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Stocker v. City of Richmond Heights

St. Louis Court of Appeals
Nov 7, 1939
132 S.W.2d 1116 (Mo. Ct. App. 1939)

Opinion

Opinion filed November 7, 1939.

1. — Negligence. In suit for damages as a result of blasting, held that negligence is not an essential element to create liability for damages and consequently it is not necessary to plead negligence.

2. — Municipal Corporation. In suit against City for damages as result of blasting for sewer construction, held that the general rule of nonliability of a City or other employer for the acts of independent contractor, does not apply where the contract directly requires the performance of work intrinsically dangerous.

3. — Municipal Corporation — Ordinance. In action against City for damage sustained as a result of the use of dynamite, held that it was not necessary to plead the ordinance under which the work was done nor is it proper to plead evidentiary facts.

4. — Pleadings. In suit for damages against City, held that where City by answering over and going to trial on the merits waived its exception to the overruling of its motion to make the petition more definite and certain.

5. — Municipal Corporation. In suit against City for damages as result of blasting used in the construction of a sewer by Works Progress Administration where City entered into contract with Works Progress Administration and such contract provided for the use of powder and dynamite in blasting operations and also provided for the superintendence of the work by the City engineer and the cost of same to be partly financed by the City and partly by special tax bill, held that question of City's liability was for jury.

6. — Trial — Instruction. In suit for damages as result of blasting it is duty of defendant to request an instruction advising the jury in more explicit language if said defendant thinks the plaintiff's instruction is misleading and where defendant did not offer such an instruction but offered an instruction in substantially the same general language as that of plaintiff's instruction, held that defendant could not complain on appeal.

Appeal from Circuit Court of St. Louis County. — Hon. Peter T. Barrett, Judge.

AFFIRMED.

Francis R. Stout for respondent.

