Chicago v. Krayenbuhl


–          Plaintiff, (playing with other children) was seriously injured (lost her ankle) while playing on a rail-road turntable that had been unlocked and unguarded.

–          Turntable was located between  two branches of the defendants line and there was a pathway that was common use for the general public


–          Was the owner of the railroads failure to lock the turntable, negligent?


–          YES.


–          The interference with the proper use of the turn-table occasioned by the use of such lock is so slight that it is outweighed by the danger anticipated from an omission to use it; therefore, the public good demands it to be locked.

–          Character and location, purpose of which they are used, probability of injury, and precautions necessary to prevent such an injury.

Courts Reasoning

–          Life must go forward, the better of society demands the use of dangerous machinery, and the benefits resulting such machinery, outweighs the negatives of some lives lost – up to the point where the benefits resulting from such harm do not outweigh the positives.

–          Owner had knowledge that there was a footpath and kids could potentially be playing around there – versus an owner, that kids unknowingly frequented on.

–          Precautions court’s ruling – they should be, in every case, such as a man of ordinary care and prudence would observe under the like circumstances – if under all the circumstances, the owner omits such precautions as a man of ordinary care and prudence, under the like circumstances, would observe, he is guilty of negligence.

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