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Hebert v. Enos

Massachusetts Appeals Court
806 N.E.2d 452 (Mass. App. 2003)


Facts

Hebert (plaintiff) was employed to water the flowers at the home of Enos (defendant). One day, while lawfully on Enos’ property, Hebert touched the outside water faucet and experienced a severe electric shock that caused him injury. Hebert brought suit against Enos, alleging that Enos negligently allowed a toilet to overflow on the second floor of his home, and the water interacted with the electrical system in the home. Hebert alleged this interaction produced an electrical current that shocked him when he touched the outside water faucet. He presented an expert witness, an engineer, who corroborated his claim that the overflowing water created the electric shock that injured him. Hebert’s claim was on a theory of negligence, and his wife also brought suit against Enos for loss of consortium. Enos moved for summary judgment on the ground that Hebert’s injuries were not a reasonably foreseeable consequence of an overflowing toilet. The trial judge granted Enos’ motion for summary judgment, and Hebert appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kafker, J.)

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