Bullard v. Ross, 205 N.C. 495 (1933)

Dec. 13, 1933 · Supreme Court of North Carolina
205 N.C. 495


(Filed 13 December, 1933.)

1. Negligence D e: Trial G 1)—

Where the verdict of the jury establishes contributory negligence on the part of plaintiff, he may not recover damages assessed by the jury in his favor although the verdict also establishes negligence on the part of defendant.

2. Damages C a—

In an action to recover for the negligent killing of plaintiff’s mules evidence that the loss of the mules resulted in a partial loss of plaintiff’s crops is properly excluded as being of remote and speculative or conjectural damages.

3. Appeal and Error J e—

Where upon the verdict of the jury upon the merits of the case plaintiff is not entitled to recover, error, if any, in the exclusion of evidence of additional damages is immaterial.

4. Negligence B d — ■

There may be concurrent proximate causes of injury.

Appeal by plaintiff from Sinclair, J., at February Term, 1933, of Columbus. No error.

The plaintiff brought suit to recover damages caused by a collision of the defendant’s truck with the plaintiff’s wagon and mules on a public highway. The plaintiff offered evidence that his wagon was damaged, one of his mules killed and the other injured; the defendant contended that the wagon was driven at night without a light on the wrong sido

*496of tbe roád. Eaeb party insisted that tbe other was negligent. Tbe jury returned tbe following verdict:

1. "Was tbe plaintiff’s personal property damaged by tbe negligence of tbe defendant, as alleged in tbe complaint? Answer: “Yes.”

2. Did tbe plaintiff, by bis own negligence, contribute to bis damage, as alleged in tbe answer? Answer: “Yes.”

3. Wbat damages, if any, is plaintiff entitled to recover of tbe defendant? Answer: “$250.”

Judgment for defendant; exception and appeal by plaintiff.

Williamson & Bennett for plaintiff.

Powell & Lewis for defendant.

Adams, J.

Tbe affirmative answer to tbe second issue bars tbe plaintiff’s recovery of damages. Crane v. Carswell, 203 N. C., 555; Allen v. Yarborough, 201 N. C., 568; McKoy v. Craven, 198 N. C., 780.

Tbe plaintiff excepted to tbe exclusion of evidence tending to show that tbe death of one mule and tbe injury of tbe other resulted in tbe loss, or partial loss, of bis crop. Tbe proposed evidence, being remote and speculative or conjectural, was properly excluded. Sledge v. Reid, 73 N. C., 440. Besides, in view of bis contributory negligence an increase in tbe assessment of damages would be of no benefit to tbe plaintiff.

We find no error in tbe instruction relating to tbe second issue. There may be concurrent proximate causes of an injury. White v. Realty Co., 182 N. C., 536; Harton v. Telephone Co., 141 N. C., 455.

No error.