Hurd v. Eastern Massachusetts St. Ry. Co.

Decision Date06 January 1926
Citation150 N.E. 5,254 Mass. 204
PartiesHURD v. EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS ST. RY. CO.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Exceptions from Superior Court, Essex County; Frederick Lawton, Judge.

Action of tort by William R. Hurd against the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Company for injuries to plaintiff's automobile at crossing. Defendant's motion for directed verdict was refused, and it excepts. Exceptions sustained. Judgment for defendant.

Street railroads k99(6)-Automobile driver held negligent in stopping too near tracks.

Driver, misjudging distance, and stopping automobile where it was certain to be hit if passing electric car should sway out a few inches further than he supposed it would, held guilty of contributory negligence as matter of law, preventing recovery for injuries to automobile.

G. C. Richards, of Salem, for plaintiff.

J. J. Ronan, of Salem, for defendant.

PIERCE, J.

At the close of the evidence introduced at the trial by the plaintiff bearing upon the question of liability, the defendant rested its case and duly filed a motion requesting the court to direct a verdict for the defendant. The case comes before this court on exceptions duly saved to the refusal of the court so to do.

The bill of exceptions contains all the material evidence, and, in substance, discloses that a ‘one-man passenger car’ of the defendant at 9:30 p. m., August 31, 1921, on a dark and perfectly clear night, collided with a Cole touring car of the plaintiff, each of the headlights of which had a good lens and reflector and was on full light. The accident occurred at or near the southerly entrance to an estate on Cabot street in North Beverly. The estate lies on the easterly side of the highway coming from Beverly to Portland. It has a frontage of one thousand feet, with a fence in front about the height of a man's head. Between the fence at the driveway, on either side, and the nearest car rail the distance is fourteen feet. At the driveway there is a sidewalk six feet wide, then a grass plot, in width about five feet, with old, large maple trees above and below the driveway. A man standing on the inside of the sidewalk, by the fence at the driveway, can see up the street in the direction the car came a little way beyond the first tree, which is distant one hundred and sixty-two feet; the second, third and fourth trees are one hundred and eighty-eight feet, two hundred and twenty-five and one-half feet, and two hundred and sixty-one feet away, respectively. The street railway tracks run in nearly a straight line for about a quarter of a mile to the north of the driveway, with an unobstructed view of the tracks for that distance from a point a foot or two on the sidewalk; ‘If you were out a foot or two on the sidewalk you could see as far as the eyesight would let you, because there was not the slightest obstruction.’

Immediately before the collision the plaintiff drove his car, from a house which was back from the street three hundred feet, along a driveway very slowly, hardly moving at all for the last twenty-five feet, until it stopped ‘about twenty inches from the nearest rail, an inch one...

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5 cases
  • Gechijian v. Richmond Ins. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • February 1, 1940
    ...of such an attempt. Pigeon v. Massachusetts Northeastern Street Railway, 230 Mass. 392, 119 N.E. 762;Hurd v. Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway, 254 Mass. 204, 150 N.E. 5;Mailhot v. New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, 273 Mass. 277, 173 N.E. 422;Daignault v. Berkshire Street Railway,......
  • Finn v. Eastern Massachusetts St. Ry. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • May 20, 1932
    ...Mass. 340, 90 N. E. 535;Pigeon v. Massachusetts Northeastern Street Railway, 230 Mass. 392, 119 N. E. 762;Hurd v. Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway, 254 Mass. 204, 150 N. E. 5, and Daignault v. Berkshire Street Railway, 277 Mass. 227, 178 N. E. 653. Exceptions ...
  • Austin v. Eastern Massachusetts St. Ry. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • December 31, 1929
    ...it. He was negligent in stopping his automobile where he did unless the exigencies of travel required (Hurd v. Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway, 254 Mass. 204, 150 N. E. 5) and even ‘in an emergency, one must yet exercise reasonable care under the circumstances.’ Lawrence v. Fitchburg &......
  • Burrill v. Boston Elevated Ry. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • January 30, 1930
    ...bar is distinguishable from cases like Neale v. Springfield Street Railway, 189 Mass. 351, 75 N. E. 702, and Hurd v. Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway, 254 Mass. 204, 150 N. E. 5, in which the plaintiffs had taken deliberate positions too near the tracks of the street railway in circumst......
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