A Canadian Family

First Nations, French Canadians & Acadians

Gets Damages For Slip On Tramway (1935) | Surname: Jacobs

Index: Newspaper Clippings & Other Extracts Related To Kahnawà:ke

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Mrs. Paul Jacobs, of Caughnawaga, Given $1,292 for Fractured Ankle

Slippery steps of a Montreal Tramways street car which caused the wife of Paul Cecil Jacobs, of the Indian Reserve of Caughnawaga, to fall and fracture her ankle, will cost the company $1,292 in damages. Judgment to this effect was handed down yesterday by Mr. Justice Alfred Forest of the Superior Court.

It was shown that temperature on the day of the accident, March 24, 1933, according to McGill Observatory records, was just about freezing point, with snow melting and creating slush on the streets.

Owing to such climatic conditions, said Mr. Justice Forest, the conductor of the tram should have taken more care and prudence and kept his steps and platform clear of snow, ice or slush. The conductor admitted having swept the steps and platform of his car only 25 minutes before the mishap , but at least 55 passengers had boarded the car since, the court noted.

The evidence submitted as to the condition of the car was contradictory. But, His Lordship pointed out, that of the plaintiff’s wife was corroborated by another witness and the presumptions revealed by a meteorological expert as to the climatic conditions.

In law, the judgment holds, every common carrier is responsible not only for the damage which is caused by its own fault but also by the fault of those under its control. In this case, the company was obliged to use the greatest diligence and in order to discharge its responsibility, the company had to prove that the plaintiff’s wife had acted with inexcusable imprudence.

It was shown that Mrs. Jacobs had boarded the car in a proper manner, holding on the post provided for the purpose. The court concluded that the accident happened “on account of the negligence and the fault of the company in not keeping the steps of the car in a proper condition.”

The amount awarded was for disability, diminution of working capacity and pain and suffering.

Source: The Montreal Gazette, Jan 17, 1935


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