Monday, November 11, 2013

Fletcher v. City of Aberdeen case brief

Fletcher v. City of Aberdeen case brief summary
338 P.2d 743 (Wash. 1959)

Appellant city sought review of a judgment of the Superior Court for Grays Harbor County (Washington), which rendered a jury verdict in favor of plaintiffs, husband and wife (couple) in their action to recover damages for personal injuries.


The husband was blind and injured himself when he fell into an excavation dug by the city to place electric wires underground. The jury found in favor of the couple.


  • On appeal, the court affirmed the jury verdict. 
  • The court found that because the protective barriers had been removed, the existence of the excavation was unknown to the husband because he could not see. 
  • The court ruled that the jury was entitled to find that the city was negligent in removing the barriers without providing other warning. 
  • The court also ruled that the city was charged with the knowledge that those who were physically infirm as well as those in perfect physical condition would use its streets. 
  • The court reasoned that the person under a physical disability was obliged to use the care, which a reasonable person under the same or similar disability would exercise under the circumstances. 
  • The court further reasoned that the city, on the other hand, was obliged to afford that degree of protection, which would bring to the notice of the person so afflicted the danger to be encountered.

The court affirmed the jury verdict finding in favor of the couple in their personal injury action against the city.

Suggested Study Aids For Tort Law

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