Where, either by force or by enticement, a minor child is taken from his parent, or an apprentice from his master, and compelled or induced to work for the benefit of his abductor, the parent or master may elect to sue in tort for damages or in assumpsit for the value of the services rendered.4 In a leading case, Lightly v. Clouston,5 Chief Justice Mansfield said:
1 Clarance v. Marshall, 1834, 2 Cromp. & Mees. 495; Lockard v. Barton, 1884, 78 Ala. 189; King v. Mason, 1866, 42 111. 223; 89 Am. Dec. 426.
2 See Cutter v. Waddingham, 1862, 33 Mo. 269 ; Wallace v. Berdell, 1885, 101 N. Y. 13; 3 N. E. 769; Morrison v. Robinson, 1858, 31 Pa. St. 456.
3 Phillips v. Homfray, 1883, 24 Ch. Div. 439, 462.
4 Lightly v. Clouston, 1808, 1 Taunt. 112, (apprentice); Foster v. Stewart, 1814, 3 Maul. & Sel. 191, (apprentice) ; Culberson v. Alabama Const. Co., 1907, 127 Ga. 599; 56 S. E. 765; 9 L. R. A. (N. S.) 411, (minor son); Thompson v. Howard, 1875, 31 Mich. 309, (minor son). And see James v. Le Roy, 1810, 6 Johns. (N. Y.) 274, (apprentice). 51808, 1 Taunt. 112, 114.
"In the present case the Defendant wrongfully acquires the labor of the apprentice; and the master may bring his action for the seduction. But he may also waive his right to recover damages for the tort, and may say that he is entitled to the labor of his apprentice, that he is consequently entitled to an equivalent for that labor, which has been bestowed in the service of the Defendant. . . . This case approaches as nearly as possible to the case where goods are sold and the money has found its way into the pocket of the Defendant."
There appears to be no reason for distinguishing from the case of the abduction of a child or apprentice the case of the taking by force of an ordinary contract servant. Since the serv- ant has not voluntarily quit his master's employ, the master, as between himself and the abductor, continues to be entitled to his services and consequently to the value of the benefit derived therefrom by the abductor. But inducing a contract servant to break his contract is an essentially different case. There is a tort, to be sure, but from the moment the contract is broken the master is not entitled to the labor of the servant as against another employer, even though such employer be the person who committed the tort. It seems, therefore, that in this case the action for damages is the only remedy.