Montgomery v. National Convoy & Trucking Co.

186 S.C. 167, 195 S.E. 247 (1938)



One may be negligent by acts of omission as well as of commission, and liability therefor will attach if the act of omission of a duty owed another, under the circumstances, is the direct, proximate and efficient cause of the injury. It is only where the evidence is susceptible of but one reasonable inference that the court may declare what that inference is and take the case from the consideration of the jury. On a motion for nonsuit, the testimony and all inferences from it must be taken most strongly against the defendant. If there is any testimony tending to prove any one or more of the specifications of negligence, the motion is properly refused.


The passenger, riding in her automobile with her chauffeur driving, was injured when the automobile slid on ice and struck the owners' trucks that were stalled on the highway. The passenger brought an action against the truck owners that alleged her injuries were the direct and proximate result of the joint and several acts of negligence and carelessness of the truck owners in the operation of their trucks. The trial court ruled in favor of the passenger. 


Did the trial court err in its decision to rule in favor of the passenger?




The Court affirmed the trial court's judgment and held that it was incumbent on the truck owners to take such precautions as would reasonably be calculated to prevent injury. The court ruled that the truck owners failed in their duty to warn approaching vehicles because the lights at the point where the trucks blocked the highway were not an effective warning. The court held that the verdict of the jury was neither contrary to nor in violation of certain portions of the trial court's charge.

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