Edwards v. Honeywell
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
50 F.3d 484 (1995)
The Bakers contracted with Honeywell, Inc. (defendant) to install an alarm system in their home. The Bakers paid a monthly subscription to Honeywell to monitor the alarm system. One afternoon, a fire broke out in the Bakers’ furnace room, which was located in the basement of the home. Mrs. Baker manually activated the alarm system, which signaled a Honeywell monitor. The Honeywell dispatcher received the signal at 2:54 p.m. and retrieved the Bakers’ account information electronically. The account information instructed the dispatcher to call the Indianapolis Fire Department. However, the Bakers, in fact, lived outside the jurisdiction of the Indianapolis Fire Department. It took the Honeywell dispatcher two more calls to reach the correct fire department. At 2:58 p.m., firemen were dispatched to the fire. At 3:00 p.m., the fire chief arrived at the Bakers’ home. At 3:05, two teams of men began leading hoses through the front door and garage. David Edwards (plaintiff) was leading hose through the garage when the floor collapsed. Edwards fell into the basement and died. Had Honeywell called the correct fire department, firefighters would have been dispatched within 45 seconds, rather than four minutes, of the Bakers’ signal. Edwards’s widow sued Honeywell, alleging Honeywell negligently delayed calling the fire department, because Honeywell had carelessly failed to update its information regarding the fire districts of its subscribers. This delay resulted in the house’s floor being compromised by the time Edwards arrived, causing him to fall to his death. The district court granted Honeywell’s motion for summary judgment. Edwards appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Posner, C.J.)
What to do next…
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 97,000 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.
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 177,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 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.