Helen Anjou (plaintiff) slipped on a banana peel on a platform operated by Boston Elevated Railway Co. (BERC) (defendant). The banana peel was black, dirty, and “flattened down,” and thus had presumably been there for a while. It was the duty of one of BERC’s employees to keep the platform clear. Anjou brought a negligence suit and the trial awarded a directed verdict to BERC. Anjou appealed.