109 N.W. 1042 (Mich. 1906), Hunt v. U.S. Acc. Ass'n

Citation:109 N.W. 1042, 146 Mich. 521
Opinion Judge:GRANT, J. (after stating the facts).
Attorney:[146 Mich. 523] Mavin J. Schaberg, for appellant. Thomas A. E. Weadock, for appellee.
Judge Panel:Argued before CARPENTER, C.J., and McALVAY, GRANT, BLAIR, and MOORE, JJ.
Case Date:December 03, 1906
Court:Supreme Court of Michigan

Page 1042

109 N.W. 1042 (Mich. 1906)

146 Mich. 521




Supreme Court of Michigan

December 3, 1906

Error to Circuit Court, Kalamazoo County; John W. Adams, Judge.

Action by George W. M. Hunt against the United States Accident Association. There was a judgment for defendant, and plaintiff brings error. Reversed, and new trial ordered.

Plaintiff, 36 years of age, was engaged in playing a game of indoor baseball in the gymnasium of the Young Men's Christian Association. The floor was smooth and slippery. The game is played with a soft ball, about twice the size of an ordinary ball. Plaintiff was batting, and, having struck the ball, ran to first base, 20 feet from the home plate. The side wall of the gymnasium was between 6 and 10 feet beyond the first base. The pitcher caught the ball, tossed it at plaintiff, and touched him, before he could reach the first base. He ran beyond the base, and put out his foot and hand against the wall, which he had been in the habit of doing, to stop himself. His ankle was broken. He had a policy in the defendant company. In his application plaintiff agreed that the benefits under the policy 'shall not extend to or cover voluntary or unnecessary exposure to danger.' The court directed a verdict for the defendant, holding that the accident was the result of an involuntary and unnecessary exposure to danger. He based his direction upon the following testimony, given by plaintiff upon cross-examination: 'Q. Now, you were running so hard that you could not stop yourself until you ran against the wall; that was the fact, was it? A. Well, I would not say as to that. Q. Why didn't you stop, if that was not a fact? A. Oh, I was feeling good. I felt like running. Q. Felt like running against the wall? A. Not necessarily. Q. Well, you saw the wall, didn't you? A. Yes. Q. You knew you were 35 feet away from it, where you stood? A. Well, sir, in that neighborhood, I suppose. Q. You were running so hard that you could not stop yourself until you ran into the wall? A. Oh, I might, if I had tried. Q. Why didn't you? A. I don't know why I didn't. It wasn't necessary. Q. What's that? A. I don't know why I didn't. I didn't, though. Q. You didn't think it was necessary to stop when you were running, to prevent your running against the wall, to prevent yourself running against the wall? A. I was not running very hard. Q. Why did you run into...

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