(1) The petition states a cause of action and the evidence proved a cause of action against defendant. (a) A person for whom inherently dangerous work is done is liable, no matter what the nature of the relationship between such person and the person doing the work. (b) Negligence is not an essential element to create liability for damages due to blasting. Also, the defendant city would be liable if the defendant supervised the construction work, although this is not necessary to make the city liable for damages to third person's property. Taylor v. Walsh, 193 Mo. App. 516, 186 S.W. 527; Gilbert v. Evens and Howard Fire Brick Co., 214 Mo. App. 207, 260 S.W. 790; St. Paul Kansas City Railway Co. v. U.S. Fid. Co., 105 S.W.2d l.c. 21; 92 A.L.R., p. 741; Johnson v. Kansas City Terminal Railway Co., 182 Mo. App. 349, 170 S.W. 456; Blackford v. Const. Co., 132 Mo. App. 157, 112 S.W. 287 (which in effect overrules Thurmond v. White Lime Ass'n, 125 Mo. App. 73, cited by appellant); Kink v. City, 71 Mo. 52. (c) It is not necessary to plead the ordinance under which the work was done. Devers v. Howard, 88 Mo. App. 253; Roy v. Kansas City, 204 Mo. App. 332, 224 S.W. 132; MacMurray-Judge Architectural Iron Co. v. City of St. Louis, 138 Mo. 608, 39 S.W. 467; Werth v. City of Springfield, 78 Mo. 107; 44 C.J. 476, sec. 2796; City of St. Louis v. Lang, 131 Mo. 412, 33 S.W. 54. (d) If necessary to plead an ordinance, evidence of it admitted without objection would cure the failure to plead it. R.S. Missouri 1929, sec. 822. (e) It was not necessary to prove the ordinance under which the work was done. Cases cited under 1 (c); 2 McQuillan on Municipal Corp. (2 Ed.), p. 196, sec. 219; Roy v. Kansas City, supra; Frazier v. City of Rockport, 199 Mo. App. 80, 202 S.W. 267; Leonard v. Sparks, 22 S.W., l.c. 902; Skinner-Kennedy v. Board of Education, 82 Mo. App. 541, 165 S.W. 835; City v. Lanigan, 10 S.W. 475. (f) The ordinance was proved. Respondent's Additional Abstract, p. 8; Appellant's Abstract, A-36, A-53. (g) It was not necessary to have an ordinance to authorize the city officials to secure an allotment from the Works Progress Administration to build the sewer. Haskins v. City of DeSoto, 35 S.W.2d, l.c. 967; Windle v. City of Springfield, 8 S.W.2d 61; Schwabe v. Moore, 187 Mo. App. 74, 172 S.W. 1157; Vrooman v. City of St. Louis, 88 S.W.2d 189, l.c. 198; Vol. 9a, Federal Code Annotated, p. 989 et seq. on the powers and duties of Works Progress Administration. (h) If the actions of the city officials were ultra vires, that is an affirmative defense which must be pleaded and proved. It was neither pleaded nor proved in this case. 44 C.J., p. 121, sec. 2224. (2) The motion to make more definite and certain was properly overruled: (a) As the petition stated the relationship between the defendant and the Works Progress Administration. (b) As the details of the damage were matters of evidence. Brunk v. Hamilton-Brown Shoe Co., 66 S.W.2d, l.c. 903; State ex rel. Sappington v. American Surety Co., 41 S.W.2d 966; Herod v. St. Louis and San Francisco Railway Co., 299 S.W. 74; Cases cited under above three authorities. (3) Instructions of defendant 2, 3 and 4, as modified by the court, contained no error. (4) The appellant cannot complain of the measure of damages set out in Instruction No. 5. (a) If the same is error, it is invited error, and refused instruction No. 10 contains the same measure of damages. O'Brien v. Rindskopf (Mo.), 70 S.W.2d 1085; Greaves v. Kansas City Junior Orpheum Co., 80 S.W.2d 228; 5 C.J. Secundum, p. 205, sec. 1507c; Sutton v. Anderson (Mo. en banc), 31 S.W.2d 1026; 1 Houts, Missouri Pleading and Practice, p. 6675, sec. 362; Continental Cas. Co. v. Monarch Transp. Co., 23 S.W.2d 209; Harding v. Mo. Pac. Ry. Co., 248 Mo. 663, 154 S.W. 711; Pope v. Mo. Pac. (Mo.), 175 S.W. 955; 4 C.J., p. 711, sec. 2624; St. John v. German-American Ins. Co., 107 Mo. App. 700, 82 S.W. 543; State ex rel. Sappington v. American Surety Co., supra; Hogan v. Kansas City Pub. Serv. Co. (Mo.), 62 S.W.2d 856; Euler v. State Highway Comm., 55 S.W.2d 719, l.c. 721.

Philip A. Foley, L.A. Robertson and Leon M. Feigenbaum for appellant.

