Wolfe v. City of Miami

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtDAVIS, J.
Citation134 So. 539,103 Fla. 774
Decision Date12 May 1931
PartiesWOLFE v. CITY OF MIAMI.

134 So. 539

103 Fla. 774

WOLFE
v.
CITY OF MIAMI.

Florida Supreme Court, Division B.

May 12, 1931


Error to Circuit Court, Dade County; A. J. Rose, Judge.

Action by Carolyn Wolfe against the City of Miami. Judgment for defendant, and plaintiff brings error.

Reversed, and remanded for new trial.

COUNSEL [103 Fla. 775] A. B. & C. C. Small and Wallace Ruff, all of Miami, for plaintiff in error.

J. W. Watson, Jr., of Miami, Charles E. Davis, of Tallahassee, and Jack B. Kirchik, of Miami, for defendant in error.

OPINION

DAVIS, J.

Plaintiff in error was plaintiff in the court below in a suit brought against the city of Miami for injuries inflicted on her in an automobile [134 So. 540] accident which occurred on November 30, 1926, at the intersection of Flagler street and Miami avenue.

The basis of the suit, as set forth in the declaration and substantiated by the testimony at the trial, is that the accident was occasioned by the negligence and carelessness [103 Fla. 776] of a negro convict, who at the time was operating a motor vehicle belonging to one Max Lenhoff, a city convict foreman, but engaged on a mission for the city. The contention is that the city is liable because of the negligence and carelessness of its agent and servant the convict foreman as well as the convict who drove the car, under the circumstances.

The evidence at the trial was sufficient to warrant a finding of negligence on the part of the convict operating the car. The only question at issue is whether the driver's negligence is attributable in law to the city under the circumstances of this case. The court below held that it was not, and directed a verdict for the defendant at the conclusion of the plaintiff's evidence. The principal assignment of error is based on this ruling.

The evidence shows that on the day of the alleged injury Max Lenhoff, a convict foreman, was in charge of a squad of negro prisoners and that he had been directed by the city jailer to engage in the work of cleaning up rubbish and débris which had been occasioned by a recent severe hurricane. In doing so, Lenhoff was acting under instruction from one Dr. Ziebold, the director of public welfare of the city of Miami, and Dr. Ziebold was in turn acting for the city manager of Miami, under said city manager's instructions, which he had authority to give.

Prior to the accident, the foreman or guard, Lenhoff, had taken the force of prisoners from the city jail and was using them in cleaning up rubbish and débris, although at the exact time of the accident it appears that this force was engaged in trying to launch a barge which had been damaged by the storm and driven ashore. The city contended at the trial that this barge was the private property of the chief of police of the municipality, and that the employment of the city forces for the purpose of launching this craft was unauthorized and ultra vires. However, the exact work in which the convict force was engaged becomes [103 Fla. 777] immaterial to the city's liability,...

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20 practice notes
  • Hoggard v. City Of Richmond.*
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court of Virginia
    • January 9, 1939
    ...v. Kaufman, 87 Fla. 119, 100 So. 150; City of West Palm Beach v. Grimmett, 102 Fla. 680, 136 So. 320, 137 So. 385; and Wolfe v. Miami, 103 Fla. 774, 134 So. 539, 137 So. 892. The same inconsistency seems to exist in Georgia. Compare City of Macon v. Roy, 34 Ga.App. 603, 130 S.E. 700, with C......
  • Hoggard v. Richmond, Record No. 2004.
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court of Virginia
    • January 9, 1939
    ...Tallahassee Kaufman, 87 Fla. 119, 100 So. 150; City of West Palm Beach Grimmett, 102 Fla. 680, 136 So. 320, 137 So. 385; and Wolfe Miami, 103 Fla. 774, 134 So. 539, 137 So. The same inconsistency seems to exist in Georgia. Compare City of Macon Roy, 34 Ga.App. 603, 130 S.E. 700, with City o......
  • Eberhardy v. General Motors Corporation, No. 74-214 Civ-J-S.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • August 29, 1975
    ...caused damage. Frankel v. Fleming, 69 So.2d 887, 888 (Fla.1954); Wilson v. Burke, 53 So.2d 319 (Fla.1951); Wolfe v. City of Miami, 103 Fla. 774, 134 So. 539, 541 (1931); Earl v. Ray, 277 So.2d 73, 76-77 (Fla.App.2d, 1973); Sauer v. Sauer, 128 So.2d 761, 763 (Fla.App.2d, 1961); Martin v. Llo......
  • Davis v. Provo City Corporation, No. 7905
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Utah
    • December 31, 1953
    ...engaged in by the city. City of West Palm Beach v. Grimmett, 102 Fla. 680, 136 So. 320, 137 So. 385; Wolfe v. City of Miami, 103 Fla. 774, 134 So. 539, 137 So. 892; City of Tallahassee v. Kaufman, 87 Fla. 119, 100 So. 150. South Carolina has held that in the absence of statute, a municipali......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
20 cases
  • Hoggard v. City Of Richmond.*
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court of Virginia
    • January 9, 1939
    ...v. Kaufman, 87 Fla. 119, 100 So. 150; City of West Palm Beach v. Grimmett, 102 Fla. 680, 136 So. 320, 137 So. 385; and Wolfe v. Miami, 103 Fla. 774, 134 So. 539, 137 So. 892. The same inconsistency seems to exist in Georgia. Compare City of Macon v. Roy, 34 Ga.App. 603, 130 S.E. 700, with C......
  • Hoggard v. Richmond, Record No. 2004.
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court of Virginia
    • January 9, 1939
    ...Tallahassee Kaufman, 87 Fla. 119, 100 So. 150; City of West Palm Beach Grimmett, 102 Fla. 680, 136 So. 320, 137 So. 385; and Wolfe Miami, 103 Fla. 774, 134 So. 539, 137 So. The same inconsistency seems to exist in Georgia. Compare City of Macon Roy, 34 Ga.App. 603, 130 S.E. 700, with City o......
  • Eberhardy v. General Motors Corporation, No. 74-214 Civ-J-S.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • August 29, 1975
    ...caused damage. Frankel v. Fleming, 69 So.2d 887, 888 (Fla.1954); Wilson v. Burke, 53 So.2d 319 (Fla.1951); Wolfe v. City of Miami, 103 Fla. 774, 134 So. 539, 541 (1931); Earl v. Ray, 277 So.2d 73, 76-77 (Fla.App.2d, 1973); Sauer v. Sauer, 128 So.2d 761, 763 (Fla.App.2d, 1961); Martin v. Llo......
  • Davis v. Provo City Corporation, No. 7905
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Utah
    • December 31, 1953
    ...engaged in by the city. City of West Palm Beach v. Grimmett, 102 Fla. 680, 136 So. 320, 137 So. 385; Wolfe v. City of Miami, 103 Fla. 774, 134 So. 539, 137 So. 892; City of Tallahassee v. Kaufman, 87 Fla. 119, 100 So. 150. South Carolina has held that in the absence of statute, a municipali......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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