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U.S. Supreme Court

Mosheuvel v. District of Columbia, 191 U.S. 247 (1903)

Mosheuvel v. District of Columbia

No. 6

Argued October 13, 1903

Decided November 30, 1903

191 U.S. 247


There is no rule of law in the District of Columbia that, where a defect exists in a highway and is known to one who elects to use such highway, such election, even if justified by the dictates of ordinary prudence, must as a matter of law entail the consequences of a want of ordinary care and prudence. Where a hole exists in a sidewalk as the result of negligence on the part of the authorities, and renders ingress and egress from a house more or less dangerous, it is not such contributory negligence per se on the part of an occupant of such house having knowledge of the hole to try to step over it, as had been done on previous occasions, instead of going around it, as will justify the direction of a verdict for the defendant.

It is for the jury to determine from all the conditions whether the situation of the defect and the hazard to result from an attempt to step over it was so great that plaintiff, with the knowledge of the situation, could not as a reasonably prudent person have elected to step over instead of going around it.

Page 191 U. S. 248

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

Page 191 U. S. 251

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