(1) Sec. 770, Specification 6, R.S. Mo. 1929; Sec. 774, R.S. Mo. 1929; Massey Harris Harvester Co. v. Federal Reserve, 48 S.W.2d 158; Bragg v. Specialty Shoe Co., 34 S.W.2d 184; Rositzky v. Rositzky, 46 S.W.2d 591; Hanson v. Neal et al., 215 Mo. 256, 114 S.W. 1073; Title 15, U.S.C.A., secs. 1-2 and 721-728; Brooks v. City of Seattle, 74 P.2d 1008; Taylor et al. v. City of Los Angeles, 84 P.2d 242; Larchmont v. Manaroneck, 249 A.D. 741, 291 N.Y.S. 716. The petition, on its face, shows that defendant City of Richmond Heights was guilty of no negligence from which its liability to plaintiff resulted. Thurmond v. Ashgrove White Lime Assn., 125 Mo. App. 73; Sec. 6917, R.S. Mo. 1929; Bigelow v. City of Springfield, 178 Mo. App. 463, 162 S.W. 750; Faust v. Pope, 132 Mo. App. 287, 111 S.W. 878. (2) Kramer v. Power Co., 311 Mo. 369. (3) Section 770, Specification 6, R.S. Mo. 1929; Section 774, R.S. Mo. 1929; Massey Harris Harvester Co. v. Federal Reserve, 48 S.W.2d 158; Bragg v. Specialty Shoe Co., 34 S.W.2d 184; Rositzky v. Rositzky, 46 S.W.2d 591; Hanson v. Neal et al., 215 Mo. 256, 114 S.W. 1073. (4) The court erred in overruling defendant's instruction in the nature of a demurrer to the evidence offered at the close of plaintiff's case in chief. Title 15, U.S.C.A., secs. 1-2 and 721-728; Brooks v. City of Seattle, 74 P.2d 1008; Taylor et al. v. City of Los Angeles, 84 P.2d 242; Thurmond v. Ashgrove White Lime Ass'n, 125 Mo. App. 73; Sec. 6917, R.S. Mo. 1929; Bigelow v. City of Springfield, 178 Mo. App. 463, 162 S.W. 750; Faust v. Pope, 132 Mo. App. 287, 111 S.W. 878; Larchmont v. Manaroneck, 249 A.D. 741, 291 N.Y.S. 716. (5) Section 770, Specification 6, R.S. Mo. 1929; Section 774, R.S. Mo. 1929; Massey Harris Harvester Co. v. Federal Reserve, 48 S.W.2d 158; Bragg v. Specialty Shoe Co., 34 280 S.W.2d 184; Rositzky v. Rositzky, 46 S.W.2d 591; Hanson v. Neal et al., 215 Mo. 256, 114 S.W. 1073; Title 15, U.S.C.A., secs. 1-2 and 721-728; Brooks v. City of Seattle, 74 P.2d 1008; Taylor et al. v. City of Los Angeles, 84 P.2d 242; Larchmont v. Manaroneck, 249 A.D. 741, 291 N.Y.S. 716; Thurmond v. Ashgrove White Lime Ass'n, 125 Mo. App. 73; Sec. 6917, R.S. Mo. 1929; Bigelow v. City of Springfield, 178 Mo. App. 463, 162 S.W. 750; Faust v. Pope, 132 Mo. App. 287, 111 S.W. 878. (6) Title 15, U.S.C.A., secs. 1-2 and 721-728; Brooks v. City of Seattle, 74 P.2d 1008; Taylor et al. v. City of Los Angeles, 84 P.2d 242; Larchmont v. Manaroneck, 249 A.D. 741, 291 N.Y.S. 716; Thurmond v. Ashgrove White Lime Ass'n, 125 Mo. App. 73; Sec. 6917, R.S. Mo. 1929; Bigelow v. City of Springfield, 178 Mo. App. 463, 162 S.W. 750; Faust v. Pope, 132 Mo. App. 287, 111 S.W. 878. Because the petition is not sufficient upon which to base a verdict or judgment. Title 15, U.S.C.A., secs. 1-2 and 721-728; Brooks v. City of Seattle, 74 P.2d 1008; Taylor et al. v. City of Los Angeles, 84 P.2d 242; Larchmont v. Manaroneck, 249 A.D. 741, 291 N.Y.S. 716; Thurmond v. Ashgrove White Lime Ass'n, 125 Mo. App. 73; Sec. 6917, R.S. Mo. 1929; Bigelow v. City of Springfield, 178 Mo. App. 463, 162 S.W. 750; Faust v. Pope, 132 Mo. App. 287, 111 S.W. 878. Because upon the whole record the judgment is erroneous, Title 15, U.S.C.A., secs. 1-2 and 721-728; Brooks v. City of Seattle, 74 P.2d 1008; Taylor et al. v. City of Los Angeles, 84 P.2d 242; Larchmont v. Manaroneck, 249 A.D. 741, 291 N.Y.S. 716; Sec. 6917, R.S. Mo. 1929; Bigelow v. City of Springfield, 178 Mo. App. 