Labrie v. Donham

Decision Date23 January 1923
Citation138 N.E. 3,243 Mass. 584
PartiesLABRIE v. DONHAM.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Exceptions from Superior Court, Bristol County; T. Lummus, Judge.

Action of tort by Genevieve Labrie against Wallace B. Donham, receiver of the Bay State Street Railway Company. Verdict for plaintiff for $3,000, and defendant brings exceptions. Exceptions sustained, and judgment entered for defendant.

Plaintiff was injured in alighting from a street car. The facts concerning the accident are stated in the opinion. Defendant moved for a directed verdict, and excepted to the court's refusal to grant the motion.

Radovsky & Radovsky, of Fall River (I. H. Simon, of Fall River, with them), for plaintiff.

Baker, Thurston, Seagrave & Terry, of Fall River, for defendant.

CARROLL, J.

The defendant is the receiver of the Bay State Street Railway Company. The plaintiff was injured by slipping on the step of one of its cars while alighting therefrom. She claims that because of ice on the step the car was defective.

The plaintiff testified that she boarded the car at the end of the line about 5 o'clock on the afternoon of February 7, 1918; that it left about 10 or 12 minutes later: that she slipped and fell about 5:30 o'clock, when it was stopped for her to alight; that the weather was cold and freezing; that when she got on she noticed there was some ice on the step’; that ‘there was some ice on the step when she was stepping off,’ and she ‘guessed there was more ice then than when she boarded the car’; that when alighting she thought the ice to be about the thickness of a piece of paper; and that the conductor was in the rear part of the car. The plaintiff's niece, who examined the step immediately after the accident, testified that ‘there was slush on the middle step, but couldn't say it was frozen over’; and a witness who was present when the plaintiff fell said, She apparently collapsed and slipped to the street;’ that, while the step was very slippery, it was ‘not icy, but had a mushy or slimy, smoot surface’; ‘that it had thawed most of the day;’ that ‘it was slushy and it was the breaking up of a cold snap.’ The witnesses for the defendant testified that there was nothing the matter with the car step, except that it was wet. There was no evidence that sand had been sprinkled on the step, nor of any rule of the defendant or of the Bay State Street Railway requiring that this should be done. In the superior court the defendant's motion for a directed verdict was denied and the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff.

Assuming that there was ice of the thickness of a piece of paper on the step of the car, there is nothing in the evidence to show how much of the step was covered by the ice, nor how long it had been there. From all that appears the thin piece of ice described by the plaintiff may have been of small size extending over only a small part of the car step. Hotenbrink v. Boston Elevated Railway, 211 Mass. 77, 97 N. E. 624,39 L. R. A. (N. S.) 419. See Lyons v. Boston Elevated Railway, 204 Mass. 227, 229, 90 N. E. 419.

Foster v. Old Colony Street Railway, 182 Mass. 378, 65 N. E. 795, is to be distinguished. In that case snow had been falling for several hours, and had turned to rain and sleet when the accident happened; the...

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20 cases
  • Curran v. Magee
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • January 26, 1923
  • Blair v. Boston Elevated Ry. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • September 10, 1941
    ...utmost care consistent with the nature of its business to furnish a vehicle that was safe for the use of its passengers. Labrie v. Donham, 243 Mass. 584, 138 N.E. 3;Bannister v. Berkshire Street Railway Co., 301 Mass. 598, 18 N.E.2d 342. That the immediate cause of the accident was the sali......
  • Seidenberg v. Eastern Massachusetts St. Ry. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • March 27, 1929
    ...no evidence of negligence on the part of the servants of the defendant. That point is covered by numerous decisions. Labrie v. Donham, 243 Mass. 584, 138 N. E. 3;O'Brien v. Boston Elevated Railway, 250 Mass. 192, 145 N. E. 259;O'Neill v. Boston Elevated Railway, 248 Mass. 362, 142 N. E. 904......
  • O'Neill v. Boston Elevated Ry. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • March 14, 1924
    ...104 N. E. 491;Zugbie v. J. R. Whipple Co., 230 Mass. 19, 119 N. E. 191;Sheehan v. Holland, 231 Mass. 246, 120 N. E. 591;Labrie v. Donham, 243 Mass. 584, 138 N. E. 3. The case at bar is distinguishable from Anjou v. Boston Elevated Railway, 208 Mass. 273, 94 N. E. 386,21 Ann. Cas. 1143. It i......
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