JOHN MEEKER V. JAMES CHILDRESS, MINOR 109 (1823)

Head Notes

The owner of a slave was not bound to pay a physician employed by the hirer of the slave.

Facts of the Case

Childress lived in Tuscaloosa and hired a slave for one year to Edward Smith, a resident of St. Stephens. Smith called in Dr. Meeker to attend the slave when he became ill. The Circuit Court instructed the jury that Childress was not liable to pay Meeker. Meeker appealed in protest of the instructions to the jury.

The Court's Decision

Judge Anderson Crenshaw wrote the decision of the Alabama Supreme Court. He ruled that, under these circumstances, the hirer was bound to pay the physician and the owner was not liable. If the owner had requested the physician, or if there had been a "special agreement" regarding medical services between the owner and the hirer, the decision might have been otherwise.

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