Ruffin v. Garrett, 174 N.C. 134 (1917)

Sept. 26, 1917 · Supreme Court of North Carolina
174 N.C. 134


(Filed 26 September, 1917.)

Public Roads — Township Commissioners — Negligence—Personal Liability— Pleadings — Demurrer.

Personal liability will not attach to supervisors of the public roads of a township for an injury received from their failure to keep the roads in proper repair, etc., in the absence of allegations and proof that the acts complained of were either corrupt or malicious; and a demurrer to a complaint in such action which fails to make these necessary allegations is good.

Civil actiost tried before Allen, J., at Spring Term, 1917, of Hert-fobd.

Demurrer to the complaint was made ore tonus upon the ground that no cause of action is stated, and was sustained and action dismissed. Plaintiff appealed.

W. B. Johnson and B. G. Bridger for plaintiff.

Winborne & Winborne for defendants.

Brown, J.

The complaint alleges that defendants are supervisors of the public roads in Ahoskie Township, Hertford County; that is was their duty to keep in proper repair and in a reasonably safe condition the roads and bridges of said township; that defendants negligently failed to do so; that in consequence of such negligence plaintiff’s automobile was badly damaged in crossing an unsafe bridge in bad condition.

The ground of the demurrer is that the complaint fails to allege that the negligence of defendants was either corrupt or malicious. The demurrer was properly sustained.

This subject is fully discussed and the authorities reviewed by Justice ■ Holce in the recent case of Hipp v. Ferrall, 91 S. E., 831, and further discussion is unnecessary.