463, 162 S.W. 750; Faust v. Pope, 132 Mo. App. 287, 111 S.W. 878. Because there is no evidence to support the judgment. Title 15, U.S.C.A., secs. 1-2 and 721-728; Brooks v. City of Seattle, 74 P.2d 1008; Taylor et al. v. City of Los Angeles, 84 P.2d 242; Larchmont v. Manaroneck, 249 A.D. 741, 291 N.Y.S. 716; Sec. 6917, R.S. Mo. 1929; Bigelow v. City of Springfield, 178 Mo. App. 463, 162 S.W. 750; Faust v. Pope, 132 Mo. App. 287, 111 S.W. 878; St. Louis Tr. Co. v. Bambrick, 149 Mo. 560, 51 S.W. 706; Rosen v. Kroger Groc. Baking Co., 5 S.W.2d 649; Iven v. Winston Bros. Co., 48 S.W.2d 125; McGrath v. Heman Const. Co., 183 Mo. App. 522; Richie v. State Bd. of Agriculture, 297 S.W. 435, 219 Mo. App. 90. (7) Boyer v. General Oil Products, 78 S.W.2d 450; St. Louis Tr. Co. v. Bambrick, 149 Mo. 560, 51 S.W. 706; Rosen v. Kroger Groc. Baking Co., 5 S.W.2d 649; Iven v. Winston Bros. Co., 48 S.W.2d 125; Faust v. Pope, 132 Mo. App. 287, 111 S.W. 878; McGrath v. Heman Const. Co., 183 Mo. App. 522; Richie v. State Bd. of Agriculture, 219 Mo. App. 90, 297 S.W. 435. (8) The court erred in not holding, as a matter of law, that the defendant was not liable to plaintiff on the allegations contained in plaintiff's petition and the evidence adduced pursuant thereto. Title 15, U.S.C.A., secs. 1-2 and 721-728; Brooks v. City of Seattle, 74 P.2d 1008; Taylor et al. v. City of Los Angeles, 84 P.2d 242; Larchmont v. Manaroneck, 249 A.D. 741, 291 N.Y.S. 716; Sec. 6917, R.S. Mo. 1929; Bigelow v. City of Springfield, 178 Mo. App. 463, 162 S.W. 750; Faust v. Pope, 132 Mo. App. 287, 111 S.W. 878. (9) The court erred in reading and giving to the jury instructions marked "Defendant's Instructions 3 and 4," as modified by the court, over the objections and exceptions of defendant. Sweigert v. The Hannibal St. Joseph Ry. Co., 75 Mo. 475, l.c. 480; Moxey v. Metropolitan St. Ry. Co., 95 Mo. App. 301, l.c. 311; Nimmo v. Perkinson Bros. Const. Co., 85 S.W.2d 103. (10) Sweigert v. The Hannibal St. Joseph Railroad Co., 75 Mo. 475, l.c. 480; Moxey v. Metropolitan St. Ry. Co., 95 Mo. App. 301, l.c. 311; Title 15, U.S.C.A., secs. 1-2 and 721-728; Brooks v. City of Seattle, 74 P.2d 1008; Taylor et al. v. City of Los Angeles, 84 P.2d 242; Larchmont v. Manaroneck, 249 A.D. 741, 291 N.Y.S. 716; Thurmond v. Ashgrove White Lime Assn., 125 Mo. App. 73; Sec. 6917, R.S. Mo. 1929; Bigelow v. City of Springfield, 178 Mo. App. 463, 162 S.W. 750; Faust v. Pope, 132 Mo. App. 287, 111 S.W. 878; Nimmo v. Perkinson Bros. Const. Co., 85 S.W.2d 103. (11) Title 15, U.S.C.A., secs. 1-2 and 721-728; Brooks v. City of Seattle, 74 P.2d 1008; Taylor et al. v. City of Los Angeles, 84 P.2d 242; Larchmont v. Manaroneck, 249 A.D. 741, 291 N.Y.S. 716; Thurmond v. Ashgrove White Lime Assn., 125 Mo. App. 73; Sec. 6917, R.S. Mo. 1929; Bigelow v. City of Springfield, 178 Mo. App. 463, 162 S.W. 750; Faust v. Pope, 132 Mo. App. 287, 111 S.W. 878. (12) The court erred in not giving and reading to the jury instructions Nos. 7, 8, and 9 offered at the request of defendants. Title 15, U.S.C.A., secs. 721-728. (13) Title 15, U.S.C.A., secs. 1-2 and 721-728; Brooks v. City of Seattle, 74 P.2d 1008; Taylor et al. v. City of Los Angeles, 84 P.2d 242; Larchmont v. Manaroneck, 249 A.D. 741, 291 N.Y.S. 716; Thurmond v. Ashgrove White Lime Assn., 125 Mo. App. 73; Section 6917, R.S. Mo. 1929; Bigelow v. City of Springfield, 178 Mo. App. 463, 162 S.W. 750; Faust v. Pope, 132 Mo. App. 287, 111 S.W. 878.


