By using the snow path instead of the sidewalk

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was safer than the sidewalk on cold icy days. By using the snow path instead of the sidewalk, Plaintiff was in violation of a state statute, which required the use of sidewalks where provided and where they are not, pedestrians must walk on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic. Issue: Whether the Plaintiff’s failure to use the sidewalk constituted contributory negligence.
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Rule: The violation of a statute creates a rebuttable presumption of negligence, which can be overcome by providing an adequate excuse as to why the statue was ignored. - Holding: In a civil action for damages, violation of a statute creates a rebuttable presumption of negligence. Reason: Violation of a statute creates a rebuttable presumption of negligence, which can be overcome by showing that there was an adequate excuse or reason for such action under the circumstances of the case. The court declines to attach contributory liability to the Plaintiff because it was shown at trial that using the sidewalk would put the Plaintiff in danger of falling. Goddard v. Boston & Maine R.R. Co. Procedural: Plaintiff appealed a directed verdict in favor of Defendant. Facts: Plaintiff Goddard brought suit against Defendant Boston & Maine Railroad Co. after slipping and falling on a banana peel lying on one of Defendant’s railroad platforms. Plaintiff fell a car’s length away from the train while many passengers were on the platform. Issue: Whether a banana peel on a railroad platform is sufficient evidence to prove negligence of the platform operator? Rule: A railroad is not liable for negligence, if a passenger of the railroad may have perpetrated the negligent action.
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Holding: No. The banana peel that caused Plaintiff’s fall may have been dropped within a minute by any one of the persons who left the train Reason: The opinion of Chief Justice Holmes states “it is unnecessary to go further to decide the case”. While Plaintiff could only provide the existence of the peel as evidence, Holmes makes a logical leap, dismissing the possibility that the peel was not dropped by a fellow passenger, but may have been sitting on the platform for some time prior to the train’s arrival, and employees of the platform failed to notice it or pick it up. Anjou v. Boston Elevated Railway Co. Procedural: Facts: The Plaintiff, a passenger on the defendant’s railway, injured herself when she slipped and fell on a banana peel. The Plaintiff had been following behind one of the railroad’s uniformed workers when she slipped. The banana peal was described as black, dry and gritty and appeared as if it had been trampled on. - Issue: Whether the Defendant is negligent. Rule: Circumstantial evidence can be used to establish proof of negligence. Holding: The Defendant was negligent in not removing the banana peal
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Reason: Because the appearance of the banana peal suggested that it had been on the ground for some time, it could be inferred that the peal had been seen and could have been removed by one of the employees of the railway. This fact distinguishes this case
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