NOTES OF CURRENT DECISIONS
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT.
Negligence-Exemption of Master for Injuries by Servant. HOUGH 'V. TEXAS & PACIFIC It. CO. 9 Amer. L. Rec. 93. This was an action brought by the widow of deceased on her own behalf and as next friend of the son of deceased, to recover damages, compensatory and ex" emplary, on account of the death of the and father of plaintiffs; through the negligence of the servants and employes of the defendant. The case was taken up on error to the circuit court of the United States for the western district of Texas, and was, decided in August, 1880. Mr. Justice Harlan delivered the opinion of the coprt reversing the judgment. 'To the rule exempting the master from liability to ona servant for injury caused by a fellow-servant, there are numerous well-defined exceptions; one of which arises from the obligation of the master, whether a natural person or a corporation, not to expose the servant, when conducting the master's business,'to perils or hazards against which he may be guarded by proper diligence upon the part of the master. To that end the master, whether a natural person or a corporation, although not to be held as gUarantying, the absolute safety or perfection of machinery or other apparatus provided for the servant, is bound to observe all the care which the exigencies of the situation reasonably rlr quire, in furnishing instrumentalities adeqnatelysafe for use; Those, at least, in the organization of a railroadcorporatiou'who are invested with controltheir'negliling or Iluperior duty in that regard, represent its gence, from which injury results, is the negligence of ,the corporation. if a thereof to servant, haVing a knowledge of a defect in machinery, gives the proper officer, and is promised that such defect shalibe remedied, hissurr, sequent use of the machinery, in the belief, well grounded, that it' wmbe put in proper condition within a reasonable time, does not necessarily, or as a matter of law. make him guilty of cQutribntory negligence. It is forthejury to say whether he was in the exercise of !iue care in relying upousuch promise,and in using the machinery after knowledge of its defectiveor condition. The burden of proof in such a case is upon the company to ;1'i'Ow' contributory negligence. ' , 'fhe cases cited in the opinion were: :Farwellv. Boston '& Worces.ter R. Co. 4 Mete. 49; Railroad Co. v. Fort, 17 Wall. 557; Ford v. Fitchburg R. Co.
110 Mass. 241; Priestley v. Fowler, 3 Mees. & W. 1; Patterson v. Wallace, 1 Macq. H. L. Cas. 748; Bartonshill Coal Co. v. Reid, 3 Macq. H. L. Cas. 288; Bartollshill Coal Co.v. McGuire, Id. 307.; Clarke v. Holmes, 6 Hurl. & N. 349; S. C. 937; Murray v. Phillips, 35 Law Times, 477; Conroy v. Vulcan Iron Works, 62 Mo. 38; Patterson v. P. & C. Ry. Co. 76 Pa. St. 389; Le Clair v. Railroad Co. 20 Minn. 9; Brabbits v.'Ry. Co. 38 Mo. 289; Holmes v. Worthington,2 Fast. & F. 535; Railroad Co. v. Gladman, 15 Wall. 401; Indianapolis & St. L. R. Co. v. Horst, 93 U. S. 291.
Patents for Inventions-Assignment. GOTTFRIED 'tI. MILLER, 3 Morr. Trans. 644. Appeal from the circuit court of the United States for the eastern district of Wisconsin. The case was decided in the supreme court of the United States on January 23, 1882. Mr. Justice Woods delivered the opinion of the court affirming the decision of the circuit court. Assignments of patents for Inventions are not required to be under seal. The statute regulating their transfer simply provides that" every patent or any interest therein shall be assiWlable in law by an instrument in Writing, and as a corporation may bind itself by a contract not under its corporate seal when the law does not r'equlre its contract to be evidenced by a sealed instrument, the absence of the corporate seal from the contract of assignment does not render it invalid or void. When the assignment is executed by an agent of the corporation, he should, in the body of the contract, name the corporation as the contracting party, and sign as its agent or officer. The attachment of stock in the hands of a stockholder does not encumber the property of the company nor prevent the assignment by the company. , Ephraim Banning and Thomas A. Hanning, for appellant. E. H. Abbott, for appellee. The cases cited in the opinion were: That a corporation may bind itself by contract not under its corporate seal: Bank of Columbia v. Patterson, 7 Cranch, 299; Fleckner v. U. S. Bank, 8 Wheat. 338; Andover T. Cor. v.Hay, 7 Mass. 102; Dunn v. St. Andrew's Church, 14 Johns. 118; Kennedy v. BaIt. Ins. Co. 3 Harr. & J. 367; Stanley v. Hotel Corp. 13 Me. 31. As to parol conmade by agent: Fanning v. Gregoire, 16 How. 524; Fleckner v. Bank, 8'}Vheat. 338. Assignments by corporation in general: Matt v. Hicks, 1 Cow. 513; Bowen v. Norris. 2 Taunt. 374; Shelton v. Darling, 2 Conn. 435: Brockway v. Allen, 17 Wend. 40. As to the effect of attachment of stock of a stockholder: Morgan v. Railroad Co. 1 Woods, 15; Bradley v. Holdsworth, 3 Mees. & W. 334; Arnold v.Ruggles, 1 R. I. 165. Oontract-Enforcing Performance. BROWN et al. v. SLEE et al. 2 Morr. Trans. 772. This was an appeal from the circuit court of the United States for the district of Iowa, in a suit in equity to enforce the stipulations in certain contracts wherein the plaintiffs purchased from his executors the interest of the estate of deceased in the undivided partnership property owned by the plaintiffs and deceased during his life-time, for $100,000, payable. $25,000 in cash, $50,000 in notes, and $25,000 in land and acertain county judgment, unless the executors concluded not t() keep the land and the judgment, in which event he was, at the end of five