162 Mass. 287 (1894), Goodes v. Boston & A.R. Co.

Citation:162 Mass. 287, 38 N.E. 500
Opinion Judge:MORTON, J.
Party Name:GOODES v. BOSTON & A.R. CO.
Attorney:[38 N.E. 500] J.B. Carroll and W.H. McClintock, for plaintiff. W.H. Brooks, for defendant.
Case Date:October 19, 1894
Court:Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

Page 287

162 Mass. 287 (1894)

38 N.E. 500




Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Hampden.

October 19, 1894


Page 288

[38 N.E. 500] J.B. Carroll and W.H. McClintock, for plaintiff.

W.H. Brooks, for defendant.



One entering the employment of another assumes the obvious risks arising from the nature of the employment, from the manner in which the business is carried on, and from the condition of the ways, works, and machinery, if he is of sufficient capacity to understand and appreciate them. It is not necessary to inquire whether this doctrine rests upon contract or upon the inherent reasonableness and justice of the rule itself, as applied to the relations of master and servant. It has been long and well settled at common law, and it is not contended by the plaintiff that it does not apply to cases arising under the "Employer's Liability Act," so called. We think that this case comes within it. The plaintiff's intestate was in the service of the defendant as a brakeman. At the time of the accident which resulted in his death he had been in the defendant's employ three months, less a few days. Before entering the employment of the defendant he had worked several months on another railroad as a brakeman. He was strong, active, healthy, of good eyesight and hearing,

Page 289

knew his business, and was competent and intelligent. It appeared from uncontradicted testimony that in the course of his employment he had been frequently, by day and by night, over and by the switch where he was knockedoff.[38 N.E. 501] It further appeared, also by uncontradicted testimony, that the switch was in the same place, and was the same in all respects as when he entered the defendant's employment, and that there had been no change in the adjacent tracks. The condition of things was perfectly obvious, and there was nothing in the nature of a trap or a hidden defect, and at the time of the injury he was engaged in service growing out of the nature of his employment, and with which he was familiar, and which he had been accustomed to do. Under such circumstances he must be held to have assumed the risk of injury from the proximity of the switch to the track, and the rulings asked for by the defendant to that effect should have been given. Lovejoy v. Railroad, 125 Mass. 79; Fisk v. Railroad Co., 158 Mass. 278, 33 N.E. 510...

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