179 Mass. 343 (1901), Sias v. Lowell, L. & H. St. Ry. Co.

Citation:179 Mass. 343, 60 N.E. 974
Opinion Judge:HAMMOND, J.
Party Name:SIAS v. LOWELL, L. & H. ST. RY. CO. et al.
Attorney:[60 N.E. 974] William H. Baker, Edward Lowe, and Rufus P. Tapley, for plaintiff. Walter I. Badger and Sanford Robinson, for defendants.
Case Date:June 18, 1901
Court:Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

Page 343

179 Mass. 343 (1901)

60 N.E. 974



LOWELL, L. & H. ST. RY. CO. et al.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex.

June 18, 1901


[60 N.E. 974] William

Page 344

H. Baker, Edward Lowe, and Rufus P. Tapley, for plaintiff.

Walter I. Badger and Sanford Robinson, for defendants.



Without considering the question whether the plaintiff was in the exercise of due care, we think a verdict for the defendants was rightly ordered. The pole from which the plaintiff fell was one of the series of poles extending through Emerson and White streets, in Haverhill, and owned by the Haverhill & Amesbury Street-Railway Company. By the writing of October, 1897, this company granted to the People's Telephone Company the right to use these poles, among others, 'for the purpose of conveying wires and cables,' the telephone company paying a certain consideration therefor, and agreeing to 'assume all risks as to any damages

Page 345

which might arise from or to their employés while working on the poles.' Upon these poles, at the time of the accident, were two sets of wires, one owned and used by the street-railway company, and one by the telephone company. The night before the accident a telephone in a house near White street had burned out. Bunce, a foreman of the telephone company, investigated, and located the 'leakage' of electricity as being at the iron pole next to the wooden pole from which the plaintiff fell. He found that the insulation of a telephone wire attached to the iron pole was burned off, and the wire was lying across one of the railway company's guard wires supporting the guard wire running over the trolley. This showed that the guard wire in some way and at some time had become charged, and that there had been 'a leakage' of electricity into it, and from it into the telephone wire. The next morning Bunce, with the plaintiff, both being servants of the telephone company, started out 'to clear the trouble.' He testified that the guard wire over and parallel with the trolley wire had sagged, so that there was danger that the trolley wire might be pushed against it by the trolley of a passing car, and he thought that the 'leakage' into the guard wire over which he saw the damaged telephone wire lying might have been caused in that way. This sagging was caused in part by the slackness of the span wire by which it...

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