Jacobs v. New York, N.H.&H.R. Co.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtBRALEY
Citation212 Mass. 96,98 N.E. 688
Decision Date25 May 1912
PartiesJACOBS v. NEW YORK, N. H. & H. R. CO.

212 Mass. 96
98 N.E. 688

JACOBS
v.
NEW YORK, N. H. & H. R. CO.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Plymouth.

May 25, 1912.


Report from Superior Court, Plymouth County.

Action by Emeline A. Jacobs, administratrix of the estate of Stephen Jacobs, Jr., against the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company. There was a directed verdict for defendant. On report from the Superior Court. Judgment for defendant.


Chas. W. Bartlett, Jos. W. Bartlett, Fredk. E. Jennings, and Arthur [212 Mass. 97]T. Smith, all of Boston, for plaintiff.

Frank W. Knowlton and Roger B. Hull, both of Boston, for defendant.

[98 N.E. 689]


BRALEY, J.

The injuries to the plaintiff's intestate which resulted in his death after a period of conscious suffering, were caused by the explosion of a railroad signal torpedo, the property of the defendant. It may be assumed, that the jury would have been warranted in finding upon the evidence the following facts. In the management of its business as a carrier of passengers, trains were provided provided with torpedoes, which whenever necessary were to be used by the flagman on the trian ahead to warn trains approaching[212 Mass. 98]from the rear, that a preceding train not very far distant was passing over the same track. The warning consisted in the noise of the explosion, as the oncoming train struck the torpedo, which the flagman affixed to the rail by straps forming a part of the apparatus. To be effective, not only the torpedo must be exploded by contact with the train, but the detonation must be sufficiently great to attract the attention of trainmen. The jury properly could infer from these circumstances, and from the testimony of the plaintiff's expert as to the character of the composition with which it was charged, as well as from the rule promulgated by the company, which was introduced in evidence, that the defendant knew, or by the use of due diligence should have known, that the torpedo contained a highly explosive compound. If exploded without proper precautions, or under extraneous conditions, pieces of the shell or case might fly with such force in various directions as to endanger the safety of persons in the vicinity.

[1] The use of a dangerous agency of this nature, which must be classed with gunpowder, and explosive like nitro-glycerine, and dynamite in its various forms, while lawful, imposed upon the defendant the duty of taking every proper precaution to prevent personal injury to those lawfully upon the...

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25 practice notes
  • Guinan v. Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • June 6, 1929
    ...96 Am. Dec. 682;Wellington v. Downer Kerosene Oil Co., 104 Mass. 64, 67;[267 Mass. 512]Jacobs v. New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, 212 Mass. 96, 98, 98 N. E. 688,40 L. R. A. (N. S.) 41;Thornhill v. Carpenter-Morton Co., 220 Mass. 593, 597, 108 N. E. 474; [167 N.E. 241]Thomas v. Winch......
  • Flood v. Southland Corp.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • August 5, 1993
    ...Glassey v. Worcester Consolidated Street Railway, 185 Mass. 315 [70 N.E. 199] [1904]. Jacobs v. New York, New Haven, & Hartford Railroad, 212 Mass. 96 [98 N.E. 688] [1912]. In these cases the earlier decisions are so fully cited that we need not refer to them." Horan v. Watertown, 217 Mass.......
  • Wallace v. Ludwig
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • October 31, 1935
    ...v. New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, 183 Mass. 393, 67 N. E.424,62 L.R.A. 751; Jacobs v. New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, 212 Mass. 96, 98 N.E. 688,40 L.R.A. (N. S.) 41; Horan v. Watertown, 217 Mass. 185, 104 N.E. 464; Panagotopulos' Case, 276 Mass. 600, 608, 177 N.E. 800; Te......
  • Gregory v. Lehigh Cement Co.
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court of Virginia
    • January 14, 1932
    ...G. M. Laboratories, Inc., 242 N.Y. 168, 151 N.E. 195; Finkbeiner Solomon, 225 Pa. 333, 74 Atl. 170; Jacobs New York, etc., R. Co., 212 Mass. 96, 98 N.E. 688, 40 L.R.A.(N.S.) In the first case the plaintiff, a child twelve years old, was a tresspasser upon a dumping ground from which he and ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
25 cases
  • Guinan v. Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • June 6, 1929
    ...96 Am. Dec. 682;Wellington v. Downer Kerosene Oil Co., 104 Mass. 64, 67;[267 Mass. 512]Jacobs v. New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, 212 Mass. 96, 98, 98 N. E. 688,40 L. R. A. (N. S.) 41;Thornhill v. Carpenter-Morton Co., 220 Mass. 593, 597, 108 N. E. 474; [167 N.E. 241]Thomas v. Winch......
  • Flood v. Southland Corp.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • August 5, 1993
    ...Glassey v. Worcester Consolidated Street Railway, 185 Mass. 315 [70 N.E. 199] [1904]. Jacobs v. New York, New Haven, & Hartford Railroad, 212 Mass. 96 [98 N.E. 688] [1912]. In these cases the earlier decisions are so fully cited that we need not refer to them." Horan v. Watertown, 217 Mass.......
  • Wallace v. Ludwig
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • October 31, 1935
    ...v. New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, 183 Mass. 393, 67 N. E.424,62 L.R.A. 751; Jacobs v. New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, 212 Mass. 96, 98 N.E. 688,40 L.R.A. (N. S.) 41; Horan v. Watertown, 217 Mass. 185, 104 N.E. 464; Panagotopulos' Case, 276 Mass. 600, 608, 177 N.E. 800; Te......
  • Gregory v. Lehigh Cement Co.
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court of Virginia
    • January 14, 1932
    ...G. M. Laboratories, Inc., 242 N.Y. 168, 151 N.E. 195; Finkbeiner Solomon, 225 Pa. 333, 74 Atl. 170; Jacobs New York, etc., R. Co., 212 Mass. 96, 98 N.E. 688, 40 L.R.A.(N.S.) In the first case the plaintiff, a child twelve years old, was a tresspasser upon a dumping ground from which he and ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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