Recent Important Decisions

Agency – Respondeat Superior as to Liability of a Lodge for Negligence of a Subordinate Lodge – The Birmingham Lodge used what was called a “branding board” for initiating new members. A current of electricity was turned on for the purpose of creating on the blindfolded candidate an impression that he was being branded. This was so effective that it killed- one candidate. Nothing daunted by this the lodge tried it on another candidate, fifteen minutes later, possibly to see if it was still working. It was, and the administrator of the estate of the second deceased candidate now sues the local lodge, some of its members individually, and also the Supreme Lodge on the theory that the local lodge was acting as its agent. The judge gave an affirmative charge for the local lodge because it was unincorporated, and for the.individual defendants because, he said, the evidence had not sufficiently identified them as the persons who had taken part in the fatal ceremonies. But he submitted to the jury the question of the liability of the Supreme Lodge on the’ground ‘That” there was a relation of principl ‘”and agent, because the supreme instructor had approved the use of this apparatus. For refusal to charge specifically that the Supreme Lodge would not be liable unless the local lodge were found to have been negligent, it-was held a new trial should be granted. Supreme Lodge of-the World, Loyal Order of Moose v. Gustin (Ala., 1g18), 8o So.84.