Lisa v. Yale University

Citation191 A. 346
Decision Date07 April 1937
CourtSupreme Court of Connecticut
191 A. 346


Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut.

April 7, 1937.

Appeal from Superior Court, New Haven County; Kenneth Wynne, Judge.

Action by Anne Lisa against Yale University to recover damages for personal injuries alleged to have been caused by defendant's negligence. From a verdict and judgment for plaintiff, defendant appeals.

No error.

Argued before MALTBIE, C. J., and HINMAN, BANKS, AVERY, and BROWN, JJ.

Martin E. Gormley, of New Haven, and Adrian W. Maher, of Bridgeport, for appellant. Harry M. French and Albert W. Cretella, both of New Haven, for appellee.

BROWN, Judge.

It is undisputed that upon the evidence the jury could properly have found that the plaintiff shortly after 3 o'clock on the afternoon of February 22, 1936, while walking on the defendant's property along a semicircular passageway to the main entrance of its Institute of Human Relations, for the purpose of visiting a patient therein during the prescribed visiting hour, in the exercise of due care on her part, slipped and fell on ice accumulated on the walk, causing the serious injury complained of. The sole question determinative of this appeal is whether the evidence warranted the jury's further conclusion that the slippery condition of the walk existing at this place was due to the defendant's negligence. The defendant contends that the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the evidence is that it had exhausted

191 A. 347

every possible effort to remedy this situation caused by changing climatic conditions and to keep the premises reasonably safe, so that to hold it liable would be to impose upon it the duty of an insurer, and that therefore as a matter of law the verdict in the plaintiff's favor should be set aside.

In support of its contention the defendant directs attention to the evidence, that this had been an unusually severe winter, that snow previously removed from this walk had been piled along the sides where it froze, that February 22d was a clear day with a temperature range of from 15 to 27 degrees above zero, that the slippery condition at the place in question was due to new ice formed from water from the melting snow, that to guard against this danger the defendant had available an ample supply of sand, tools with which to spread it, a supervisor to see that it was properly applied, and three assistants who were instructed to do the sanding upon this and other walks of the defendant in that locality, that during that day...

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