shall be paid for at the prices fixed in this contract; and when the new alignments, gradients, or forms of structures substituted for those abandoned shall, in the opinion of the chief engineer, materially alter the charaoter of the work, he shall estimate the difference in value thereof, and due allowance shall be made therefor, according to the enhanoed or diminished value of the work." From the terms of the seotion it is manifest that, before a suit can be maintained for a breaoh of the same, two things are necessary: (1) That the chief engineer should be of the opinion that the ohanges made in the alignment, gra,dients, and form of structures have materially altered the oharacter of the work; and (2) that he shall have estimated the differenoe in value. The declaration contains no allegations that the chief engineer had any suoh opinion, or that he has made an estimate of the amount of the enhanced value of the work. On the oontrary, it simply alleges "that he has wholly neglected and refused.so to do." This is hardly sufficient. Non constat that the facts and oiroumstances of the case did not justify his negleot and refusal. As was pertinently observed by ERLE, C. J., in Clark v. Watson, 18 C. B. (N. S.) 278, when oonsidering a demurrer to a declaration in a very analogous case: "This is an attempt on the part of the plaintiff to take from the defendant the protection of his surveyor, [or arbiter,] and to substitute for it the opinion of a jury." It is not neoessary to say whether the count would bave been good if it had alleged that the neglect and refusal of the chief engineer was fraudulent or in bad faith, but the oount, in its present form, cannot be upheld, and the demurrer must be sustained.
GAITHER t1. KANSAS CITY, ETC.,
w: D. Tennessee.
lIay 22, 1886.)
The rule that the court will not set aside a verdict because of a difference of opinion as to the amount of damages that should have been allowed, is consistently adhered to, and a new trial may be granted, where the judge is not satisfied that the jury acted with full comprehension of the force of the proof and of the charge of the court upon a matter in dispute.
VERDICT FOR DAMAGES.
SAME-CASE IN JUDGMENT.
Where the jury found a verdict of $250 for personal injury. resulting in the death of a voung colored girl, in a suit by her father for his pecuniary interest in her lrfe, and there was an issue whether the parties were domiciled in Arkansas, where a female becomes of age at 18 years, or in Tennessee, where she is not of age until she becomes 21, and upon this issue the proof was un· satisfactory, and the court was not satisfied that its charge was sufficiently definite on the point, a new trial was granted.
NEGLIGENCE-Ac'fION FOR, CAUSING DEATH-MEASURE OF DAMAGES.
Under the Arkansas statute. and those like it, allowing damages for negli, gence resulting in death, only the pecuniary interest of the plaintiff can be recovered; and this may be even less than $250, under some circumstances,
GAITHER fl. KANSAS CITY, ETC., R. 00.
when we discard the sentiment that any human life is worth more than such a pittance as that, which sentiment the law does not at all recognize as au element of damages; nor any Jdea of punishment for the negligence.
CARRIER-WHO IS A COMMOI:i CARRIER-SKIFF IN THE MISSISSIPPI RrvER.
Whether a skiff carr:ying an occupont for pay is a common carrier, in the sense of the rule that m case of collision a passenger is not responsible for the nep;lip;ence of his own carrier, gUaJre.
Motion for New Trial. The plaintiff's child, a colored girl about 16 years of age, was killed by collision with the defendant's transfer boat in the Mississippi river, near the Arkansas shore, soon after the boat had left the incline of the railway. She was one of the occupants of a skiff comingfrom a cotton plantation, and had paid the skiffman for her passage, as many persons did who came in that way to Memphis, the skiff being kept at the plantation for that purpose. The steam-boat and skiff came into collision under circumstances enabling them to set np negligence against each other, but it is not necessary now to state the circumstances. The jury found a verdict for $250 for the plaintiff; the court having charged them that the plain,tiff and his child were not responsible for any contributory negligMce oj the skiffman. Smith d: Collier, for the motion. Newman Erb. contra.
