Copithorne v. Hardy

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtHOLMES
Citation53 N.E. 915,173 Mass. 400
Decision Date19 May 1899
PartiesCOPITHORNE v. HARDY et al.

173 Mass. 400
53 N.E. 915

COPITHORNE
v.
HARDY et al.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex.

May 19, 1899.


Exceptions from superior court, Middlesex county; John H. Hardy, Judge.

Action by Annie Copithorne against Francis D. Hardy and others. There was a judgment for plaintiff, and defendants except. Exceptions overruled.


[173 Mass. 400]

[53 N.E. 916]

J.E. Hannigan and J.S. Sullivan, for plaintiff.

John Lowell, for defendants.


HOLMES, J.

This is an action under the statute for personal injuries alleged to have been caused by a defect in the defendants'[173 Mass. 401]ways, works, and machinery. The plaintiff was in the defendants' employ, and was sitting at work, making pills, when some shafting fell and struck her on the back. Her care is not denied. The shafting had been moved the day before, by order of the superintendent, Shea, to the place from which it fell, by the carpenter, Maclaren, who attended to that kind of work under the superintendent's orders. It was a cone shaft, with six pulleys, and was attached to the ceiling by hangers, or brackets, and screws. When the machinery was started this morning, it squeaked, and was stopped. Maclaren worked on it again for some time, but in the afternoon it fell. Maclaren testified that the squeaking was in a different part from that which fell, but, of course, it was for the jury to say whether they believed him, and whether, in any event, it did not point to a defect. He also said that putting up the shafting was not the simple job it seemed. The main question raised by the exceptions is whether there was any evidence of negligence, within the statute.

In the first place, we think it entirely plain that the conditions of which the plaintiff complains do not belong to that transitory class for which the employer is not responsible, beyond furnishing a choice of proper materials or instrumentalities to the plaintiff or her fellow servants. To put it at the lowest, the jury were warranted in finding, as it was left to them to find, that this was one of those permanent arrangements as to which the duty of the employer could not be delegated, according to the well-known common-law distinction, or, under the statute, that, if there was a defect, it was a defect in the ways, works, and machinery. Prendible v. Manufacturing Co., 160 Mass. 131, 35 N.E. 675. It does not matter that the shafting had been up only for a day. The defendants' liability was the same that it would have been a month later.

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19 practice notes
  • McCloskey v. Koplar, No. 28476.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • February 6, 1932
    ...Johnson v. Ry. Co., 104 Mo. App. 588; Scharff v. Const. Co., 115 Mo. App. 167; Duffy v. McGee, 196 Mo. App. 395; Copithorne v. Hardy, 173 Mass. 400; Garham v. Gross, 162 Mass. 331; Uggla v. Ry. Co., 160 Mass. 351; Duncan v. Y.M.C.A., 176 App. Div. 672, 163 N.Y. Supp. 945; Scott v. Wingenber......
  • Rizzo v. Cunningham
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • April 12, 1939
    ...100;Chandler v. Baker, 191 Mass. 579, 584, 585, 78 N.E. 387;Butler v. Butler, 225 Mass. 22, 26, 113 N.E. 577. See Copithorne v. Hardy, 173 Mass. 400, 402, 53 N.E. 915. The most that can be said of the plaintiff's testimony is that it is an instance of conflicting statements and that it was ......
  • Mucha v. Northeastern Crushed Stone Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • January 2, 1941
    ...circumstances of the occurrence that has caused the injury, and ‘the teachings of experience with regard to them.’ Copithorne v. Hardy, 173 Mass. 400, 402, 53 N.E. 915, 916.Drum v. New England Cotton Yarn Co., 180 Mass. 113, 114, 61 N.E. 812;Walker v. Benz Kid Co., 279 Mass. 533, 538, 181 N......
  • Rodgers v. Boynton
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • December 28, 1943
    ...303 Mass. 148, 21 N.E.2d 1, 128 A.L.R. 682;Gaillard v. Boynton, 1 Cir., 70 F.2d 552. The plaintiff relies upon Copithorne v. Hardy, 173 Mass. 400, 53 N.E. 915, and Barrows v. Checker Taxi Co., 290 Mass. 231, 195 N.E. 112. The only question relative to damages that was decided in those cases......
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19 cases
  • McCloskey v. Koplar, No. 28476.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • February 6, 1932
    ...Johnson v. Ry. Co., 104 Mo. App. 588; Scharff v. Const. Co., 115 Mo. App. 167; Duffy v. McGee, 196 Mo. App. 395; Copithorne v. Hardy, 173 Mass. 400; Garham v. Gross, 162 Mass. 331; Uggla v. Ry. Co., 160 Mass. 351; Duncan v. Y.M.C.A., 176 App. Div. 672, 163 N.Y. Supp. 945; Scott v. Wingenber......
  • Rizzo v. Cunningham
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • April 12, 1939
    ...100;Chandler v. Baker, 191 Mass. 579, 584, 585, 78 N.E. 387;Butler v. Butler, 225 Mass. 22, 26, 113 N.E. 577. See Copithorne v. Hardy, 173 Mass. 400, 402, 53 N.E. 915. The most that can be said of the plaintiff's testimony is that it is an instance of conflicting statements and that it was ......
  • Mucha v. Northeastern Crushed Stone Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • January 2, 1941
    ...circumstances of the occurrence that has caused the injury, and ‘the teachings of experience with regard to them.’ Copithorne v. Hardy, 173 Mass. 400, 402, 53 N.E. 915, 916.Drum v. New England Cotton Yarn Co., 180 Mass. 113, 114, 61 N.E. 812;Walker v. Benz Kid Co., 279 Mass. 533, 538, 181 N......
  • Rodgers v. Boynton
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • December 28, 1943
    ...303 Mass. 148, 21 N.E.2d 1, 128 A.L.R. 682;Gaillard v. Boynton, 1 Cir., 70 F.2d 552. The plaintiff relies upon Copithorne v. Hardy, 173 Mass. 400, 53 N.E. 915, and Barrows v. Checker Taxi Co., 290 Mass. 231, 195 N.E. 112. The only question relative to damages that was decided in those cases......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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