Jacob Hartman- Wins Court Case

Valhalla Member Photo

Clipped by Valhalla

JURY DECIDED IN FAVOR V OF THE SCRANTON STEEL CO. After Being Out Four Hours They Jireed Upon a Verdict - End . of Bitterly Contested , Trespass Suit Many Cases Hinged on. Result. , ; . After a trial lasting almost two weeks the trespass suit of Jacob Hartman against the Scranton Steel company has been brought to a close by the Jury yesterday afternoon returning returning a verdict In favor of the defendant defendant company. This verdict is a very important one inasmuch as about one hundred suits of a similar nature hinged on this result. result. The Hartman suit grew out of floods which caused : great damage on the South Side. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant company was responsible responsible for these floods as it had filled in the Lackawanna river by dumping cinders and slag into it. Many witnesses were examined during during the trial, the suit being bitterly contested. ' Judge Edwards began his charge to the jury at fifteen minutes to 9 yesterday yesterday morning, concluding at 10 o'clock. The jury then retired. The charge of the court was a most comprehensive and thorough one. In referring to the material points Judge Edwards said: I think you may concede in this case that all the witnesses are honest. It may be that some of them are biased by some interest in the result of this case and its bearing possibly on other cases, but as a general proposition this is one of the cases where the jury may, as a general rule, concede that all the witnesses a,re honest. But you must remember that the most convincing convincing testimony comes from the wit nesses who have had the best oppor tunities tor observation. After these preliminary remarks we now proceed to consider the evidence in the case. Contrary to mv usual custom in charging a jury in cases of this nature, I shall first tr.ke up the question or the amount of the plain un s aan.ages. tie claims tnnt he was injured by lour floods in December, 1901; February, 1902; February. 190 and October, 1903. On the question of the amount of his damages we have, in the main, only the plaintiff's own testimony. You should scrutinize his testimony careruny, even in ascertaining the act ual amount of his damages. 1 took the trouble to go over the testimony or me planum and of Mr. William fecnmldtj as to the amount, testified by the plaintiff and his witnesses on that point, of the damages. My flg - ' ures, based upon a close examination of the testimony, differ somewhat from the statement made by the counsel for the plaintiff. Possibly this difference arises from the unsatisfactory manner , in which the testimony was given as to the cost of the lumber that was used on differtn occasions; it was given as so much per thousand, and that in volved a mathematical calculation with very incomplete data, to find out how much lumber had been actually used; and the same also with the painting, and the same. I think, to some ex tent with the plastering. At any. rate, in order to atu the jury I went over that testimony, and the way I figured u was mat in the Hood of December, J901, his damage was one hundred and ninety uunars; reDruary; 1U3, tnirty - iiuee aoiiars; October, 190!i, for ty - nine dollars; making a total from nis testimony of three hundred and twenty dollars. Add to that the testi mony or wir. Schmidt, who said that it would cost, to replace the property property in the condition It was before, to raise the house and to put in twentv - four doors and to do some other work, two hundred and eiirhtv - five riniimu That made a total, according to my jig ures oi six nuncireu and live dollars, You remember the counsel in arguing arguing the case for the plaintiff, said he ngurea it at six hundred and seventy jKn ... i . uuuuis. me uinerence is not very Kreivi. ana i can account for the difference difference in the manner that I have stated. stated. I took the figures from the testimony testimony itself. May be the counsel on iiib uiner eine nave (lone me same tning. At any rale there is that dif - lerence m tne estimate of the court ana in me estimate of counsel. Now, you are not bound to take either the estimate of the.court or the estimate of the counsel; , you are th$ judges of the facts, as I have told your but you now have both from the statement statement of the counsel from his consideration consideration of the evidence and from the court a statement based Upon the examination examination of the evidence, the amount of the damages testified to, and you have to exercise, in case you should find a verdict for the plaintiff, your best judgment upon that question. I do not mean to say by that, that the testimony of the plaintiff and of Mr. Schmidt and of the other wit ness in regard to the price of painting, really represents the actual damage suffered by this plaintiff; you must consider that testimony and weigh it, and if you should find a verdict for the plaintiff, let that verdict be in accordance accordance with your best judgment ort the value and the weight of the testimony upon that point. The plaintiff is not necessarily entitled entitled to his whole damages from this defendant, the Scranton Steel company, company, even if "ou should find a verdict in his favor. The defendant is chargeable chargeable only for the part of the damage it has caused. If any other agency or person or corporation has done something to cause the overflowing of the plaintiff's land to hi injury, each such agency or person or corporation is liable for the share of the injury he or it has produced. The law is clear on this point. Independent trespassers trespassers or wrong - doers are severally, not jointly, liable for their acts, although although the general consequences of their independent operations have become become united in one result. You may, after considering all the evidence, come to the conclusion that the Jersey Central railroad, the embankment embankment and the Central railroad bridge, were the cause of all the injury to the plaintiff's property, or of the greater part of the injury or of a lesser part. Or, you may find that the filling at the McGinnis property caused some or all, more or less, of the damage. damage. Or, you may find that the oblit eration of the east channel of the Lackawanna river near the Central Park island has caused the results complained of in this case, or a part of them. Or, that the deposits of the culm and refuse and ashes and foreign matter for the past six years or more have caused - the trouble complained of by the plaintiff in this case. If you should find that any of these causes, or all of them, account for the damage to the plaintiff's property, then you cannot charge any part of the damages to the defendant. The defendant is respon sible only for its own wrong, not for that of anybody else. GETTING THE WIRES IN OPERATION AGAIN New Telephone Company Said to Have Suffered a Loss of $100,000 as a Result of Recent Storm. The Republican is informed that the new telephone company suffered a loss of about one hundred thousand dollars as a result of the storm three weeks ago that weighted their wires and cables with wet snow and ice and caused them to go down by thous ands. That is said to be a modest es timate of the great loss occasioned by a brief downfall of the beautiful. Although Although the linemen since the storm have been working day and night they have not succeeded in restoring' the service to anything like it was before the snow. North of the square on. North Main avenue a number of poles are down and this has delayed the restoration of the service In that section of the city. A large force of men will be sent there tomorrow to put up the poles and re store the cable. Company officials say that as a rule the public has borne patiently the inconvenience inconvenience attending such a widespread widespread disaster to the wires, but a few of the subscribers have shown their temper in an exceedingly emphatic manner. One man came to the office

Clipped from The Scranton Republican04 Dec 1904, SunPage 5

The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania)04 Dec 1904, SunPage 5
Valhalla Member Photo
  • Jacob Hartman- Wins Court Case

    Valhalla – 27 Dec 2013

Want to comment on this Clipping? Sign up for a free account, or sign in