James v. Farmers Peanut Co., 198 N.C. 380 (1930)

Feb. 19, 1930 · Supreme Court of North Carolina
198 N.C. 380


(Filed 19 February, 1930.)

Master and Servant D a — The letter of an independent contract is not ordinarily liable for injury to employee of independent contractor.

The owner of a building is not liable in damages to an employee of an independent contractor injured while engaged in painting the building under the independent contract therefor.

Appeal by plaintiff from Moore, Special Judge, at October Term, 1929, of PasquotaNK.


Action to recover damages resulting from personal injuries sustained by plaintiff, and alleged to bave been caused by tbe negligence of defendant.

It is conceded that at tbe time plaintiff was injured, be was at work as tbe employee of an independent contractor, on a building owned by tbe defendant.

From judgment dismissing tbe action as upon nonsuit, at tbe close of tbe evidence for plaintiff (O. S., 567), plaintiff appealed to tbe Supreme Court.

Thompson & Wilson for plaintiff.

Ehringhaus & Hall, Hughes, Little & Sea\well and Worth & Horner for defendant.

Pee Cubiam.

Tbe evidence offered by plaintiff at tbe trial of tbis action fails to show a breach by defendant of any duty which tbe defendant owed to tbe plaintiff. Plaintiff was not an employee of defendant; be was tbe employee of an independent contractor, who bad undertaken by bis contract with defendant to paint a building owned by defendant. Plaintiff was injured while at work as tbe employee of tbe independent contractor.

Tbe general rule that tbe eontractee is not liable for injuries to employees of an independent contractor, where such injuries are caused by tbe negligence of tbe latter, is applicable to tbe facts shown by tbe evidence in tbe instant case. 39 C. J., 1341. Upon these facts, exceptions to tbis rule, recognized and applied in Paderick v. Lumber Co., 190 N. C., 308, 130 S. E., 29, and in Greer v. Const. Co., 190 N. C., 632, 130 S. E., 739, are not applicable. There is no error in tbe judgment.