185 F. 997 (D.Mass. 1911), 742., Salminen v. Ross

Docket Nº:742.
Citation:185 F. 997
Party Name:SALMINEN v. ROSS.
Case Date:April 04, 1911
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Page 997

185 F. 997 (D.Mass. 1911)




No. 742.

United States Circuit Court, D. Massachusetts.

April 4, 1911

Page 998

William A. Pew, Jr., for plaintiff.

Baker & Baker and Thibodeau & Ellsworth, for defendant.

BROWN, District Judge.

The evidence was sufficient to show that the plaintiff received injuries through being thrown out of a farm wagon, which she was driving, by the negligence of persons who were operating an automobile belonging to the defendant. The defendant was not in the automobile.

The principal testimony relating to the defendant's responsibility for the accident was his own admission to an attorney at law. The attorney states that after the accident he called upon the defendant and asked him if he could tell about the accident to plaintiff. The witness testified concerning the statement by the defendant as follows:

'He said: 'I am liable for the accident. It was my automobile, and I am not trying to dodge the responsibility.' He said that his automobile was a new or comparatively new one, and his son and a man named Connor took it out to run it and find out some defect that was in the automobile.'

The jury were instructed that they might also consider the defendant's further statement that Mr. Connor was instructing the son of the defendant.

Objection was made by defendant's counsel to receiving in evidence the admission against interest made by plaintiff, on the ground that admissions against interest based on hearsay evidence are incompetent.

So far as the statement of Mr. Ross bore upon the question of negligent management of the machine it was of no practical consequence. $1$ The plaintiff's testimony, uncontradicted, that while driving on the right-hand side of a wide road she was overtaken by an automobile, which struck the hind wheel of her wagon, established a clear case of negligence. $2$ The only substantial question was as to the sufficiency of proof to show that the machine was on the defendant's business, so as to make him responsible.

The jury were duly cautioned that the defendant's admission of liability should be received with great caution, since such a statement might be based upon an erroneous view of the law. It was left with the jury to determine whether the statement of the defendant that he was liable, together with the statement that his son and a man named...

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