Fine v. Connecticut Co.

Decision Date25 January 1917
Citation99 A. 700,91 Conn. 327
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court

Roraback and Wheeler, JJ., dissenting.

Appeal from Superior Court, Hartford County; William L. Bennett, Judge.

Action by Louis Fine against the Connecticut Company. Judgment for defendant, and plaintiff appeals. Reversed, and new trial ordered.

In the early evening of November 10, 1915, the plaintiff was proceeding northerly on the main highway from Glastonbury to Hartford, riding in a covered baker's wagon drawn by a single horse, when a trolley car owned and operated by the defendant came into collision with his wagon, causing the injuries complained of. The collision occurred at a point where the defendant's tracks crossed the highway in a diagonal direction. South of this crossing they lie on the west side of the highway, and north of it on the east side. The plaintiff's wagon had a sliding door on each side at about the middle. At the time in question the plaintiff, as he testified, was sitting on the right-hand side of the wagon with the door on the left or westerly side open. He stopped as he approached the crossing. He testified that the point at which he stopped was about 40 or 45 feet from the crossing. Other witnesses placed it as near as 15 feet. He says that he stuck his head out of the west door and looked back, seeing the tracks for 150 feet towards the south, that he saw no car and heard none, and that he then started at a walk to go across the tracks. When he was upon them, the car, coming from behind, and of whose presence he was unaware, struck his wagon. A traveler on the highway, at or near the crossing, has unobstructed view of the tracks to the south for about 800 feet. The speed of the car as it approached the crossing was variously estimated all the way from 8 or 10 to 20 miles an hour.

Philip Roberts, of Hartford, for appellant. Joseph F. Berry, of New Haven, for appellee.

PRENTICE, C. J. (after stating the facts as above). There can be no doubt that the plaintiff was entitled to go to the jury upon the issue as to the defendant's negligence. The court below directed the verdict for the defendant upon the ground that the plaintiff had failed to present evidence which would furnish the jury a reasonable basis for finding that he was free from contributory negligence.

The plaintiff's duty, in the exercise of ordinary care, was to make reasonable use of his senses in his self-protection. Jacko v. American Tube & Stamping Co., 90 Conn. 523, 526, 97 Atl. 755; Radwick v. Goldstein, 90 Conn. 701, 710, 98 Atl. 583. He was under no obligation, at the peril of being deemed negligent, to make the utmost use of them which it was practicable to make. The reasonable use which common prudence requires is one dependent upon the attendant circumstances.

In the present case a circumstance, not to be overlooked in determining whether or not the plaintiff acted with due care, is that his rights to the use of the highway were not subordinate or inferior to those of the trolley company. Both, in their use of the highway, were in the exercise of a common right to be enjoyed with due regard for the rights of each...

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4 cases
  • Woodhull v. Connecticut Co.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • 1 Marzo 1924
    ... ... own protection; he is not obliged, at the peril of being ... deemed negligent, to make the utmost practicable use of them; ... and the reasonable use which common prudence requires depends ... upon the attendant circumstances." Fine v. Conn ... Co., 91 Conn. 327, 99 A. 700; Lawler v. Hartford St ... Ry. Co., 72 Conn. 74, 43 A. 545 ... There ... is error, and the cause is remanded, with direction to render ... judgment upon the verdict ... The ... other Judges ... ...
  • Fine v. Conn. Co.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • 28 Mayo 1918
    ...appealed from a judgment in the defendant's favor for the reason that a defendant's verdict was directed by the court. Fine v. Conn. Co., 91 Conn. 327, 99 Atl. 700. We then held that the evidence relating to the issue as to contributory negligence, as well as that respecting the defendant's......
  • Clark Dairy, Inc. v. Feeley
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • 3 Diciembre 1935
    ...181 A. 626 120 Conn. 557 CLARK DAIRY, Inc., v. FEELEY. Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut.December 3, 1935 ... Appeal ... from Court of Common Pleas, New Haven County; Walter M ... Pickett, Judge ... Action ... by ... reasonable use of his senses for his own protection. The ... question was thus one for the determination of the jury ... Fine v. Connecticut Co., 91 Conn. 327, 329, 99 A ... 700; Woodhull v. Connecticut Co., 100 Conn. 361, ... 366, 124 A. 42. The instant case is governed ... ...
  • Eckert v. Levinson
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • 25 Enero 1917
    ...99 A. 69991 Conn. 338 ... ECKERT v. LEVINSON ... Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut ... Jan. 25, 1917 ...         Appeal from Court of Common Pleas, Hartford County; Edward L. Smith, Judge ...         Action by ... ...

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