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City of Bloomington v. Legg

Supreme Court of Illinois
37 N.E. 696 (1894)


Facts

The city of Bloomington (defendant) maintained a fountain decorated with overhanging spouts. One of the spouts snagged the bridle of a horse driving Silas M. Legg's wagon. This led to an accident in which Legg was killed. Legg's father (Legg) (plaintiff) sued the city. At trial, Legg introduced evidence of earlier accidents involving the spouts to show that the spouts were dangerous and that the city knew of the danger. The city's evidence showed that the city materially changed the spout design following the earlier accidents. The judge instructed the jury that if they believed the city's evidence, they should disregard the earlier accidents. The jury ruled for Legg. The city appealed to the Supreme Court of Illinois, arguing that the judge erred in admitting Legg's evidence.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Phillips, J.)

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