Foster v. Old Colony St. Ry. Co.

Decision Date06 January 1903
Citation182 Mass. 378,65 N.E. 795
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court

J. E. Hannigan and R. P. Coughlin, for plaintiff.

F. S Hall, for defendant.



The plaintiff in this case came to Taunton from Clinton by train one Monday morning in February, 1901. She left Clinton at 7:30, and arrived at Taunton at 9:30. On leaving the station of the steam railroad at Taunton, she took a car of the defendant corporation, which was waiting a few feet from the station, and which runs from the steam railroad to the business center of the city. The car stopped when it got to the Taunton Hotel, and the plaintiff proceeded to get off the car. She put in evidence that she took hold of the handle of the dasher with her right hand, and stepped onto the step with her left foot; as she raised her right foot and threw her weight on her left foot, that foot went out from under her, by reason of the slippery condition of the step, caused by snow and ice which had accumulated upon it. It was undisputed that it was snowing when the plaintiff left Clinton, and that the storm had not stopped when the accident happened, but that the snow had then turned to rain and sleet. The plaintiff's witnesses testified that it was a bad storm; the plaintiff and one of her witnesses, who had come with her from Clinton, testified that when they reached Taunton it was raining, sleeting, and freezing; and the other witness of the plaintiff who testified on the point said that in Taunton there was a slight rain, which froze as it struck the ground.

The defendant contends that it is not practicable for a street railway company to prevent the open steps of its cars from becoming slippery during the continuance of such a storm as that in question in the case at bar, either by shoveling off the snow, sleet, or ice which must accumulate on the steps or by spreading sand or sawdust on them. Kelly v. Railway Co., 112 N.Y. 443, 20 N.E. 383, 3 L. R. A. 74; Fearn v. Ferry Co., 143 Pa. 122, 22 A. 708, 13 L. R. A. 366. But under the special circumstances of this case, we do not think that that question arises. It appeared that the route over which the car in question ran was a short one apparently about five minutes each way; at the time of the accident in question, to wit, a quarter before 10 in the morning, or thereabouts, the car was on its fifth trip. It further appeared that the car had waited at the railroad station 15 minutes, if not more. In addition to this, the defendant's motorman testified that by 'our rules' it was the duty of the conductor, in case of a storm, to sprinkle sand on the platform and step of the car, and that this could be done every two or three minutes, if necessary; and the conductor testified that he...

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22 cases
  • Craig v. United Railways Company of St. Louis
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • June 24, 1913 429; Gilman v. Railroad, 168 Mass. 454; Neslie v. Railroad, 113 Pa. 300; Railroad v. Cockerell, 17 Ky. L. Rep. 1037; Foster v. Railroad, 182 Mass. 378; v. Ins. Co., 162 Mo.App. 316; Railroad v. Gresham, 140 S.W. 483; Rosen v. Boston, 187 Mass. 245; Parker-Washington Co. v. Dennison, 15......
  • Gegere v. Chicago & N. W. Ry. Co., 26789.
    • United States
    • Minnesota Supreme Court
    • June 29, 1928 to indicate a negligent delay in its removal. Gilman v. Boston, etc., Ry. Co., 168 Mass. 454, 47 N. E. 193; Foster v. Old Colony St. Ry. Co., 182 Mass. 378, 65 N. E. 795. The surrounding circumstances may also be such as to disprove negligence. Riley v. Rhode Island Co., 29 R. I. 143, 69......
  • Gegere v. Chicago & North Western Railway Co.
    • United States
    • Minnesota Supreme Court
    • June 29, 1928
    ... ... negligent delay in its removal. Gilman v. Boston & M. [175 Minn. 100] Railroad, 168 Mass. 454, 47 ... N.E. 193; Foster v. Old Colony St. Ry. Co. 182 Mass ... 378, 65 N.E. 795. The surrounding circumstances may also be ... such as to disprove negligence. Riley v ... ...
  • Klein v. Boston Elevated Ry. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • February 5, 1936 matter of law relieve the defendant from the duty of making safe a place which the storm had rendered unsafe. Foster v. Old Colony Street R. Co., 182 Mass. 378, 65 N.E. 795;Kingston v. Boston Elevated Street R. Co., 207 Mass. 457, 93 N.E. 573;Parker v. Middlesex & Boston Street R. Co., 2......
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