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Smith v. Claude Neon Lights

Decided: January 31, 1933.

GEORGE SMITH, BY ERNEST SMITH, HIS NEXT FRIEND, AND ERNEST SMITH, INDIVIDUALLY, PLAINTIFFS-RESPONDENTS,
v.
CLAUDE NEON LIGHTS, INCORPORATED, A CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



On appeal from the Hudson County Circuit Court.

For the defendant-appellant, Collins & Corbin.

For the plaintiffs-respondents, William George and Edwards, Smith & Dawson.

Wells

The opinion of the court was delivered by

WELLS, J. This appeal brings up for review judgment in favor of the plaintiffs-respondents, recovered in the Hudson Circuit Court against two defendants, The Trust Company of New Jersey (hereinafter referred to as the Trust Company) and the Claude Neon Lights, Incorporated (hereinafter referred to as the Light Company).

A suit was brought by George Smith, a minor, by Ernest Smith, his next friend, and Ernest Smith, individually, against the Trust Company and the Light Company to recover damages for personal injuries alleged to have been suffered because of the negligence of defendants.

Judgments were rendered against both defendants.

The Light Company alone appeals.

The facts for the most part are undisputed.

The Light Company by virtue of an agreement with the Trust Company erected on the roof of the building of the Trust Company a Neon light sign which consisted of a large steel framework on which appeared a display sign containing the words "The Trust Company of New Jersey." This sign was illuminated at night. At the bottom of this sign (which is spoken of as the main sign), the Light Company attached a small sign made of metal about ten feet long and two feet wide, weighing about twenty-five pounds, on which was painted "Erected by Claude Neon Lights Inc." The small sign could not be illuminated.

On June 16th, 1926, an agreement was entered into between the two defendants for the erection of a "Claude Neon Electric Roof Sign," and in that agreement no mention was made of the small sign. The specifications describe only the main sign. The small sign was not an electric sign. By this agreement the Light Company guaranteed the Trust Company against mechanical and electrical defects in the sign (that is, the main sign) for the period of one year from the date of completion.

On December 21st, 1926, there was executed what was described in the case as a "Maintenance Contract," wherein the Light Company agreed to maintain "the Claude Neon Tube Sign" for a period of twenty-four months beginning one year from the date of erection of said sign for the sum of $173 per month, payable each month in advance. The small sign was not a tube sign and the maintenance contract therefore had to do only with the main sign.

Under this maintenance contract the Light Company agreed to paint the sign twice during the ...


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