HAMMOND, J. This case presents a question whether persons riding in skiffs on the Mississippi river are "passengers," and the skiffs "common carriers," in the sense of the rule that the passenger is not responsible for the negligence of his carrier in cases of injury by collision. It was ruled in favor of the plaintiff at the trial, but with consider.able doubt, particularly in view of the case of Collins v. Davidson. 19 Fed. Rep. 83. It is true, it is not shown whether the plaintiff in that case was a "passenger" with respect to the fact that he was being carried for pay; but it may be doubtful whether there is not. even where they are carried for hire, an element of foolhardiness in riding in a skiff in the neighborhood and close proximity of passing steamers on this river, that precludes the notion of treating the skiffs as carriers, and assimilating them to carriages on land. It does not now require decision here, for the defendant makes no complaint of the verdict, and on the plaintiff's motion for a new trial the sole question is whether the court should set the verdict aside for inadequacy. It stands precisely upon the same footing as a motion made to set aside a verdict for excessive damages. In neither case should a court substitute its judgment for that of the jury. Brown v. Memphis, etc·· R. Co., 7 Fed. Rep. 51; Kirkpatrick v. Adams, 20 Fed. Rep. 287; Muskegon Bank v. Northwestern Ins. Co.· 19 Fed. Rep. 405; Lancaster v. Providence, etc., Co.· 26 Fed. Rep. 233. This was an action for a personal injury resulting in the death of a. colored girl about 16 years of age, brought by herfather; and the sole v.27F.no.7-35
question, nnller the charge of the court, as to which no exceptionwllos taken, was the extent of his pecuniary interest in her life. !twas urged by defendant that they were citizens of Arkansas where the in. jury occurred, and under the statute of which state the suitwas brought. There she became of age at 18, and it was argued to the jury that he had only a right to her prospective earnings for two years. It was claimed by the plaintiff that they were citizens of Tennessee, sojourning in Arkansas to work on a plantation. In Tennessee the child would not become of age until 21. This question of citizenship was submitted to the jury, and no exception is taken to the charge on that score; but it is said that the jury possibly did not understand it. I think they did fully, for it was a very intelligent jury. But the proof itself was far from satisfactory, as, perhaps, it might always be with a class of people who are wanting in many of the possessions and situations in relation to which satisfactory circumstances are found to determine a question of domicile or citizenship. I am. unable to even guess from the proof, and we can look nowhere else, how the jury arrived at this verdict; but here, again, the trouble is that in all such. cases it is impossible to calculate the damages with accuracy from any proof. It is largely !to matter of estimation by the jury from the proof, and not calculation. I wish to avoid wholly a determination of this motion upon the purely sentimental argument that any human life is worth more than The most valuable of lives, the lives of the gra.ndest of men and women, may be worth less than that sum, in an action under Lord CAMPBELL'S act, and those of our states, like that under which this suit was brought. A plaintiff may have had less than $250 pecuniary interest in the life of any decedent. The sentiment relied on so earnestly here is not at all an element in the action. Nor is the notion of punishment for the negligence. The court so told the jury, I/tnd confined them strictly to the cold estimate of pecuniary interest, and I think that is the law. Lett v. St. Lawrence, etc., R. Co., 11 -Dnt. App. 1; S. C. 21 Amer. & Eng. R. Cas. 165. This is one of the most instructive cases on this subject, ahd represents the general law, as I understand it, everywhere that these acts have been passed. Little Rock, etc., R. R. v. Barker, 39 Ark. 491; St. Louis, 'etc., R. Co. v. Freeman, 36 Ark. 41. Yet I do not feel content with this verdict; and, while discarding the argument just considered, leaving to the jury its fullest power, and adhering to what I have so often ruled about substituting the judgment of the judge for that of the jury, I fear the verdict may be the result of misapprehension of the force of the testimony on the Bubject of domicile. If the parties resided in Arkansas, the verdict might be reasonable enough; while if they resided in Tennessee, it might not be adequate. The impression made on my mind by the proof, inadequate as it was, was that with this class of people, going from plantation to plantation to work in the cotton fields, they were,
GAITHER'IJ. KANSASClTY, ETC., R. CO.
