Torts Keyed to Epstein
Robert Addie & Sons (Collieries), Ltd. v. Dumbreck
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Defendant operated a haulage system in its fields. This system consisted of two parts: the engine, which operated the system, and a wheel about which a cable turned. The wheel was not visible from the engine. This wheel was dangerous, but very attractive to children. Defendant took some measures to keep children away from the wheel; however, the measures were only in the form of brief admonishments and warnings. It was evident that Defendant was more concerned about the safety of its own property then of the safety of the trespassers. The surrounding hedge had several gaps, making it easy for children to pass over the property. Children, in fact, often used the property as a shortcut. The two gates had signs warning trespassers that they would be prosecuted. Dumbreck’s (Plaintiff’s) son was a four-year old boy. He had been warned by Plaintiff not to go into the field. However, he ignored the warning, entered the property, was caught in the wheel mechanism, and died. The court awarded judgment for the Plaintiff, holding that the accident was Defendant’s fault, because they did not take suitable precautions to avoid accidents. Defendant appealed.
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