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Butterfield v. Forrester

King’s Bench
11 East 60, 103 Eng. Rep. 926 (K.B. 1809)



In the course of repairing his house, Forrester (defendant) placed a pole across a public road. This created a partial obstruction of the road, but left some parts of the road unobstructed. That evening, Butterfield (plaintiff) left a public house and began riding his horse extremely hard down the road. The obstruction caused by Forrester was visible from one hundred yards away to a person exercising ordinary care. However, Butterfield was riding so hard as to not be exercising ordinary care and did not see the obstruction. He crashed into it, was thrown from his horse, and experienced severe injuries. Butterfield brought suit for damages against Forrester. At trial, the jury found Butterfield was not riding with ordinary care, and issued a verdict for Forrester. Butterfield appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Lord Ellenborough, C.J.)

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