This is an action for damages commenced in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County on September 2, 1937.

The petition is as follows:

"Comes now plaintiff and states that the defendant City of Richmond Heights is and was at all times mentioned herein a municipal corporation, organized, existing and administering its affairs as such.

"For a cause of action against the above defendant, plaintiff states that she is and was at all times mentioned herein the owner in fee simple of property located in the said City of Richmond Heights, Missouri, and known and numbered as 7560 Ethel Avenue; that said property is and was at all times mentioned herein improved with a four-family brick dwelling house and garage.

"Plaintiff further states that the defendant, during the months of June, July and August, 1937, arranged and contracted to have a sewer constructed in the City of Richmond Heights and under property abutting plaintiff's property; that said sewer was constructed by the Works Progress Administration of the United States Government.

"Plaintiff further states that said work was done by the Works Progress Administration for and on behalf of the defendant and at the instance and request of the defendant and under an agreement and arrangement whereby the said Works Progress Administration agreed to construct the said sewer for the defendant and for the use and benefit of the defendant.

"Plaintiff further states that, in the course of the construction of said sewer, dynamite and other explosives were used to blast out stone, rock and other material to construct the tunnel of the said sewer; that the said explosions caused a vibration in the surrounding property and caused vibration in the ground of plaintiff's property above described and proximately caused the brick building and garage, with which plaintiff's property is improved, to be damaged thereby, in that the floors, ceilings, roof, walls, chimneys, stairways, windows, doors and other parts of the buildings were broken, cracked and separated from the parts of the buildings contiguous thereto.

"Plaintiff further states that by reason of the damage to her property, as aforesaid, she has been damaged in the sum of three thousand dollars all as a direct and proximate result of the explosions aforesaid and the resultant damage to her property.

"Wherefore, plaintiff prays judgment against defendant for the sum of three thousand dollars and her costs in this behalf expended and to accrue."

The trial with a jury resulted in a verdict and judgment for plaintiff for two thousand dollars. Defendant appeals.

Defendant assigns error here for the overruling of its demurrer to the petition. Defendant urges in support of this assignment that the petition fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action, in that, (1) the petition does not allege negligence resulting in damage to plaintiff's building, (2) the petition shows on its face that the construction of the sewer was under the exclusive control, management and supervision of the Works Progress Administration as an independent contractor, so that no relation of superior and subordinate existed to raise liability under the doctrine of respondeat superior, and (3) there is no allegation in the petition that the sewer in question was constructed by virtue or authority of any ordinance or ordinances duly enacted by the defendant city.

Negligence is not an essential element to create liability for damages due to blasting. Hence, it is not necessary to plead negligence. [Taylor v. Walsh, 193 Mo. App. 516, 186 S.W. 527; Gibert v. Evens Howard Fire Brick Co. (Mo. App.), 260 S.W. 790; Johnson v. Kansas City Terminal R. Co., 182 Mo. App. 349, 170 S.W. 456; Blackford v. Heman Const. Co., 132 Mo. App. 157, 112 S.W. 287.]

