Williams v. Randolph & C. Ry. Co, (No. 332.)

Docket Nº(No. 332.)
Citation108 S.E. 915
Case DateOctober 20, 1921
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of North Carolina

108 S.E. 915

WILLIAMS.
v.
RANDOLPH & C. RY.
CO. et al.

(No. 332.)

Supreme Court of North Carolina.

Oct. 20, 1921.


[Ed. Note.—For other definitions, see Words and Phrases, First and Second Series, Assignment; Lease.]

[108 S.E. 916]

Appeal from Superior Court, Orange County; Horton, Judge.

Action by Lena S. Williams, administratrix, against the Randolph & Cumberland Railway Company and the Seaboard Air Line Railway Company. From a verdict for plaintiff, defendants appeal and from an order setting aside the verdict and entering a nonsuit as to the Seaboard Air Line Railway Company, plaintiff and defendant. Randolph & Cumberland Railway Company, appeal. Order striking out verdict reversed, and judgment entered for plaintiff against both defendants.

This was an action for the death of the defendant at a railroad crossing at Cameron, N. C., caused by a train which was being operated at that time by the defendant Randolph & Cumberland Railway Company, lessee of the defendant. Both defendants answered, denying negligence and pleading contributory negligence, and the defendant Seaboard Air Line R. R. Co. denying that it was liable as lessor. The jury found upon the issues submitted that the plaintiff's intestate was killed by the negligence of the defendants, and that the plaintiff was not guilty of contributory negligence, and assessed damages.

The court set aside the verdict on the second issue as against the Seaboard Air Line Railroad Company as a matter of law, and entered a nonsuit as to it. The said company, having, however, assigned errors on the trial to the evidence and the charge, appealed, as did also the Randolph & Cumberland Railway Company, and the plaintiff.

Williams & Williams, of Sanford, Brogden & Bryant, of Durham, W. S. Roberson, of Chapel Hill, and A. L. Brooks, of Greensboro, for plaintiff.

Walter H. Neal, of Laurinburg, and Murray Allen, of Raleigh, for defendant Seaboard Air Line Ry. Co.

U. L. Spence and R. L. Burns, both of Carthage, for defendant Randolph & C. Ry. Co.

CLARK, C. J. In August, 1917, the Randolph & Cumberland Railway Company were operating a railroad between Cameron and Carthage in Moore county, which crosses the National Highway at right angles just Inside the corporate limits of the town of Cameron at a point where the railroad track crosses this highway from a deep cut, which was 8 to 10 feet high on the north side and 12 to 15 feet high on the other. On the banks of this cut for some distance on each side of the railroad bushes, trees, and thick growth had been permitted to grow, obstructing the view of the approaching train.

The plaintiff's intestate, driving along this highway on August 22, 1917, in an automobile going south, crossed a bridge north of the railroad, and was approaching this crossing. The railroad train was approaching the

[108 S.E. 917]

crossing from the west with a box car at the front end nearest the crossing, then two or three gondola cars, then the passenger car, and the engine attached to the rear was pushing the cars over the crossing at a speed of S to 10 miles per hour, the engine being in the cut. There was evidence that the engineer did not ring the bell, blow the whistle, or give any warning of the approach as the train emerged from the cut on the west and entered on the highway. The train collided with the automobile, and plaintiff's intestate sustained severe injuries, from which he died next day.

On August 23, 1888, the Carthage Railway Company leased its roadbed franchise, etc., to the Raleigh & Augusta Air Line Railway Company for 99 years. In 1890 the latter company leased the property acquired from the Carthage Railway Company, together with its own franchise rights, powers, and other privileges and some other property to W. C. Petty for a term of 97 years. Petty operated the road for some time, and after his death the trustees named in his will in 1900 leased all the property acquired under his lease as above to the defendant Randolph & Cumberland Railroad Company. In 1901 the defendant Seaboard Air Line Railway Company succeeded to the rights of the Raleigh & Augusta Railroad Company.

On September 20, 1907, the defendant Seaboard Air Line Railway Company and the defendant Randolph & Cumberland Railroad Company executed a lease agreement, set out in the record, releasing Petty's estate and substituting the defendant Randolph & Cumberland Railway Company as lessee of the property, specifically readopting and reaffirming all stipulations and terms of the lease from the Raleigh & Augusta Air Line Railway Company and Petty, expressly providing that the defendant Randolph & Cumberland Railway Company pay rent direct to the defendant Seaboard Air Line Railway Company, and should make no traffic arrangements or business connection with any other railroad company except with the written consent of the Seaboard Air Line Railway Company, and that the latter may declare the term forfeited and re-enter upon the property, and that the Randolph & Cumberland Railway Company shall indemnify the Seaboard Air Line Railway Company against loss by reason of damage arising out of the operation of the road, and return the property to the Seaboard Air Line Railway Company at the expiration of the term.

