Cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of the State of Texas, during the latter part of the Austin term, 1884, and the Tyler term, 1884. Volume 62. Page: 47
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1884.] RYAN v. HAYS. 47
Opinion of the court.
would be responsible to the plaintiff after all the property had been
turned over to the purchasers and the receiver discharged by the
court that appointed him.
The sole liability of a receiver, except in cases in which he is personally
at fault, is official; and when his official character ceases,
and the property, through which alone his official liability may be discharged,
has passed from his hands, in pursuance of the orders of the
court that appointed him, and he has been by that court discharged
from his trust, then no judgment can be rendered against him; for
with the termination of his official existence ends his official liability.
There is no question but that the railway was in the exclusive
control and management of the receiver at the time the plaintiff
was injured, and it remains to consider whether the relationship of
the receiver to the railway company was such as to render it liable
for an injury resulting from the negligence of his servants; or whether,
under the resolution of the stockholders of the company, and the
other facts which may have existed, any liability on the part of the
The relationship of a receiver to a railway company, of whose
property he is put in possession by order of a court of competent
jurisdiction, is not in all respects clear, and especially so when, by the
order appointing a receiver, he is directed, with the property of the
company, to discharge, as was the duty of the railway company,
to the public the duties of a common carrier.
It has been held in many cases that the relation of master and
servant does not exist in such case between a railway company and
the receiver, and that when the receiver has the exclusive control of
the operation of a railway placed in his hands, the company to
which it belongs is not liable for injuries resulting from the negli.
gence of the receiver or his employees. Ohio & M. R. R. Co v.
Dairs, 23 Ind., 554; Bell v. I. C. & L. R. R. Co., 53 Ind., 57; Metz
v. B., C. & P. R. R. Co., 58 N. Y., 64; Pierce on Railroads, 285;
High on Receivers, 396; Rogers v. Mobile & Ohio R. R. Co., 12
Am. & Eng. Railroad Cases, 442.
That this is technically true cannot be controverted; but the fact
remains that the company is indirectly, through the liability of its
property or the profits or income thereof while in the hands of a
receiver, made responsible for the satisfaction of claims for injuries
resulting from the negligence of a receiver or his employees, and it
is exceedingly difficult to see upon what ground this can be accomplished
in ordinary receiverships if we entirely exclude the idea that
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Texas. Supreme Court. Cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of the State of Texas, during the latter part of the Austin term, 1884, and the Tyler term, 1884. Volume 62., book, 1885; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth28512/m1/69/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .