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Judson v. Giant Powder Co. Case Brief

Summary of Judson v. Giant Powder Co.

P/S: P’s recovered judgement as damages for negligence; D appealed the awarding of damgages and from an order denying a motion for a new trial

F:  P’s property was damaged when an explosion occurred at D’s factory buildings; D manufactured dynamite, and the explosion occurred during the process of manufacturing nitroglycerine into dynamite; the explosion caused the entire downfall of the P’s factory, residences and stock on hand; all of D’s employees and all witness died in the blast

I:  Does the proof of the explosion draw with it a presumption of negligence sufficient to establish a prima facie case for recovery?

H:  In the ordinary course of things, an explosion does not occur in such manufacture if proper care is exercised. YES

R:  When a thing which causes injury is shown to be under the management of the D, and the accident is such as in the ordinary course of things does not happen if those who have the management use proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in the absence of explanation by the D that the accident arose for the want [lack] of care

Reasoning:

  • If the correct process of manufacturing dynamite was carefully carried out, an explosion would not occur




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