Appeal by the Plaintiff.

This appeal presents for review the action of the judge in setting aside as a matter of law the verdict as to the second issue which held the Seaboard Air Line Railroad Company liable, and his instruction to the jury under which they found that the liabili ty of the Seaboard Air Line Railway Company was secondary, and entered judgment of nonsuit as to that company.

In these particulars there was error. This court has repeatedly held that the lessor and lessee of a railway company are jointly liable for the torts of its lessee, and both defendants, the Randolph &...

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6 practice notes
  • State v. Beal, No. 456.
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • August 20, 1930
    ...State v. Laughter, 159 N. C. 4SS, 74 S. E. 913; Tatham v. Mfg. Co., 180 N. C. 627, 105 S. E. 423; Williams v. R. R., 182 N. C. 207, 108 S. E. 915; Dellinger v. Building Co., 187 N. C. 845, 123 S. E. 78; Lockhart on Evidence, 148; 21 Cyc. 974; 1 R. C. L. 527. We have a number of decisions to......
  • APARTMENT ASSN. OF LA v. City of LA, No. S082645.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • January 8, 2001
    ...Brydges v. Millionair Club (1942) 15 Wash.2d 714, 719 [132 P.2d 188, 190]; see also Williams v. R.R. (1921) 182 N.C. 267, 272, 108 S.E. 915, 4. In Acme Freight Lines Inc. v. Vidalia (1942) 193 Ga. 334, 18 S.E.2d 540 (Acme Freight ), similar statutory language favored an analogous argument—t......
  • Dellinger v. Elliot Bldg. Co. Inc, (No. 480.)
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • May 31, 1924
    ...State v. Hall, 183 N. C. 806, 112 S. E. 431; Tatham v. Man. Co., 180 N. C. 627, 105 S. E. 423; Williams v. R. R., 182 N. C. 267, 273, 108 S. E. 915. The defendants excepted on the ground that this principle was ignored. They say the declarations were not restricted to the circumstances atte......
  • Barber v. Southern Ry. Co, (No. 366.)
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • May 11, 1927
    ...Parker v. R. R., 181 N. C. 95, 106 S. E. 755; Jackson v. R R., 181 N. C. 153. 106 S. E. 495; Williams v. R. R., 182 N. C. at page 274, 108 S. E. 915; Rigsbee v. R. R., 190 N. C. 231, 129 S. E. 580. It was in evidence that immediately after plaintiff's injury he was put in the baggage car of......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • State v. Beal, No. 456.
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • August 20, 1930
    ...State v. Laughter, 159 N. C. 4SS, 74 S. E. 913; Tatham v. Mfg. Co., 180 N. C. 627, 105 S. E. 423; Williams v. R. R., 182 N. C. 207, 108 S. E. 915; Dellinger v. Building Co., 187 N. C. 845, 123 S. E. 78; Lockhart on Evidence, 148; 21 Cyc. 974; 1 R. C. L. 527. We have a number of decisions to......
  • APARTMENT ASSN. OF LA v. City of LA, No. S082645.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • January 8, 2001
    ...Brydges v. Millionair Club (1942) 15 Wash.2d 714, 719 [132 P.2d 188, 190]; see also Williams v. R.R. (1921) 182 N.C. 267, 272, 108 S.E. 915, 4. In Acme Freight Lines Inc. v. Vidalia (1942) 193 Ga. 334, 18 S.E.2d 540 (Acme Freight ), similar statutory language favored an analogous argument—t......
  • Dellinger v. Elliot Bldg. Co. Inc, (No. 480.)
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • May 31, 1924
    ...State v. Hall, 183 N. C. 806, 112 S. E. 431; Tatham v. Man. Co., 180 N. C. 627, 105 S. E. 423; Williams v. R. R., 182 N. C. 267, 273, 108 S. E. 915. The defendants excepted on the ground that this principle was ignored. They say the declarations were not restricted to the circumstances atte......
  • Barber v. Southern Ry. Co, (No. 366.)
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • May 11, 1927
    ...Parker v. R. R., 181 N. C. 95, 106 S. E. 755; Jackson v. R R., 181 N. C. 153. 106 S. E. 495; Williams v. R. R., 182 N. C. at page 274, 108 S. E. 915; Rigsbee v. R. R., 190 N. C. 231, 129 S. E. 580. It was in evidence that immediately after plaintiff's injury he was put in the baggage car of......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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