Goddard v. Boston & Maine R.R. Co Case Brief

Summary of Goddard v. Boston & Maine R.R. Co, S. Ct. Massachusetts, 1901

Relevant Facts: Pl Goddard fell by slipping on a banana skin lying on the platform of the Df train station. Pl had just arrived and was about a length of the car from where he descended when he slipped and fell. There were many passengers on the platform.

Legal Issue(s): Whether the Df exercised reasonable care in maintaining the platforms to be free from obstruction which would ordinarily cause injury?

Court’s Holding: Yes

Procedure: Directed verdict for Df, PL appealed and objected. Overruled, Affirmed.

Law or Rule(s): Exercise of ordinary care and prudence a person would observe under similar circumstance.

Court Rationale: The banana may have been dropped within a minute of PL slipping upon it. There is no manner in determining negligence by the evidence.

Plaintiff’s Argument: Df failed to exercise reasonable care to keep the platform free of obstruction which would cause injuries.

Defendant’s Argument: The cause of the injury was not reasonably foreseeable.

Circumstantial – incidental, presumed, or implied




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