291 Mass. 143 (1935), DePrizio v. F. W. Woolworth Co.

Citation291 Mass. 143, 196 N.E. 910
Opinion JudgeRUGG, Chief Justice.
Party NameDePRIZIO v. F. W. WOOLWORTH CO. (two cases).
AttorneyH. P. Brown and P. J. Stella, both of Boston, for plaintiffs. C. M. Pratt and J. J. Sullivan, both of Boston, for defendant.
Case DateJune 26, 1935
CourtSupreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

Page 143

291 Mass. 143 (1935)

196 N.E. 910

DePRIZIO

v.

F. W. WOOLWORTH CO. (two cases).

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk.

June 26, 1935

Report from Superior Court, Suffolk County; Keating, Judge.

Actions of tort by Mary DePrizio and Soccorso DePrizio against the F. W. Woolworth Company, in which there were verdicts for plaintiffs for the sums of $3,000 and $700. On report from the Superior Court.

Judgment for defendant.

Page 144

[196 N.E. 911] H. P. Brown and P. J. Stella, both of Boston, for plaintiffs.

C. M. Pratt and J. J. Sullivan, both of Boston, for defendant.

RUGG, Chief Justice.

The plaintiff in the first action seeks to recover damages for injuries received by her as the result of a fall while a customer in the defendant's store. Her husband brought the second action to recover consequential damages. At a trial before a jury there was a verdict for each plaintiff and thereafter the trial judge, who had reserved leave under G. L. (Ter. Ed.) c. 231, § 120, on the defendant's motion, ordered that a verdict be entered for the defendant in each case and reported the cases for the determination of this court. The report states that the only questions presented are whether a written notice of the time, place and cause of the injury was required and if so whether a valid notice was given in either case. By stipulation of the parties, if the judge rightly ordered a verdict to be entered for the defendant in either case, judgment is to be entered for the defendant in that case, but if the judge erred in ordering a verdict to be entered for the defendant in either case, judgment is to be entered for the plaintiff in that case in the sum found by the jury.

It appears from the evidence summarized in the report that the plaintiff in the first case, hereafter referred to simply as the plaintiff, on the forenoon of February 12, 1927, visited the store of the defendant, made some purchases in the basement and was going up a stairway leading to the first or street floor when she ‘ slipped on a hard piece of tramped dirty snow,’ fell and was injured. On the day before there had been a fall of one inch of snow and on the

Page 145

morning of the accident there was some snow on the street and sidewalk in front of the store.‘ That snow was of the soft sticky kind so that it would adhere to the feet of customers entering the store to such an extent that there was on the floor of said first floor between * * * [the] swinging entrance doors and the top of said stairway leading to the basement and upon the steps thereof patches of dirty tramped hard snow, mixed snow and dirt being carried in on the feet of customers and falling off onto the floor and said steps and being tramped upon and made hard and slippery in places.’ There was evidence that the precise condition which caused the plaintiff's fall had been on the stairway a considerable time and the jury were warranted in concluding that the defendant was negligent in not discovering and removing it, White v. Mugar, 280 Mass. 73, 181 N.E. 725, and that the plaintiff was not negligent.

The decisive question here presented is whether the statute, G. L. c. 84, § 21, as amended by St. 1922, c. 241 (see now St. 1930, c. 98; G. L. [Ter. Ed.] c. 84, § 21), applies to the foregoing facts and...

To continue reading

Request your trial