Ball v. Webster, No. 7868.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Rhode Island
Writing for the CourtMOSS, Justice
Citation13 A.2d 278
Decision Date17 May 1940
Docket NumberNo. 7868.
13 A.2d 278


No. 7868.

Supreme Court of Rhode Island.

May 17, 1940.

Exceptions from Superior Court, Kent County; Herbert L. Carpenter, Judge.

Action on the case by Herbert Ball against Charles E. Webster, for injuries suffered by plaintiff when struck by automobile. On plaintiff's exceptions to direction of verdict for defendant.

Exceptions sustained and case remitted for new trial.

Edward H. Ziegler and George K. Demopulos, both of Providence, for plaintiff.

James O. Watts and James O. McManus, both of Providence, for defendant.

MOSS, Justice.

This is an action on the case in which the plaintiff, in his declaration, alleges in substance that while he was, in the exercise of due care, walking in an easterly direction across Main street, in the town of East Greenwich in this state, the defendant so negligently operated an automobile along that highway that it struck the plaintiff and severely injured him.

In a jury trial in the superior court the trial justice, at the conclusion of the evidence for the plaintiff, denied the defendant's motion for a nonsuit; but at the conclusion of all the evidence he directed a verdict for the defendant upon the latter's motion therefor. The case is now before us on the plaintiff's bill of exceptions, in which the only exception that we find it necessary to consider is the one taken to the direction of a verdict for the defendant.

The accident happened a little before 11 o'clock a. m., on September 10, 1934, and the account of it, as given by the plaintiff and his witnesses, was as follows: He and two other men were, as laborers in the employment of the state board of public roads, engaged, with shovels and brooms, in sweeping up the gutters and cleaning out manholes on Main street, where it passes through the thickly-settled part of the business section of East Greenwich. They had with them a truck into which they were putting the refuse.

13 A.2d 279

They began that morning at the Armory, near the north end of the town, and in the course of their work they proceeded on foot in a southerly direction along the gutters on the west side of the street as far as Pierce street. For both the northern and southern ends of the section of Main street in which these men were working during that forenoon there were warning signs about two feet square, painted yellow, with black letters on them saying "Caution. Men Working on Road." These were set upright, resting on the pavement. One was some distance north of the north end of the section in which the work was going on during that morning and was set up in the street near the west side and faced towards the north. The sign for the south end of the section was set up in the street near the east side and faced south. It was a little north of the A. & P. store, which was just about 200 feet south of the south end of the section.

There was a big white sign above the highway, hanging on a cable stretched across from one side to the other, and facing south. It was there at the time of the accident and also when the jury took a...

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