Nor is it essential that the relations be such as to bring into operation the doctrine of respondeat superior. The general rule of nonliability of a city, or other employer, for the acts of an independent contractor, does not apply where the contract directly requires the performance of work intrinsically dangerous. [Taylor v. Walsh, 193 Mo. App. 516, 186 S.W. 527; St. Paul Kansas City Short Line R. Co. v. U.S. Fid. Guar. Co. (Mo. App.), 105 S.W.2d 14, l.c. 21.]

Nor is it necessary to plead the ordinance or ordinances under which the work was done. [Devers v. Howard, 88 Mo. App. 253; Roy v. Kansas City, 204 Mo. App. 332, 224 S.W. 132; MacMurray-Judge Architectural Iron Co. v. City of St. Louis, 138 Mo. 608, 39 S.W. 467; Werth v. City of Springfield, 78 Mo. 107; City of St. Louis v. Lang, 131 Mo. 412, 33 S.W. 54.]

The demurrer to the petition was properly overruled.

We also think defendant's motion to make the petition more definite and certain was properly overruled. The petition sufficiently alleges the essential issuable facts. It is neither necessary nor proper to plead evidentiary facts.

Moreover, defendant by answering over and going to trial on the merits waived its exception to the overruling of its motion to make the petition more definite and certain. [Kitchen v. Schlueter Mfg. Co., 323 Mo. 1179, 20 S.W.2d 676; Green v. St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. Co., 224 Mo. App. 517, 30 S.W.2d 784; Sauter v. Leveridge, 103 Mo. 615, 15 S.W. 981; Kramer v. Kansas City Power Light Co., 311 Mo. 369, 279 S.W. 43; Sperry v. Hurd, 267 Mo. 628, 185 S.W. 170; Burnett v. Hudson (Mo.), 228 S.W. 462; Mahan v. Merchants' Bank, 160 Mo. 640, 61 S.W. 676.]

Error is assigned by defendant for the refusal of its instruction in the nature of a demurrer to the evidence The assignment is put on the same grounds urged in support of the demurrer to the petition. The evidence supports the allegations of the petition. Defendant entered into a contract or arrangement with the Works Progress Administration for the construction of the sewer for defendant. The contract or arrangement was made pursuant to an application of defendant to the Works Progress Administration. The application was made in writing through the defendant's officers. The contract provided for the use of powder and dynamite in blasting operations. It also provided for the superintendents of the work by the city engineer and for contributions by the city to the cost of the work amounting to $63,631. It appears that the work done was an extension of the sewer system of the city and became a part thereof. The work was done under the supervision of the Works Progress Administration. It was also provided in the contract that the work would be financed on the part of the city by a bond issue or special tax bills. It appears that the city engineer supervised and inspected the work to the extent of seeing that it conformed to the ordinances of the city.

Courts will not assume that public officers will act dishonestly or dishonorably, or use their public trust for private ends, and, in the absence of proof to the contrary, officers will be presumed to have acted in the exercise of their powers in the interest of the public and within the authority granted them. The enactment of an ordinance or ordinances duly authorizing the work sufficiently appears by inference at least from the facts shown. [Roy v. Kansas City, 204 Mo. App. 332, 224 S.W. 132; Frazier v. City of Rockport, 199 Mo. App. 80, 202 S.W. 266; Skinner Kennedy Stationery Co. v. Board of Education of the City of St. Louis, 182 Mo. App. 541, 165 S.W. 835.]

Other points raised in support of this assignment are necessarily ruled against defendant from what we have already said.

The instruction in the nature of a demurrer to the evidence was properly refused.

Defendant assigns error for the giving of plaintiff's Instruction No. 1.

Defendant complains that the instruction assumes that the duly authorized agents of the defendant made application and requested the building of the sewer by the Works Progress Administration. A reading of the instruction clearly shows that it does not assume, but requires the jury to find, such fact.

