Torts Keyed to Dobbs
Anderson v. Minneapolis, S. P. & S. S. M. R. Co
Plaintiff owned property near railroad company’s tracks. Plaintiff sued Defendants for damages resulting from a fire that was allegedly caused by sparks from one of Defendant’s locomotives that spread until it reached Plaintiff’s land, where it destroyed some of his property. The fire started in a bog near Plaintiff’s land and smoldered there for several months, when it flared up and burned his property shortly before it was reached by one of the great fires sweeping through the area that day. The jury returned a verdict for Plaintiff. The Supreme Court of Minnesota affirmed the judgment because the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing Plaintiff to amend the complaint to conform to proof at trial. Moreover, the trial judge’s instructions to the jury in the absence of counsel were correct statements of law, and the trial court was not obliged to notify counsel before responding to the jury’s question.
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