Thursday, December 3, 2015

Butterfield v. Forrester case brief

Butterfield v. Forrester case brief
1809, Kings Bench
Facts: Plaintiff was riding a horse and was thrown off it when he encountered an obstruction on a road. Defendant put the obstruction because he was repairing his nearby house. A witness said that plaintiff was riding fast and that if he was not riding fast, he would have seen the obstruction since it was still light enough to see. Verdict for defendant because jury instructions said that if a person riding with reasonable and ordinary care and who was not riding hard would have avoided injury, then defendant must win. 
Decision: For defendant, appeal denied because plaintiff should have been careful. 
Reasoning: Judge thought accident happened entirely with plaintiff’s fault that if he was careful he would not have been injured. Plaintiff must use common and ordinary caution and cannot have thrown himself at an obstruction carelessly. 

Holding: A plaintiff cannot recover against a defendant if the plaintiff had operated with a lack of reasonable and ordinary care and contributed to his own injury under contributory negligence. 

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