Wright v. Goldheim, No. 31896.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtWEAVER
PartiesWRIGHT ET AL. v. GOLDHEIM ET AL.
Docket NumberNo. 31896.
Decision Date16 November 1918

184 Iowa 1041
169 N.W. 343

WRIGHT ET AL.
v.
GOLDHEIM ET AL.

No. 31896.

Supreme Court of Iowa.

Nov. 16, 1918.


Appeal from District Court, Crawford County; M. E. Hutchison, Judge.

Action at law to recover damages occasioned to plaintiffs' property by the alleged negligence of the defendants. The material facts are stated in the opinion. There was a judgment in favor of plaintiffs against the defendant Goldheim, and he appeals. Affirmed.

[169 N.W. 344]

Conner & Powers, of Denison, for appellant.

R. Shaw Van and Sims & Kuehnle, all of Denison, for appellees.


WEAVER, J.

The plaintiffs are, and for a considerable period have been, the owners of a certain lot in the city of Denison, on which prior to the matters complained of they had long maintained a two-story brick building. During such period, and until the present time, the defendant Goldheim has owned the lot adjoining the plaintiffs on the south, and has maintained thereon another two-story brick store building. The wall between the buildings was upon the partition line and was owned in common. The Goldheim building was the first constructed, and the joists upon each floor of the building extended into and were supported by the party wall. The joists of the first floor of plaintiffs' building were supported upon an independent wall or foundation, but the joists of the second floor and the ceiling joists of that story were let into and rested upon the party wall. In the summer of 1915 Goldheim determined to wreck his store building and erect a new one upon the same site. When this work had so far progressed that the materials of the old building had been taken down and removed, and some degree of excavation had been done in the cellar or basement, the partition wall collapsed, causing the practical destruction of the plaintiffs' building.

In this action plaintiffs allege that the fall of the party wall, and the resulting injury to their property were caused by the act of the defendants in removing the support of such wall and undermining it, and by failing to use reasonable and proper care to perform the work in such manner as not to imperil or injure the adjoining property of the plaintiffs.

The defendant Goldheim denies that he is justly chargeable with negligence or want of reasonable care in the manner of doing the work, or that the fall of the wall was due to any fault on his part. He further pleads that the contract for removing the old building preparatory to the construction of the new one had been let by him to his codefendants, Renfro & Lewis, as independent contractors, and that he himself retained no control or direction over said contractors, who exercised their own discretion in the employment of help and in the manner in which the work was to be done or accomplished, and that for their acts or omissions, if any, he is in no manner responsible. He also alleges that the real and proximate cause of the fall and injury to plaintiffs' building was its weak, decayed, and dilapidated condition, and not in any respect or degree the failure of duty on his part.

There was a trial to a jury, resulting in a verdict for plaintiffs for $2,000, and, judgment having been rendered thereon, the defendant Goldheim appeals.

Appellant's argument for a reversal is based upon two grounds: First, that the trial court erred in overruling defendant's motion for a directed verdict at the close of all the evidence; and, second, that the trial court erred in its charge to the jury.

I. The first assignment, more specifically stated, is that the measure of defendant's responsibility or duty in the premises was reasonable care to avoid injury to plaintiffs' property, and that the evidence not only fails to show any failure or neglect on his part in this respect, but affirmatively establishes his due care as a matter of law.

[1][2] Assuming, for present purposes, that plaintiffs' right to...

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4 practice notes
  • Mallory v. Ice & Supply Co., No. 26332.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • May 18, 1928
    ...to constitute Goodman an independent contractor. Waldron v. Coal Co., 109 S.E. 729; Kirkhart v. Gas Co., 86 W. Va. 79; Wright v. Goldheim, 169 N.W. 343. (4) If it be that Goodman could be said to be an independent contractor, still defendants and each of them are liable herein. (a) Where la......
  • Keith Furnace Co. v. Minear, No. 44873.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 18, 1940
    ...of the defendant's building does contribute to its support, and is being used by the defendant for that purpose.” Wright v. Goldheim, 184 Iowa 1041, 169 N.W. 343, cited by defendants, was a damage action for negligence in the removal of a wall, and the general holding of the court in that c......
  • McMillan v. Tarashansky, No. 32347.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 16, 1918
    ...intent to dispose of the same in violation of law; and that unless restrained therefrom by the order of the court they would continue to [169 N.W. 343]carry on such unlawful business. Wherefore plaintiff prayed that a temporary injunction issue, restraining the defendants and each of them f......
  • Kawneer Mfg. Co. v. Renfro, No. 32662.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • September 20, 1919
    ...that the judgment in the action by Wright and Kinney against Goldheim was affirmed upon appeal to this court. See Wright v. Goldheim, 169 N. W. 343. I. As an introduction to their argument, appellants' counsel state certain abstract propositions of law as follows: (1) That the fact that no ......
4 cases
  • Mallory v. Ice & Supply Co., No. 26332.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • May 18, 1928
    ...to constitute Goodman an independent contractor. Waldron v. Coal Co., 109 S.E. 729; Kirkhart v. Gas Co., 86 W. Va. 79; Wright v. Goldheim, 169 N.W. 343. (4) If it be that Goodman could be said to be an independent contractor, still defendants and each of them are liable herein. (a) Where la......
  • Keith Furnace Co. v. Minear, No. 44873.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 18, 1940
    ...of the defendant's building does contribute to its support, and is being used by the defendant for that purpose.” Wright v. Goldheim, 184 Iowa 1041, 169 N.W. 343, cited by defendants, was a damage action for negligence in the removal of a wall, and the general holding of the court in that c......
  • McMillan v. Tarashansky, No. 32347.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 16, 1918
    ...intent to dispose of the same in violation of law; and that unless restrained therefrom by the order of the court they would continue to [169 N.W. 343]carry on such unlawful business. Wherefore plaintiff prayed that a temporary injunction issue, restraining the defendants and each of them f......
  • Kawneer Mfg. Co. v. Renfro, No. 32662.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • September 20, 1919
    ...that the judgment in the action by Wright and Kinney against Goldheim was affirmed upon appeal to this court. See Wright v. Goldheim, 169 N. W. 343. I. As an introduction to their argument, appellants' counsel state certain abstract propositions of law as follows: (1) That the fact that no ......

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