160 Mass. 474 (1894), Hughes v. City of Lawrence

Citation160 Mass. 474, 36 N.E. 485
Opinion JudgeMORTON, J.
Party NameHUGHES v. CITY OF LAWRENCE.
Attorney[36 N.E. 485] Chas. A. De Courcy and Walter Coulson, for plaintiff. Charles U. Bell and Wilbur E. Rowell, for defendant.
Case DateFebruary 27, 1894
CourtSupreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

Page 474

160 Mass. 474 (1894)

36 N.E. 485

HUGHES

v.

CITY OF LAWRENCE.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Essex.

February 27, 1894

COUNSEL

[36 N.E. 485] Chas.

Page 480

A. De Courcy and Walter Coulson, for plaintiff.

Charles U. Bell and Wilbur E. Rowell, for defendant.

OPINION

MORTON, J.

It has been held that a condition of mere slipperiness upon a well-constructed sidewalk, due to natural causes alone, and not to an accumulation of ice and snow, did not constitute a defect in the way, ( Stanton v. Springfield, 12 Allen, 566; Billings v. Worcester, 102 Mass. 329,) but that a way would be defective if so constructed, or if its condition was such, that there was, in consequence thereof, some special cause for the collection or formation of ice in a particular locality, and the way was thereby rendered unsafe and dangerous, though the ice was smooth and slippery, and not uneven, or accumulated in ridges, ( Adams v. Chicopee, 147 Mass. 440, 18 N.E. 231; Spellman v. Chicopee, 131 Mass. 443; Fitzgerald v. Woburn, 109 Mass. 205; Pinkham v. Topsfield, 104 Mass. 78; Stanton v. Springfield, supra.) This was held when the liability of cities and towns for defective ways was more stringent than now. We think the same reasons which led to the adoption of the rule then hold good now, but that it should not be extended. The present case is, in some respects perhaps, a close one, but we cannot say that it should not have been submitted to the jury, or that the instructions were erroneous.

Page 481

The gutter extended clear across the sidewalk, and was about fourteen inches wide, and from one to one and a half inches deep, and formed a part of the sidewalk. It was competent for the jury to find that this constituted a defect in the way, and that its construction was such as to cause a special deposit of ice at that particular place. Marvin v. City of New Bedford, 158 Mass. 464, 33 N.E. 605, and cases cited; Fitzgerald v. Woburn, supra; Spellman v. Chicopee, supra. The case stands differently from what it would if the water, as it discharged from the conductor, spread out over the sidewalk in a thin sheet, and then froze. That would be like Billings v. Worcester, 102 Mass. 329, where it appeared that the sidewalk was properly constructed, unless the slope was too great; and it did not appear what that was. This case resembles, more, Fitzgerald v. Woburn...

To continue reading

Request your trial
17 practice notes
  • 333 P.2d 998 (Idaho 1959), 8649, Pearson v. Boise City
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 5 Enero 1959
    ...its improper construction, forming a basin, induced a special and constant deposit of ice thereon; and Hughes v. City of Lawrence, 1894, 160 Mass. 474, 36 N.E. 485, wherein a walk was held defective because constructed with a gutter extending across it, which caused the formation of a speci......
  • 74 N.E. 250 (Ind. 1905), 20,520, City of Muncie v. Hey
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 9 Mayo 1905
    ...The complaint stated a cause of action, and appellant's demurrer thereto was properly overruled. Hughes v. City of Lawrence (1894), 160 Mass. 474, 36 N.E. 485; Ayres v. Village of Hammondsport (1891), 130 N.Y. 665, 29 N.E. 265; McDonnell v. City of Philadelphia (1892), 12 Pa. Co. Ct. Rep. 6......
  • 70 S.W. 123 (Mo. 1902), Reno v. City of St. Joseph
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 27 Octubre 1902
    ...respect to the time and place and circumstances of the injury, the purpose of the notice was accomplished. Hughes v. City of Lawrence, 160 Mass. 474; Dalton v. Salem, 136 Mass. 278. (3) An instruction to the jury need not state the grounds upon which the plaintiff may recover with the same ......
  • 67 N.W. 517 (Mich. 1896), Gavett v. City of Jackson
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court of Michigan
    • 26 Mayo 1896
    ...for the natural flowing and spreading of water, as it comes from conductors, is recognized in Hughes v. City of Lawrence, 160 Mass. 481, 36 N.E. 485. In that case a gutter had been constructed across the sidewalk. It was claimed that the water had been collected in this gutter, and frozen, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • 333 P.2d 998 (Idaho 1959), 8649, Pearson v. Boise City
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 5 Enero 1959
    ...its improper construction, forming a basin, induced a special and constant deposit of ice thereon; and Hughes v. City of Lawrence, 1894, 160 Mass. 474, 36 N.E. 485, wherein a walk was held defective because constructed with a gutter extending across it, which caused the formation of a speci......
  • 74 N.E. 250 (Ind. 1905), 20,520, City of Muncie v. Hey
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 9 Mayo 1905
    ...The complaint stated a cause of action, and appellant's demurrer thereto was properly overruled. Hughes v. City of Lawrence (1894), 160 Mass. 474, 36 N.E. 485; Ayres v. Village of Hammondsport (1891), 130 N.Y. 665, 29 N.E. 265; McDonnell v. City of Philadelphia (1892), 12 Pa. Co. Ct. Rep. 6......
  • 70 S.W. 123 (Mo. 1902), Reno v. City of St. Joseph
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 27 Octubre 1902
    ...respect to the time and place and circumstances of the injury, the purpose of the notice was accomplished. Hughes v. City of Lawrence, 160 Mass. 474; Dalton v. Salem, 136 Mass. 278. (3) An instruction to the jury need not state the grounds upon which the plaintiff may recover with the same ......
  • 67 N.W. 517 (Mich. 1896), Gavett v. City of Jackson
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court of Michigan
    • 26 Mayo 1896
    ...for the natural flowing and spreading of water, as it comes from conductors, is recognized in Hughes v. City of Lawrence, 160 Mass. 481, 36 N.E. 485. In that case a gutter had been constructed across the sidewalk. It was claimed that the water had been collected in this gutter, and frozen, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results