on the oircumstances proven, legally Tennessee people, temporarily in Arkansas. And here the question arises whether the damages should be oalculated, so far as they can be subject to calculation at all, according to the Tennessee law, or that of Arkansas, by whose gracious statute any damages are recoverable at all. I thought they might be given according to the Tennessee rule of nonage, but was not sure of it, and am not now. I fear the jury may have been misled by instructions on that point not sufficiently definite. I was not very certain about it, and perhaps the jury were as uncertain after the charge as the court was. In Arrnytage v. Haley, 4: Q. B. 917, there was n verdict of £10 for a broken thigh, and the court granted a new trial, saying: ' .. A new trial on a mere difference of opinion as to amount of damages may not be gra,nted, but here are no damages at all." I do not think that is this case, for, sentiment aside, a father may have a very small pecuniary interest in the life of a young girl, much less than one may have in an uninjured thigh; but I feel here that possibly there may not have been given enough by the jury through my own fault, although counsel have been kind enough to say that they take no exception to the charge. Again, the impression made on my mind at the trial, and by a careful subsequent reading of the proof, is that the verdict ought to have been for the defendant on the issue of negligence, and I have thought it possible the jury gave this verdict as a mere solatium through sympathy for this poor man. If the defendant had asked a new trial, I should grant it on the ground that such was a possible outcome of the trial. I would not set aside the deliberate verdict of a jury on the proof here concerning negligence, either way, for that is the function of the jury to determine; and, although there is this suspicion that they gave a gratuitous solatium, I must take it on this motion as conclusively established by their verdict that there was negligence. And I recognize as wise the policy of the defendant to accept the verdict and pay it, rather than go to the expense of a new trial; but at the samp. time, as the court would have found the fact of negligence for defend·· ant, and the jury, whose province it was, has found it for the tiff, and has given a verdict which may have been the result of misapprehension as to proof that was inadequate, and of the charge of the court on that point, there is on my part a doubtful state of mind, which seems' to me, when there is no writ of error, and this court must finally determine the case, to make it just to both parties to try the case over again before another jury. It is, at last, at this point that the judge may and should resort to his power to grant a' new trial with that mobility of judgment which comprehends within the exercise of sound discretion a reasonable departure from any fixed rule of decision,-and there can be no very fixed rule of judgment in such matters,-and at the same time a cOhsistent and strict adherence to the principle of permitting issues'of fact to be once, a.nd once only,
fairly and legally tried, in good faith, by the jury, and not by 'he court, as our constitution and laws require. New trial granted.
. In rs
Oourt, No D. New York.
May 20, 1888.)
The assignee may retain from the funds in his hands the amount of fee. and commissions earned; but cannot retain a sum to meet any additional allowance the court may see fit to grant.
SAME-DEPOSIT IN BANK-Loss OF INTEREST.
COMMISSION-RETENTION OF FUNDS.
Where the assignee fails to deposit moneys received In bank, hit is liable to the estate for any interest lost through such failure.
In Bankruptcy. In Mayor June, 1884, the assignee received, on account of the estate, $5,478. On the fifteenth of October, 1884, he deposited $4,563 in the bank designated by the court. At tht; third meeting of creditors the amount received by him in excess of the sum so deposited was ascertained to be $995, and the amount due him for commissions, etc., was adjusted at $419. The creditors now move that the assignee be required to deposit $995, with interest at the bank rate of 3t per cent. per annum; and also the interest upon $5,478 during the interval it remained in his hands. 'fhe motion is resisted upon the ground that the assignee was justified in retaining a sum sufficient to pay his commissions, the current expenses of the trust, and any additional allowance which the court might see fit to grant. Elisha B. PoweU, for the motion. William Tiffany, opposed. COXE, J. The position of the assignee is not tenable. He could, without impropriety, retain the amount of fees and commissions earned; but it was not permissible for him to appropriate several hundred dollars upon the supposition that the court might sometime in the future award an extra allowance for his services. Care has been taken in the selection of suitable depositories in which all mono eys received by assignees in bankruptcy shall be deposited. The only prudent course, therefore, is for the assignee to follow the rules laid down for his gllidance. The proposition that the sum retained was needed for current expenses is sufficiently answered by the undisputed allegq,tion that it has not been so used, but, on the contrary, the expenses of the trust have been uniformly paid from the funds in the The proof fails to show bad faith uponthe part of the assignee. n does show, however, that the creditors have lost a certain amount of interest by reason of his action. The estate, and not the assignee,