. 664
Decision Date13 June 1911
CourtSupreme Court of Georgia

(Syllabus by the Court.)

Municipal Corporations (§ 706*)—Liabilities—Injuries by Public Ambulance.

A petition is demurrable where it is alleged that the plaintiff was injured in consequence of being struck by an ambulance which was negligently driven against him while he was in the exercise of due care, it appearing from the remainder of the petition that the ambulance belonged to and was being operated for a public hospital of a municipal corporation, which was under the control of the municipality through its board of officers, although it is averred that in the maintenance of the hospital the municipality "charged fees for patients entering therein"; this last averment not being tantamount to an allegation that the municipality maintained and operated the hospital for pecuniary gain and private profit.

[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Municipal Corporations, Dec. Dig. § 706.*]

Error from Superior Court, Fulton County; J. T. Pendleton, Judge.

Action by J. E. Watson against the City of Atlanta. Judgment for defendant, and plaintiff brings error. Affirmed.

R. B. Blackburn, for plaintiff in error.

J. L. Mayson and W. D. Ellis, Jr., for defendant in error.

BECK, J. This was a suit against the city of Atlanta to recover damages for personal injuries alleged to have been sustained by the plaintiff in consequence of being run upon and knocked down by a Grady Hospital ambulance in charge of and under the control of agents and employés of the city, and it is alleged that plaintiff's injuries were caused by the negligence of the defendant, through its agents and employés in the manner in which the horses pulling the ambulance were driven, to wit, at an unlawful rate of speed. It is also alleged that "said Grady Hospital was under the control of the city of Atlanta, through its board of officers, and that in the maintenance of said Grady Hospital the city of Atlanta charged fees to patients entering therein." The defendant filed a general demurrer to the petition, which was sustained by the court below, and the plaintiff excepted.

Section 33 of the charter of the city of Atlanta provides: "The said mayor and general council shall have power and authority to pass all by-laws and ordinances respecting public buildings and grounds, workhouses, public houses, carriages, wagons, carts, drays, pumps, wells, springs, fire engines care of the poor, suppression of disorderly houses, houses of ill fame, for the prevention and punishment of disorderly conduct and conduct liable to disturb the peace and tranquility of any citizen or citizens thereof, and every other by-law, regulation, and ordinance that may seem to them proper for the security of the peace, health, order and good government of said city." We think that under the provisions of this section of the charter the city of Atlanta is authorized to establish and maintain a public hospital. The maintenance of such an institution may well be regarded as in a measure incidental and necessary to the security and preservation of the health and well-being of the citizens, who in the hour of need require the attention of such skilled nurses and physicians as may be selected and employéd by the...

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6 cases
  • Hagerman v. City of Seattle
    • United States
    • Washington Supreme Court
    • April 8, 1937
    ...the following decisions and in the cases therein respectively cited: Benton v. Santa Monica, 106 Cal.App. 339, 289 P. 203; Watson v. Atlanta, 136 Ga. 370, 71 S.E. 664; McCrary v. City of Rome, 29 Ga.App. 384, 115 283; Tollefson v. Ottawa, 228 Ill. 134, 81 N.E. 823, 11 L.R.A.(N.S.) 990; Evan......
  • Shaffer v. Monongalia General Hospital
    • United States
    • West Virginia Supreme Court
    • December 19, 1950
    ...General Hospital, 120 Mass. 432, 21 Am.Rep. 529; White v. Alabama Insane Hospital, 138 Ala. 479, 35 So. 454; Watson v. City of Atlanta, 136 Ga. 370, 71 S.E. 664; Butler v. Kansas City, 97 Kan. 239, 155 P. 12, L.R.A. 1916D, 626, Ann.Cas. 1918D, 801; Maia's Adm'r v. Directors of Eastern State......
  • Washington v. City of Columbus, No. 50504
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • October 30, 1975
    ...corporation likewise, in the discharge of such duty, is in the exercise of a purely governmental function.' In Watson v. City of Atlanta, 136 Ga. 370, 71 S.E. 664 it was held that the municipal authorities, in operating a non-profit public hospital, were so acting, the court stating: 'The p......
  • City Of Columbus v. Webster
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • May 21, 1935
    ...particular work so being done was connected with, or had reference to, the preservation of the public health." In Watson v. City of Atlanta, 136 Ga. 370, 71 S. E. 664, 665, cited by counsel for plaintiff in error, and wherein judgment was rendered for the city, the injury was alleged to hav......
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