Frazer v. Bigelow Carpet Co.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtHOLMES
Citation4 N.E. 620,141 Mass. 126
Decision Date24 February 1886
PartiesFRAZER v. BIGELOW CARPET CO.

141 Mass. 126
4 N.E. 620

FRAZER
v.
BIGELOW CARPET CO.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Filed February 24, 1886.


This is an action of tort, brought to recover damages for the washing away of certain dams, buildings, and soil, and certain personal property belonging to the plaintiff, in Clinton, on the twenty-sixth day of March, 1876, by the escaping waters of a reservoir or pond which had been accumulated by the defendant. The defendant's liability was admitted on the authority of Bryant v. Bigelow Carpet Co., 131 Mass. 491; this loss being another like result of the cause of the loss in that case. The action was brought on the twelfth of September, 1881. The auditor to whom the case was referred assesses damages, as of the day of the injury, at $4,000, to-wit, $2,700 on the real estate, and $1,300 on the personal property. The single question is whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to interest on the loss from the date of the injury.


[141 Mass. 127]

[4 N.E. 621]

J.C. Coombs and Nathaniel W. Walker, for plaintiff.

Hutchins & Wheeler, for defendant.


HOLMES, J.

This is an action for the negligent destruction of property by the same disaster which was discussed in Bryant v. Bigelow Carpet Co., 131 Mass. 491. The defendant's liability is admitted, and the only question is whether the tribunal assessing the damages has power, in its discretion, to add interest to the sum which it finds to represent the plaintiff's loss on the day it took place. Interest was allowed without discretion. Bryant v. Bigelow Carpet Co., ubi supra. It is allowed as of right in trover and other like actions; and, although in each case it is suggested that the defendant may be presumed to have had the using the goods since the conversion, this is not necessarily the fact, [141 Mass. 128]and, if it was, would have no bearing on the indemnity due the plaintiff. Interest is allowed in the admiralty upon damages for collision, and other courts have adopted the admiralty doctrine. Straker v. Hartland, 2 Hem. & M. 570; The Amalia, 34 Law J.Adm. 21; The Dundee, 2 Hagg.Adm. 137; The Mary J. Vaughan and The Telegraph, 2 Ben. 47;Parrott v. Knickerbocker Ice Co., 46 N.Y. 361;Mailler v. Express Propeller Line, 61 N.Y. 312. The same principle has been applied in other cases of the negligent destruction of property. Chapman v. Chicago & N.W.Ry. Co., 26 Wis. 295, 304;Sanborn v. Webster, 2 Minn. 323, (Gil. 277.) See, also, Lawrence R. Co. v. Cobb, 35 Ohio St. 94.

Notwithstanding the...

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44 practice notes
  • Jenkins v. Wabash Ry. Co., No. 31307.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 17, 1934
    ...48 S.W. (2d) 938; Powell v. Railroad Co., 255 Mo. 420, 164 S.W. 638; Talbert v. Ry. Co., 15 S.W. (2d) 766; Frazier v. Bigelow Carpet Co., 141 Mass. 126, 4 N.E. 621; Lincoln v. Claflin, 74 U.S. 139, 19 L. Ed. 109; Bernhard v. Ins. Co., 79 Conn. 388, 65 Atl. 138; Wilson v. City of Troy, 135 N......
  • Graustein v. H.P. Hood & Sons, Inc.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • January 30, 1936
    ...v. Munro & Church Co., 284 Mass. 446, 451, 188 N.E. 223. The case at bar is distinguishable from cases like Frazer v. Bigelow Carpet Co., 141 Mass. 126, 4 N.E. 620, and Young v. New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Co., 273 Mass. 567, 572, 174 N.E. 318. Although these errors require that......
  • Miller v. Robertson Robertson v. Miller, Nos. 35
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • November 17, 1924
    ...an element of damages. See Bernhard v. Rochester German Insurance Co., 79 Conn. 388, 397, 65 A. 134, 8 Ann. Cas. 298; Frazer v. Bigelow, 141 Mass. 126, 4 N. E. 620; Faber v. City of New York, 222 N. Y. 255, 262, 118 N. E. 609; De La Rama v. De La Rama, 241 U. S. 154, 159, 160, 36 S. Ct. 518......
  • Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc. v. Richardson, No. 157
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • October 25, 1961
    ...was payable only on a "debt" and that no debt could be due until the liability had been fixed. See Frazer v. Bigelow Carpet Co., 1886, 141 Mass. 126, 4 N.E. 620. McCormick traces the distinction to a survival of the medieval distaste for interest as "usurious." McCormick, Damages, §§ 51, 55......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
44 cases
  • Jenkins v. Wabash Ry. Co., No. 31307.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 17, 1934
    ...48 S.W. (2d) 938; Powell v. Railroad Co., 255 Mo. 420, 164 S.W. 638; Talbert v. Ry. Co., 15 S.W. (2d) 766; Frazier v. Bigelow Carpet Co., 141 Mass. 126, 4 N.E. 621; Lincoln v. Claflin, 74 U.S. 139, 19 L. Ed. 109; Bernhard v. Ins. Co., 79 Conn. 388, 65 Atl. 138; Wilson v. City of Troy, 135 N......
  • Graustein v. H.P. Hood & Sons, Inc.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • January 30, 1936
    ...v. Munro & Church Co., 284 Mass. 446, 451, 188 N.E. 223. The case at bar is distinguishable from cases like Frazer v. Bigelow Carpet Co., 141 Mass. 126, 4 N.E. 620, and Young v. New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Co., 273 Mass. 567, 572, 174 N.E. 318. Although these errors require that......
  • Miller v. Robertson Robertson v. Miller, Nos. 35
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • November 17, 1924
    ...an element of damages. See Bernhard v. Rochester German Insurance Co., 79 Conn. 388, 397, 65 A. 134, 8 Ann. Cas. 298; Frazer v. Bigelow, 141 Mass. 126, 4 N. E. 620; Faber v. City of New York, 222 N. Y. 255, 262, 118 N. E. 609; De La Rama v. De La Rama, 241 U. S. 154, 159, 160, 36 S. Ct. 518......
  • Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc. v. Richardson, No. 157
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • October 25, 1961
    ...was payable only on a "debt" and that no debt could be due until the liability had been fixed. See Frazer v. Bigelow Carpet Co., 1886, 141 Mass. 126, 4 N.E. 620. McCormick traces the distinction to a survival of the medieval distaste for interest as "usurious." McCormick, Damages, §§ 51, 55......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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