Defendant further complains that the instruction fails to define the proper measure of damages. The complaint made against the instruction is that it is general in its character and gave the jury a roving commission with respect to the amount of damages. There was no misdirection in the instruction or incorrect statement on the measure of damages. If the defendant thought the instruction might be misleading, it was its duty and right to request an instruction advising the jury in more explicit language respecting the measure of damages, but defendant, instead of requesting such an instruction, procured the court to give to the jury an instruction in substantially the same general language as that of the plaintiff's instruction. It ought therefore not be heard to complain of plaintiff's instruction here.

There was ample testimony showing the difference between the value of the damaged building before and after it was damaged, and the verdict is well within such showing.

Defendant assigns error for the modification of its Instructions Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5. The record before us does not show in what respect the instructions were modified. The assignment must therefore be ruled against defendant.

Defendant's refused instructions, as to which complaint is made, were properly refused because substantially covered by instructions given.

The Commissioner recommends that the judgment of the circuit court be affirmed.


The foregoing opinion of SUTTON, C., is adopted as the opinion of the court. The judgment of the circuit court is accordingly affirmed. Becker and McCullen, JJ., concur; Hughes, P.J., not sitting because not a member of the court at the time the case was submitted.


ON MOTION FOR A REHEARING.


Defendant, on motion for a rehearing, complains that we have overlooked cases in other jurisdictions, cited and relied on by it, as follows: City of Los Angeles v. Industrial Accident Commission (Cal.), 72 P.2d 540; Hoover v. Independent School District, 220 Iowa 1364; Shelton v. City of Greenville, 169 Tenn. 366, 87 S.W.2d 1016; City of Phoenix v. Parker, 49 Ariz. 382; and Todaro v. City of Shreveport (La.), 170 So. 356.

The Los Angeles case involved the right or not of an injured workman to compensation from the City of Los Angeles under the Workmen's Compensation Law of California. The workman was employed by an independent contractor of the Works Progress Administration. It was held that the city was not liable for compensation because the city was not an employer of the workman. Clearly, that case is not in point here. The same is true of the Hoover case and the Shelton case.

In the Phoenix case it was held that the city was not liable to a pedestrian for injuries sustained by reason of the negligence of an independent contractor under contract to construct and complete storm sewer system improvements as a Progress Works Administration project, where the injury occurred outside the city limits. It was so held because the contractor being an independent contractor there was no relationship of master and servant between the contractor and the city so as to make the city liable under the rule of respondeat superior. That case is obviously not in point here.

In the Todaro case it was held that the employees of the Federal Civil Works Administration engaged in demolishing a building on fairgrounds owned by a municipality were not employees of the municipality and hence the municipality was not liable under the rule of respondeat superior for injuries sustained when the canopy of the building being demolished fell upon a member of a construction crew on a sidewalk adjacent to the building. Nevertheless, the municipality was held liable under the rule that a municipality is liable for the negligence of an independent contractor in the performance of nondelegable duties. That case clearly does not support the defendant's view. On the contrary, it supports the view expressed in our opinion.

The Commissioner recommends that defendant's motion for a rehearing be overruled.


The foregoing opinion of SUTTON, C., is adopted as the opinion of the court. Defendant's motion for a rehearing is accordingly overruled. Becker and McCullen, JJ., concur; Hughes, P.J., not sitting because not a member of the court at the time the case was submitted.


Summaries of

Stocker v. City of Richmond Heights

St. Louis Court of Appeals
Nov 7, 1939
132 S.W.2d 1116 (Mo. Ct. App. 1939)
Case details for

Stocker v. City of Richmond Heights

Case Details

Full title:ANNA STOCKER, RESPONDENT, v. CITY OF RICHMOND HEIGHTS, A MUNICIPAL…

Court:St. Louis Court of Appeals

Date published: Nov 7, 1939

Citations

132 S.W.2d 1116 (Mo. Ct. App. 1939)
132 S.W.2d 1116

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