Richardson v. City of Boston

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtMORTON
PartiesRICHARDSON v. CITY OF BOSTON.
Decision Date29 March 1892

156 Mass. 145
30 N.E. 478

RICHARDSON
v.
CITY OF BOSTON.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk.

March 29, 1892.


Exceptions from superior court, Suffolk county; CHARLES P. THOMPSON, Judge.

Action by James H. Richardson against the city of Boston. Judgment for plaintiff. Defendant excepts. Exception sustained.


[156 Mass. 147]H. Dunham, for plaintiff.

T.W. Proctor, Asst. City Sol., for defendant.


[156 Mass. 145]MORTON, J.

The archway into which the plaintiff fell was in the front wall of a brick block which was built up to and formed the line of the highway. It was about three feet wide and three or four feet high, and served as an entrance to steps leading down to an arched and covered passage-way, which ran through the block. No part of the steps, archway, or passage-way was within the limits of the highway, except “a portion of the steps, which did not come above the surface, but was covered with [156 Mass. 146]planking, making the street at that point even and regular with the rest of the highway, and of the paper width.” The plaintiff stepped down, and slid from the sidewalk through the archway, and down upon the steps, receiving the injuries complained of. The sidewalk was free from snow and ice, but snow was falling at the time. The plaintiff's declaration, as well as the notice to the city, would seem to have been drawn rather upon the theory that there was “an opening or hole in the sidewalk, *** extending below the surface, *** concealed by a loose board, covered with snow.” This was not so. The court expressly found that there was no defect within the limits of the highway, and that there was no omission on the part of the defendant, other than a failure to put a railing before the archway. The evidence on which the finding was based is stated, and the question is whether, as matter of law, it was justified; or whether, in other words, the city, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have had a railing at the archway. The archway was at right angles with, and not a continuation of, the sidewalk, and, except that one might slip (as the plaintiff did) or stumble, or be pushed, there was no reason to apprehend that a traveler passing along the street, and using due care, would fall into it, and down the steps. It is not the possibility, however, that a traveler may get hurt if there is no railing or barrier that settles the question as to whether one should be put up, but whether one is required for the reasonable security of the...

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8 practice notes
  • City of Birmingham v. Cox, 6 Div. 554.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • February 28, 1935
    ...Am. Dec. 700]; Adams v. Natick, 13 Allen [Mass.] 429, 431; Marshall v. Ipswich, 110 Mass. 522." And that in Richardson v. City of Boston, 156 Mass. 145, 146, 30 N.E. 478, is: "It is not the possibility, however, that a traveler may get hurt if there is no railing or barrier that settles the......
  • Wilson v. Jones, No. 11810.
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • January 17, 1916
    ...who was unfamiliar with the place, to unusual hazard. In an effort to bring this case within the doctrine of Richardson v. Boston, 156 Mass. 145, 30 N. E. 478, defendant contends there is nothing to show that there was anything improper or unusual about this areaway. It may be granted that ......
  • Seeton v. Town of Dunbarton
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Hampshire
    • October 13, 1903
    ...and there would be no liability under the statute here. Logan v. New Bedford, 157 Mass. 534, 32 N. E. 910, and Richardson v. Boston, 156 Mass. 145, 30 N. E. 478, together with Damon v. Boston, are cases of foot travelers, and do not aid upon the only question here, of suitability for travel......
  • Spillane v. City of Fitchburg
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • October 19, 1900
    ...risk of its playing such a part was too small to entitle the plaintiff to go to the jury on that alone. See Richardson v. City of Boston, 156 Mass. 145, 146, 30 N. E. 478;Scannal v. City of Cambridge, 163 Mass. 91, 94, 39 N. E. 790;City of Dayton v. Taylor (Ohio Sup.) 56 N. E. 480. The city......
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13 cases
  • City of Birmingham v. Cox, 6 Div. 554.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • February 28, 1935
    ...Am. Dec. 700]; Adams v. Natick, 13 Allen [Mass.] 429, 431; Marshall v. Ipswich, 110 Mass. 522." And that in Richardson v. City of Boston, 156 Mass. 145, 146, 30 N.E. 478, is: "It is not the possibility, however, that a traveler may get hurt if there is no railing or barrier that settles the......
  • Wilson v. Jones, No. 11810.
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • January 17, 1916
    ...who was unfamiliar with the place, to unusual hazard. In an effort to bring this case within the doctrine of Richardson v. Boston, 156 Mass. 145, 30 N. E. 478, defendant contends there is nothing to show that there was anything improper or unusual about this areaway. It may be granted that ......
  • Seeton v. Town of Dunbarton
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Hampshire
    • October 13, 1903
    ...and there would be no liability under the statute here. Logan v. New Bedford, 157 Mass. 534, 32 N. E. 910, and Richardson v. Boston, 156 Mass. 145, 30 N. E. 478, together with Damon v. Boston, are cases of foot travelers, and do not aid upon the only question here, of suitability for travel......
  • Spillane v. City of Fitchburg
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • October 19, 1900
    ...risk of its playing such a part was too small to entitle the plaintiff to go to the jury on that alone. See Richardson v. City of Boston, 156 Mass. 145, 146, 30 N.E. 478; Scannal v. City of Cambridge, 163 Mass. 91, 94, 39 N.E. 790; City of Dayton v. Taylor (Ohio Sup.) 56 N.E. 480. The city ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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