Suit for damages by appellee against appellant. Judgment in favor of appellee for $28,000 on jury verdict—hence this appeal.
Appellee was a passenger on one of appellant's buses on February 6, 1960, at a bus stop on Royal Street near the intersection of Dauphin Street. When the bus started to cross Dauphin Street the plaintiff had not yet seated herself. A pedestrian stepped into the path of the bus and the driver pulled the bus to a sudden stop, causing appellee to fall and injure herself.
The assignments of error, in addition to claiming excessiveness of damages, are the giving of one charge requested by plaintiff and the refusal of several charges requested by defendant. We do not consider all these assignments of error, since the conclusion seems inescapable to us that the learned trial court committed reversible error in giving the charge requested by the plaintiff.
The charge given for the plaintiff reads:
Manifestly the charge was prejudicially erroneous in omitting that the alleged negligence must be the proximate cause of the injury. See Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Horn, 37 Ala.App. 220, 66 So.2d 202; Johnson v. Louisville & Nashville R. Co., 220
But appellee argues that the charge was merely incomplete and that a subsequent explanation by the court that "This of course is predicated on if you also believe that she suffered injuries and damages as a proximate result of the negligence", cured the error. The argument is untenable. The charge was not merely incomplete, it was positively erroneous.
Code 1940, Title 7, § 273, provides:
From an early time this Court, in construing this language in the predecessor statute, has held:
If this principle needs any rationalizing, its obvious purpose must be to keep from the jury prejudicially erroneous instructions which they take into the jury room to consider in connection with the case, where they do not have with them any documentation of the court's "explanation" of the charge.
Feeling constrained to hold that the giving of the charge was error to reverse, we deem it unnecessary to consider the other assignments of error.
Reversed and remanded.
GOODWYN, MERRILL and COLEMAN, JJ., concur.