RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT.
ASHBL ETON. —Yesterday.
(Before Mr. Nugent Wood, R.M.) ENGINEER V. CONTRACTOR. The Court sat last night till seven o’clock, hearing the case of Passmore v. Anderson, a claim for L3O, value of a mare permanently injured and rendered valueless by an accident she sustained, through the alleged neglect of defendants. Mr. Purnell for plaintiff, Mr. Spackrnan for defendants. The facts of the case wore mainly these : —Defendants were the contractors for the making of the Rakaia and Ashburton Forks Railwa}'. A clause in the general conditions of the contract held the contractors liable to the public for all damage that might be sustained through an accident arising in connection with the works, while a clause forbidding them to sub-let was deleted. Another clause required the contractors to have always on the ground a representative of their firm. The Andersens sub-let a portion of the contract to Lake and Beard, but kept theirown representativestillon theground. Plaintiff was engineer for the railway, and denied that Lake and Beard were ever recognised by the company. Plaintiff owned two well-matched ponies, which he valued at about L7O. His man drove them in a buggy (in September, 1879), to Chertscy. In driving over a temporary crossing one of the sleepers canted up, and the off hind foot of the mare, Seltzer, was caught between the sleeper and the rail and permanently injured. The claim was founded on the contention that the defendants were liable according to the letter of the contract. The defence was that, having sub-let the work of formation and platelaying to Lake and Beard, and the accident having happened on a part of Lake and Beard’s contract, defendants were not liable. Evidence at great length was taken as to the accident to the mare, the value of the animal, &c., and, after counsel had addressed the Bench, the Magistrate said that the contractors bound themselves to be responsible for all damages, Ac. He> was of opinion tba* they could not shirk their responsibility by sub letting the work. They also kept a man to see that the work was properly done. Judgment would; therefore be for plaintiff. for the amount claimed, L3O, with costs of witnesses, L 5 ; court costs, L2 6s. ; solicitor’s fee, L2 2s. Mr. Spackman gave notice of appeal, on the ground of the law point raised, that the contractors were not liable for the sub-con-tractor’s negiect.—The Court then rose.
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