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U.S. Supreme Court

Brooks v. Central Sainte Jeanne, 228 U.S. 688 (1913)

Brooks v. Central Sainte Jeanne

No. 283

Submitted May 2, 1913

Decided May 26, 1913

228 U.S. 688


Whether one is in general service of another or not if he is rendering the latter a service even as a volunteer and comes under his orders, he becomes his servant, and fellow-servant of the other employees.

The servant is not only such while actually at work on the service for which he is specially employed, but also during its progress while absent from the location for the purpose of, and in connection with, such work.

One going in the master's conveyance on the master's business held, in this case, to be a fellow-servant of the driver of the conveyance.

In view of the adoption by Porto Rico, in substantially the same form, of the English Employers' Liability Act which presupposes the existence of the common law rule as to fellow servants, and the provisions of that act in regard to exceptions in specific instances, and in the absence of any authorities to the contrary, held that the law in Porto Rico in regard to the fellow servant defense does not differ from the common law.

A single expression in the testimony that the driver of an automobile was accustomed to drink while driving the machine, there being other testimony importing usual sobriety, does not justify a finding of negligence on the part of the employer for employing a servant who was incompetent as an excessive drinker.

5 P.R. 281 affirmed.

Page 228 U. S. 689

The facts, which involve the application in a case for personal injuries in Porto Rico of the defense of negligence of a fellow-servant, and the determination of whether the employee of the defendant whose negligence caused the injury was a fellow servant of the plaintiff, are stated in the opinion.

Page 228 U. S. 692

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