140 Mass. 201 (Mass. 1885), Russell v. Tillotson

Citation:140 Mass. 201, 4 N.E. 231
Opinion Judge:Holmes J.
Party Name:Nelson Russell v. William E. Tillotson & another
Attorney:G. M. Stearns, for the plaintiff. E. M. Wood, for the defendant.
Judge Panel:Field, C. Allen, & Gardner, JJ., absent. Holmes, J.
Case Date:October 24, 1885
Court:Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

Page 201

140 Mass. 201 (Mass. 1885)

4 N.E. 231

Nelson Russell


William E. Tillotson & another

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

October 24, 1885

Argued September 22, 1885


Exceptions overruled.

G. M. Stearns, for the plaintiff.

E. M. Wood, for the defendant.

Field, C. Allen, & Gardner, JJ., absent. Holmes, J.


Holmes J.

[4 N.E. 232] The plaintiff seeks to recover for damage to his person, caused, while employed in the defendant's mill, by his apron and jacket catching on a revolving shaft while he was standing on a ladder and replacing a board upon a belt box into which the shaft ran at right angles. The shaft was plainly visible, and was seen by the plaintiff. If the ladder had beenplaced on the opposite side of the box, there would have been no danger. The plaintiff could have moved the ladder. But, according to his testimony, it was standing where he mounted it at the time when he was ordered by the "boss" to go up and nail the board on, and the plaintiff, although he had worked in mills for a long time, and was acting within the scope of the duties which he had undertaken, did not know any better way to do the work than that which he took. The court below directed a verdict for the defendant. The plaintiff excepts; and contends that he was sent into a concealed danger without due warning or instruction.

The exception must be overruled. The plaintiff does not pretend that he was ignorant of the danger of a revolving shaft, nor that the order to him carried any prohibition to put the ladder in such position as he might deem best, nor that there was anything in the form of it to hurry him or disturb his judgment; but simply that he had not sufficient intelligence -- for...

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