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Judge Higby On The New Liquor Law

Judge Higby On The New Liquor Law image
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The Masón Iftuis publishes in full the charge of Judgc Higby in a rocont suit boforo him whcro a woman recovered $850 from a liquor seller tor damages growing out of his salo of liquor to har husband. Aftur alluding to the latest tunendment to the Prohibitory Law, which próvidos in substanco that persons injurod in consequenco of the violation of this luw may havo a right of notion against tho persons who shall bo guilty of suoh violation, to reoovor dauiuges in consequence of BUöh violation of the law the Judgo prooeeded : I think this is avery Jast sittd benefU Cent provisión of law, and onn whieh öught to ba on torced by couvts and juries Jn aocordajüoe with its jiist spirit and con struction. This law, no doubt, must havo a prospectivo and noi a retrdaotlve eflVct. It is not intended by it to giro damagea occasionod by the salo of liquors beforo the passage of the law. To inair.tain this action it is nocossary for the plaintiff to provo that since July 17, 1S71, and before the commonceiuent of this suit, sho was injurcd eithor in hor pefson, property, meana of Support, or othorwise, by her husband whilo he was intoxicatod, or by roason of his intoxication, and that tho defendant, by giving or selling intoxicating liquors to him, caused suoh intoxication, or in some degreo oontributod toit; that is, that the defendant eithor gave or sold intoxieating liquors to him, and that tho drinking of guch liquors caused or contributod to the intoxication, during which or by roason of whioh the injury was committod. It is not for merely giving or selling intoxicating liquors to her husband that this statutü gives to the wife her causo of action, but for sorae specific injury which ühe may havo sustained by reason of the intoxication of her husband, eaused in wholo or in part by the liquor so sold or given to him by tho defendant. Isow, it, would bo au injury to tho wife, an injury to her per-ion, within tho meaning of this stotute, for her to bo compelled, or havo tlio ;luty thrown upon her, tci tuko ciro of lii?r husband whilo in a state of intoxication or during siekness connected with intoxication. Loss of time, loss of sleep, would bo a ground of injury. Injury to her property would also be a just causo of uctiou, nrovided yon flhd site sustained anj" iujury to her property resulting from ime causf, and tho wife may recover all damagos done to her proporty by hor husband whilo intoxicated or by reaBon of his intoxication, from thoso who aold or gave him the liquor which caused or contributed to tho intoxication. For instance, if her husband whilo intoxicated, or by reason of his intoxication, ghould break her furnituxe, burn her house, or in any other way injuro or dostroy her property, sho would have a. right under this statuto to recover ttw. full amount of damage so dono, from the person who sold or gavo hiin thu liquor which oaused or contributod to his iutoxióstión. I menticm this merely as an il lúslration, but I very much doubt whether it was or is tho design or proper construction of this statute to allow a wife or other pei"3on to collect a debt, owing to her or them by an intoxicated person, from the person furnishing the liquor. Howevei that may bc, the plaintiff, upon j the evidence in this oaeo, cannot recover from the defendant tho indebtedness of her husband to hei, for the reason that ehe has notohown that she has pursued any remetí y againsther husband and has been unnble to collect the debt from him. It would at least bo neoössary" for lier to show that she had pursuod and exhuus ted her legal resources againsi him by ó&taining ;i judgment and issuing a:i oxeaution agamst liini, and that she was unablo to collect the debt "Without this it is impossible for you to know whether tho dobt is lost or not. To constitute an element of damages it would be nee for tho plaintiff not ouly to show that tho debt was colleotable whon this law took effect, but that it was lost to her by becoming uncollectable by reason of bis port you ihould consider that as an element of damagos in rendering your verdict. If you find the plaintiff was cngaged in business, taking boardtm or otherwise, as a moans of support, and that her business was dêstroyed ox injured La any way by hev husbaud's intoxication, that will be a proper element of damage, if you find suoh intoxicftlion was cauged or cohtributcd to in any dogree by liquor sold or given to him by tho defendant Thö wife also lias i right, ocdinarily, to rely on hr husband for lier sup port. It is his duty, whon able, to support her in sickness and in hcalth, to furnish her with food and olothing, with a home, with the necossaries of lite, to givo hor tho bonefit and comfort of his society ur.eon-taruinated and imcorrupted by the dkgustdng vico of drunkenness. Ho owcs her his society as a sober man, with such intolligonce and suoh moral and in telloctual qualitiea as God and nature havo given him ; and hc owes her the sympathy and afféetionate tenderncss due to the hallowed relationship of husband and wife. If she is deprivod of such means of support by tho intoxication of her husband, this law gives her a right to recover dainages therofor against the person who sold or gave him tho liquor that caused or contributed to such injury. And if sho is deprived of such society of a sober and virtuous husband, and compelled in lieu of it to ondure tho coarse, vulgar, abusiveand disgusting preeenoe and society of a drimfcea husband, sho has a nght to recovor under this law, damao-os for such injury against the person who by solhng o giving him the intoxioating hquors cauBed or contributed to. the intoxication which prodiicod snch injuiy. Under the provisions of the law authorïzing exemplary damages to be given, you will, if you find for the plaintiff at all, have a rigTit to take into consideraron such loss of society, sympathy and aftection, anwellasth wounded feelings ol the plaiutiff resulting therefrom, and givu such damages aa will, under all the wreumstances of tho case, be a compensation for such injury It is for you to determine whatthat sum shn.ll bo, under all the oiroumstauces of the case. As to. tho proof of the saln or giving of intoxicatinc hquors to the plaiiitiLPs husband, causiuor contnbuting to hia intoxication, it il sufficicnt for the plaintiff to prove such a state of things, such oircumstanees as conviiH-c your judgmont as reasonable ana ïutelbgent men of thefact. It is not neeessary, for instano :, to prove by an expert that he the liquor sold or given, thatho tftated it, or analyz 1 it, and from his knowlodgo of Hquor knew it to be ïutoxi'Mtiuf-. It is suffioient if the toshraony in tho case and the circumstanco-; proven convinco you that such was the fact. Ifyouiindfor the plaintiff it wil] be necossai-y for you to assess the damages Rhehaasn Wned. She . is eutitled to the damages which she hasactually sustained so far as yon can gather them from the ovidenco in the caso. You should asoertain and gwo the actual damages, if any, to h;r persen, prnperty and means of support, andm addition" to that you will havo a right to o , exemplary damagss, such a sum as will in your deUberato judgment fully com] r for ner wounded feeliugs, the I ■ society and affaction of her husband and tl e brejikii;.. .,,, of herfauiily, to tb extont that suoh iojury may be the result of intoxiontion oaaged in whole or in part by liquor sold or givcu Iq him by thu defendant.


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