Byrne (plaintiff) alleged that as he was passing along a highway in front of a building owned by Boadle (defendant), he was struck and badly injured by a barrel of flour that was being lowered from a window above. Byrne brought suit against Boadle, a dealer of flour, for negligence. The trial court found no evidence of Boadle’s negligence, and granted judgment for Boadle. On appeal, Byrne argued that the presumption is that Boadle’s servants were handling the flour when it fell and injured Byrne, and if they were not, Boadle has the burden of proving this. The court of appeals held for Byrne, and Boadle appealed.