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MILLER v. STRAHL

December 20, 1915

MILLER
v.
STRAHL



ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEBRASKA

White, McKenna, Holmes, Day, Hughes, Van Devanter, Lamar, Pitney, McReynolds

Author: Mckenna

[ 239 U.S. Page 428]

 MR. JUSTICE McKENNA delivered the opinion of the court.

Action for the recovery of $15,000 on account of injuries sustained by defendant in error while a guest at the hotel of plaintiff in error, caused by the negligence of the latter and in violation of a law of the State of Nebraska.

Plaintiff in the case, defendant in error here, alleges that the plaintiff in error was the proprietor and operator of what is known as the Millard Hotel, located in Omaha, Nebraska, and that, as such, he received and entertained

[ 239 U.S. Page 429]

     defendant in error as a guest for hire; that on the night of January 22, 1911, and during the morning of January 23, defendant in error occupied a room on the fourth floor of the hotel; that the hotel had more than fifty rooms and was four or more stories high; that between midnight and dawn, January 23, 1911, a "hostile fire" broke out in the hotel which, it is alleged, by reason of the negligence of plaintiff in error, was not properly discovered or controlled and a portion of the hotel was burned, the halls thereof filled with smoke and gases, endangering the lives of the guests and inmates; that plaintiff in error and his servants failed and neglected to awaken the guests or give them notice of the fire, and that by reason thereof defendant in error was injured by the smoke and gases in attempting to escape from the hotel.

The specifications of negligence are as follows:

(1) Failure to maintain a competent night watchman; that the hotel was not properly patrolled, examined or inspected, and that its employes negligently failed to be at their posts of duty to respond to the warnings given them.

(2) Plaintiff in error did not maintain an efficient or sufficient system of fire gongs for arousing guests, that he did not as soon as the fire was discovered ring or cause to be rung a fire gong on the fourth floor or ring or cause to be rung a telephone in the room of defendant in error, or in any other way awaken, arouse, or notify him of the existence of the fire.

(3) Plaintiff in error did not notify defendant in error of the location of the stairway leading from the fourth floor; that the hotel did not have a sufficient number of stairways; that plaintiff in error failed to operate the elevator, failed to respond to defendant in error's demand to be removed, and failed to have any light, sign or notice indicating the location of the elevator.

(4) Defendant in error's room was ...


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