161 Mass. 583 (1894), Illingsworth v. Boston Elec. Light Co.

Citation:161 Mass. 583, 37 N.E. 778
Opinion Judge:FIELD, C.J.
Party Name:ILLINGSWORTH v. BOSTON ELECTRIC LIGHT CO.
Attorney:Salem D. Charles, for plaintiff. H.N. Sheldon and Charles A. Snow, for defendant.
Case Date:June 22, 1894
Court:Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
 
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Page 583

161 Mass. 583 (1894)

37 N.E. 778

ILLINGSWORTH

v.

BOSTON ELECTRIC LIGHT CO.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk.

June 22, 1894

[37 N.E. 778] It was in evidence that on or about the 11th day of May, A.D.1891, the defendant was a corporation doing business in the city of Boston. Its business was that of furnishing electricity over wires for the purposes of electric lighting and motive power in buildings. On said date the wires of the defendant, charged with electricity, were strung over the building numbered 114 Sudbury street, Boston, and were fastened upon the arms of an upright frame structure about 20 feet above the roof of said building. Said frame and arms were the property of the defendant. The building was owned by Arioch Wentworth, but the plaintiff did not then know who owned it. Upon another arm fastened on said upright frame, and above the defendant's wires, were the wires of the fire alarm of the city of Boston. Other wires, of another corporation, were below defendant's wires. The plaintiff was in the employ of the city of Boston, as a lineman in the fire-alarm department, and ascended said frame, through the wires of the defendant, to the wires of said city, and had been engaged a part of said day in removing the wires of said city from the arm on said frame. [37 N.E. 779] When descending through the wires of the defendant, the plaintiff's pliers, which were in his belt, caught on one of the electric light wires. The plaintiff reached round with one hand to clear the pliers, and testified that he must have made a contact, somewhere or other, whereby he received a shock of electricity from one of the electric light wires.

COUNSEL

Salem

Page 585

D. Charles, for plaintiff.

H.N. Sheldon and Charles A. Snow, for defendant.

OPINION

FIELD, C.J.

The exceptions recite that the court ruled that there was no evidence for the jury, and ordered a verdict for the defendant. The questions argued relate to the liability of the defendant on the evidence, under Pub.St. c. 109, § 12, and St.1883, c. 221; under St.1890, c. 404, § 1; and at common law. There is no evidence of any liability under Pub.St. c. 109, § 12, and St.1883, c. 221. Hector v. Electric Light Co., 37 N.E. 773. We have no occasion to consider whether it was the intention of St.1890, c. 404, to give a private person a cause of action for any violation of the...

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