Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 17,300+ case briefs...

Cooley v. Public Service Co.

New Hampshire Supreme Court
10 A.2d 673 (N.H. 1940)



A telephone company ran wires above a public street that carried signals to its customers’ private homes and to public phones. These wires were fully insulated and in compliance with standard safety precautions. Public Service Co. (Public) (defendant) was an electric company that also ran wires above the telephone company’s wires on the public street. Public’s wires were not insulated. During a heavy storm, several of Public’s wires broke and fell onto the telephone wires. This created an electric shock that burned through the wires. At the time, Cooley (plaintiff) was outside having a conversation on a public phone. The electric shock traveled through the wires and resulted in a loud explosive noise in the phone’s receiver. Cooley experienced “traumatic neurosis” from the extreme fright cause by the noise and loss of sensation on her left side. Cooley brought suit for damages against the telephone company and Public. At trial, the jury found for the telephone company and against Public. Public appealed, and the appellate court reversed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Page, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 457,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 457,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 17,300 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial